2020 is a great time to start Youtube Livestreaming especially if you are already posting videos to Youtube.
What is Livestreaming
Livestreaming is a way to broadcast video content live to an audience on platforms like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch and more. You can use just your phone or ramp up your live production using multiple camera’s graphics, better camera, livestream software, lighting, and a microphone.
Livestreaming offers another way to provide content to serve and reach your audience. Livestreams seems to get higher priority on Youtube and Facebook platforms as well as higher views and engagement.
You can still monetize on the content as a Youtube partner by livestreaming and you can also record an off-line copy of your broadcast to edit in case the stream has technical issues or you want to edit it further for other purposes. Youtube allows you to publish and monetize on the live replays.
Where to Livestream
there are so many platforms you can stream on like twitch, vimeo, facebook, instagram, and Youtube. We only have so much time and energy if you’re just one person so I’ve focused mainly on Youtube because I’m already a partner with just shy of 3K subscribers so I can monetize on my streams. The experience of publishing live to youtube is not too different than traditional publishing on Youtube, but you need to do more things upfront (title, thumbnail) before clicking the livestream button.
Livestreaming is a faster way to get good content with reasonable production value out faster. I find as a creator you can skip most of the editing process of editing a video. This is a step that often is a roadblock for many creators. Instead you focus more time on planning and pre-production so that most of the content is just being served in real-time. Once you end your stream you may need to do a bit of post streaming tasks like adding tags, but you are pretty much done your production.
What gear do you need to Livestream
Camera – You can use your laptop web cam or even increase the quality using an external web camera. You could even use both of those camera’s. I discovered you can even use your android smartphone as a good web camera. I use the droid cam x paid app with a tripod. You will need to install the client
One of the top researched web cams are a Logitech C920S Pro 1080p ($130) HD Webcam
You can save some money if you have a decent smartphone. I’ve just purchased a new android smartphone called the Xiaomi 9s. It has a good camera. I’ve purchased the droid cam x app for $6 and use a smartphone tripod to hold the phone. This should work any android smartphone. I’m sure there are alternatives for apple.
If you want to use your dslr or mirrorless camera you can use a capture card like the Elgato Capture Card.
I haven’t tried this out yet, as these card’s always seem to be sold out.
Some Cameras like the Panasonic GH5 and Canon SLR’s have tethering software that allow you to connect your camera and live view from your desktop. You can capture the software’s live window to save on the cost of a capture card.
Camera’s are only part of the equation you want a good microphone.
I invested in an XLR microphone that connects to my audio recorder that connects to my computer. I use the Shure SM 58 to an H5 zoom recorder that connect via USB This is also a good setup for a podcast or voiceover’s so it’s a good investment. my audio setup for livestreaming is below.
Internet speed – if you’re livestreaming high resolution full hd then you want at least 20mbps upload and download. If you’re doing 4K you need higher maybe faster than 100bmps.
Software – this is important depending on the computer you are using. The free options are OBC. For macs you can try ecamm live. I didn’t like using OBS and started using Vmix. They had a free 60 day trial and I ended up purchasing the free HD Plan for $60 Us lifetime.
You should look for these features in your software.
- Allows you queue up multiple inputs (titles or graphics, camera inputs, audio, queue videos)
- Live Transitions
- Audio mixer
- Streaming to multiple platforms with multiple profiles
- Recording an offline copy
Vmix really opened my eyes to the potential of livestreaming, but also another way of creating or presenting content. Vmix allows you to setup multiple inputs whether it’s videos on your computers, the camera’s connected to your computer, your desktop multiple audio feeds, text graphic overlays, and even calls.
This is a different skillset when you are broadcasting live and want to create a smooth flow of a show in the present rather than traditional offline production editing.
Tips for Livestreaming
Make sure you have the right gear and software first. Once you have start learning the software and getting comfortable presenting in your space. Practice a few times and test out your audio and text graphics. You can even do a test recording before going live. Learn from my mistake and just don’t try to wing it and press the live button. I’ve had some embarrassing livestream where I had a weird echo on my stream and had to unlist it.
In addition to being comfortable speaking and being on camera if you are doing this style of broadcast. If you are delivering a live broadcast sometimes you have to adapt to the situation whether it’s some technical hiccup or being comfortable improvising. You can take off the pressure my making your video unlisted first on youtube. I’ve found that my past training in improvisation in comedy classes or toastmasters are good preparation for this aspect.
Livestreaming is still a young but growing way of delivering your content. I have no doubt that it will continue to grow. It’s a way to get your content out a bit faster and stand out from a growing crowd of video creators. The potential to get content out faster using livestream technology can benefit you if you’re willing to make the effort.