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


  1. I'd like to add that driving your audience to the Watch page for a live event can be dangerous. Because the watch page is the source URL and can't be changed after marketing it - it may be more beneficial, because you have better control, to drive your audience to your channel page or a domain page. If your live event watch page has to change for whatever reason then you simply edit your host page with the new link.

  2. Thank you very much Bern, great information! what would be the steps to perform a Transmit audio in different languages?

    1. Hello RGB - if I understand your question correctly - you want to broadcast an event that has multiple audio channels - where each channel is an interpreter translating the source language? Maybe the source is English but you want to translate in French, Spanish and Chinese.

      Consider using the 'multi-camera' feature where multiple streams are associated with one event - and each stream is a different language. Those streams show up as thumbnails on desktop browser YouTube players. The can also be embedded individually - the French goes on the French page and so on.
      But pay attention to bandwidth - each stream requires separate upload bandwidth.

  3. And again - although you don't control the source in the Watch page - that URL is the easiest to share. It automatically becomes embeddable in most CMS and social networks. So don't rule out the Watch page URL!