March 28, 2013

YouTube Rolls Out New Live Streaming Platform to All...

by Bern Rexer

YouTube Rolls Out New Live Streaming Platform to all who are currently enabled to stream live.

**** See update below****

Live Streaming Specialist from the YouTube support blog announced yesterday "We are working on improving the YouTube Live experience and are now excited to roll it out to all accounts that are currently enabled for YouTube Live!"

If you are currently enabled to stream live, like many revenue producing YouTube Partners and non-profits are, you will see the following opt-in message from your Video Manager Live Events section.

As I mentioned some specifics in a previous post - there are considerable benefits of using the new platform. Especially with how YouTube utilizes transcoding. Instead of streaming up to four separate bit rates to the media servers - YouTube now allows a single ingest stream of one higher bitrate, up to 6Mbps - 1080p, which it will then transcodes to lower bitrates including to mobile devices. Overall this saves you upload bandwidth and encoding CPU.

Some other neat functions of the new platform are the use of viewer selected cameras called multi-camera events. Think of watching a live stream of a concert and clicking on the camera behind the drummer. Or maybe watching a presentation and clicking the camera with slides only. I can think of lots of uses for this.

The user selected camera is placed above the player:

The live stream can be 'recorded' on the server and the archive is available very rapidly after the live event concludes. Ideally you maintain the same live event URL for your archive with the comments and viewer count intact.

You can even implement a DVR function in case a viewer arrives late - they can scrub backwards in time to see what they have missed.

YouTube has a lot of ground to cover to catch up with mature live streaming services such as Livestream or Ustream but it's apparent they are making tracks. Some of that ground includes enabling live streaming to more partners - which they say will continue to be offered.

Check out YouTube's Live Streaming Guide for the details.

If you would like to keep up with YouTube live streaming then join:

Google+ Communities

Google+ Communities

YouTube Live Streaming LinkedIn Group

and follow:

@mxpi on Twitter


On May 15th, 2013 Google announced 'YouTube live streaming expanding to more channels'. Any channel with over 1000 subscriptions would be eligible to apply for the Live Events feature of streaming video live on YouTube. 
The YouTube Live Support group verified the announcement with further instruction of how to apply for live streaming on YouTube

This announcement is historic in the live streaming industry. Any channel with over 1000 subscriptions is probably in the top 10% of all YouTube channels. However those content producers probably distribute to over 80% of viewers. So this announcement effectively opens up live streaming to most content distributors.  This is the announcement that everyone following YouTube live streaming has been waiting for. It opens up the accessibility of a free content delivery network and will shift many over to YouTube live streaming platform - especially for those that already use YouTube for video on demand hosting.
But it also creates an application mechanism - which had not existed before except to non-profits. This gives YouTube the knowledge of who wants to stream live. 
It may also create more on-demand content and more channels. There will be many whose focus is on live streaming content and not necessarily video on demand. Those live producers have never considered YouTube until now. This gives them motivation to create a channel and gain subscribers to become eligible for live streaming. 
However, we are still waiting - if you are eligible, and after you apply it still takes time to actually become enabled - "Once you’ve applied, access to live will be granted gradually.''  

March 20, 2013

YouTube Live Event Landing Pages

By Bern Rexer

Consider what landing pages to drive your audience to view a live event on YouTube. There are several options to plan before your live stream.

This article discusses some options based on the old layout channel - and discusses how the new One Channel layout works for live events.

This article is important because of the benefits of featuring videos on your channel, where you should consider driving your audience to view your live event, and if you should consider changing to the new One Channel if you produce live events. These featured video options don't appear to be offered on the One Channel but additional testing is required.

There are four primary landing page URLs to distribute to your viewing audience - and where you want your audience to view the stream. Consider choosing one of these pages.

  • The YouTube Watch Page
  • Your YouTube Channel Page
  • A YouTube Playlist
  • An embedded player on your web page or other sites.

All YouTube videos ultimately reside on a Watch page. The URL format is
The Watch page is the initial landing page to *consider for your audience. The link can be shared via emails, social networks, Circles or passed through registration applications.
The YouTube default Watch page layout continues to evolve - just like the Channel layout.
*Remember that the Watch page is a source URL - you cannot change the video in it. After you promote it you cannot change it. Often, especially for live events, promote another page for better control.

When you upload an on demand video or create a new live event - there are a few options that will determine what displays on the Watch page - such as the Comments field.
Regardless of where the video is displayed (from your channel, playlist or embedded web page player), the Watch page can always be accessed by the savvy viewer - usually by clicking on the YouTube logo of the player but also by clicking on the title link on the player or page.

You should also consider driving your audience to your Channel page and featuring your live event there. The benefits of Highlighting content on your Channel for your live event is because the audience will see your custom branding and other videos.
You can chose what videos to feature from your main channel page if you are logged in. There is an Edit button above the player on the right which allows you to select the video. This will be your Default featured video.
If enabled to stream live then you also need to setup your channel Tabs from the channel settings page for Live Broadcaster - with Default as Featured Tab - and do not check where subscribed users are taken to the Feed.
Live Broadcaster Tab

You can even chose to feature another channels live or on demand video. The benefit here is that if you are not enabled to stream live - but collaborate with a Partner who is enabled for live streaming - then you can feature that live event from your collaborative partners channel on YOUR channel. To do this - setup your tabs for Everything - create a playlist and add the partners live event URL to it - then feature the playlist. It will show up as the featured live stream on your channel and play the first (or only) video.

