YouTube Live requires some setup to get going, but is a good money generator once it’s established.
First, you should know that there are several ways to make money with YouTube Live streams:
- Pre-roll ad slates
- Post-roll ad slates
- Direct ad sales
- Super Chat (new!)
- Subscriptions & viewer donations (now bundled into Super Chat)
YouTube Live functions similarly to Twitch at a top-level, but needs some setup. In the Advanced Settings for a stream, configure a broadcast delay of 30 to 60 seconds. This will allow ad slate insertion before a livestream. This will generate revenue just before a stream begins; you’ll hit “start,” an ad will roll for those waiting to view, and then the stream will begin. This is recommended when hyping a stream prior to its start, as more people waiting mean more viewers of that pre-roll ad – and once you’ve waited a few minutes anyway, it’s not a big ask to wait another 15-20 seconds.
Next, make sure monetization is enabled, and enable “In-Stream Ads.” With this done, you can now insert ads (called Slating an Ad Insertion) into live content, done by using the preview player for the stream. Pre-rolls help build revenue before an event, just like normal pre-rolls, and post-rolls can help fetch revenue from viewers who leave the window open while performing other tasks.
Although these are helpful, Super Chat is the next biggest revenue generator, where viewers can donate money to the streamers to support the stream. Aside from suggesting that donations help support a streamer, it’s also important to offer something in return. Most streamers will offer a Q&A session for anyone donating – just try to keep it manageable. Big streams can run away quickly.
Direct ad sales are next, which are when you’re able to sell ad placement to an advertiser (but make sure you’re aware of your country’s / region’s laws regarding ad disclosures). Ad sales might include a mid-stream segment where you plug a website or product.
All these combined, streams are some of the fastest ways to build revenue on YouTube.