YouTube's Stream Now Feature

YouTube's Stream Now Feature

You can stream to YouTube directly through your creator studio. There are two options for you, “Stream Now” and “Schedule an Event”.

This tutorial will cover how to set up your “Stream Now” feature and what it becomes useful for. The actual setup and organization of your streaming software will be covered in a different tutorial.

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What You Need:

  1. A YouTube Channel
  2. Something to stream (a game, a vlog, etc.)
  3. Encoding software (OBS, Xsplit, etc.)
  4. (optional) Camera
    1. DSLR or USB Webcam
  5. (optional) Microphone
    1. Via XLR input or USB
  6. (recommended for gamers) A second monitor, to be able to check the quality of the stream and chat
  7. An audience
    1. This may not be the most obvious point. Without an audience, your impromptu streams won’t be effective. People generally show up because they have the notification bell on. You need a few core watchers before you should consider running a stream like this. Otherwise, set up an event and let SEO help you more.

Where to Find the “Stream Now” Feature

You’ll find “Stream Now” under live streaming in your creator studio. You first need to enable the functionality for live streaming in your channel settings before you’ll have access to streams. Once you enable it, you can stream to YouTube.

Setting it Up

Your stream will be fairly easy to set up. “Stream Now” is exactly what it sounds like. You start your stream, and the event starts. This is particularly useful for shorter streams or impromptu events that your audience normally wouldn’t expect. From the streaming interface on YouTube, you’ll be able to see the chat, how many live viewers you have, and realtime analytics if you scroll down a bit. Use the stream key at the bottom of the page in your encoding software (DO NOT SHARE THIS WITH ANYONE OR SHOW IT ON STREAM) to have your stream actually show up on YouTube.

You can also add tags and a description to the video. It’s always a good idea to put your gear in streams, because people always ask if they think it looks good.


  • The best way to stream to YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, Facebook and 30+ other services simultaneously.

Thanks for reading this tutorial on setting up your impromptu streams! Let us know your thoughts on the subreddit or tweet us @RealNewTubers!