The URL format of a featured video is

What if you have two live events that you want to feature on your channel? Your audience will always go to the default featured video from the channel URL or featured URL. But if another live event is occurring from your channel then you can change the video ID in the URL to take users to that video and STILL appear to be featured on your channel. (the default video)
OR (the other live event)
A benefit of this is if you have multiple events at the same time but also if you have multiple audiences for the same event - such as different languages.

If you feature a live event on your channel and it is public then that default featured event appears on your channel from the YouTube live events listing page If the event is not featured on your channel but public - then viewers are taken to the Watch page from the YT public live listings.

Another consideration of where to drive your audience for a live event is to your domain web page. When you create your live event an option is available to allow embedding the video. Select this and you will be able to embed that video to play from your web page. Remember however that anyone else can embed the video to play on their web page if it is public.


Here are links to highlighting and featured videos based on the old layout:
Highlighting Content on your YouTube Channel
Change the Featured Video


So the big question is - how does this all work on the new One Channel layout?

In my opinion your Channel page or your domain web page are the two most valuable places to drive your audience (but every event is unique). Drive your audience to one place to maintain control of your content. When your viewers go to your channel page and you have a video playing - such as a live event - REGARDLESS if they are subscribers or not - that video is what will draw their attention first.

From my initial tests, the new One Channel layout not only reduces the size of the featured video but it also doesn't allow subscribers to even view that featured video. Maybe I am missing some functionality on the new YouTube One Channel but I think a single playing video on any page is what draws the most attention from the viewer. And when it comes to live events it is extremely important to keep the audience captured.


Below are two images of similar YouTube partner's Channel pages - who both produce live events.
The first is Crufts which live streams their dog shows - and uses the current (or old) version layout.
And the other is the Pet Collective which streams various animal cams and uses the One Channel layout.
Crufts Live Event featured on Channel.

Pet Collective Live Events featured on playlist

March 14, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Live Stream Draws Huge Numbers

By Bern Rexer

Samsung broadcast their new Galaxy phone product launch on YouTube and other live streaming services today and the event resulted in over 1 half million concurrent viewers and over ten thousand new subscribers to their YouTube channel. Samsung YouTube Channel.

It is estimated that there were over 1 million visitors to the many live streams broadcast on the internet for the event.

Samsung Galaxy YouTube Live Stream
Pre Event Subscriptions

Samsung Galaxy YouTube Live Stream
Post Event Subscriptions
The live stream began around 7:15pm EDT and lasted about 1 hour. It was broadcast from New York City.

There was over 460K concurrent viewers on the YouTube channel and over 75K concurrent viewers on CNET broadcast from Other YouTube channels broadcast the event and Leo LaPort's TWiT TV covered it on Ustream averaging about 2500 concurrent connections.

The same live event URL was available as an archive within an hour after conclusion on Samsungs YouTube channel.

24 hours post event Samsung's YouTube channel shows almost 10% increase at 270K subscribers.

March 08, 2013

YouTube Changes Live Encoder Settings

<<< UPDATE >>> here are the latest YouTube Live Encoder settings.

YouTube has made notable changes to their recommended live encoding settings. Particularly with the video bitrate increase for each of the four stream resolutions of 240p, 360p, 480p, and 720p - but also adding a 1080p live streaming resolution. These resolutions can be selected by the viewer from the quality cog adjustment on the bottom right of the YouTube player. 

YouTube's addition of a New Platform suggests encoding a single 6Mbps stream which their media servers then transcode to the lower bitrate streams. 

The bitrates have increased considerably as shown from charts below of the old and new suggestions. 
240p increases from 300Kbps to 500Kbps 
360p increases from 600Kbps to 1000Kbps
480p increases from 1000Kbps to 2000Kbps
720p increases from 2400Kbps to 4000Kbps

OLD recommendations:
OLD encoder settings for YouTube live streaming
OLD encoder settings for YouTube live streaming published by YouTube

NEW recommendations:
NEW encoder settings for YouTube live streaming
NEW encoder settings for YouTube live streaming published by YouTube*

Most YouTube accounts do not have the ability to stream live. Those that are enabled may only have a basic feature of the streaming to a single bitrate of 360p. And some have the enhanced live streaming feature to stream to all four bitrates. Furthermore, YouTube has added a 'New Platform' for live streaming which transcodes a single higher bitrate stream to the lower bitrates. 

YouTube live streaming Old and New Platform
YouTube live streaming Old and New Platform*

Transcoding a single highest bit rate stream down to the lower bit rates and to mobile devices is a big step forward for YouTube live streaming.  A video on the ytliveops YouTube channel discusses transcoding and the new platform. 

*Published from the YouTube Live Streaming Guide 3/8/2013

YouTube now has updated their encoding suggestions to included a recommended bitrate. This is great news as it shows their is flexibility with encoding bitrate. More testing will determine how the YouTube transcoders  handle dynamic bitrates which is offered by many encoders. 
YouTube Live Recommended Encoding Bitrates
YouTube Live Recommended Encoding Bitrates

March 07, 2013

YouTube Live Streaming Guide

The YouTube Live Streaming Guide offers insights and instructions for streaming live on YouTube. If you are an enabled partner or just curious about how YouTube live streaming works then browse through this information.
The guide along with this video were updated early 2013.