How to Monetize Live Streams with Ads

Before you can monetize a livestream you will need to make sure Live Streaming is enabled on your account

Monetize 'Stream Now' Livestreams

To enable ads for Stream Now you'll first need to visit the Live Dashboard, then proceed to the "Monetization" tab.




Make sure "Monetize with ads" is enabled and confirm that the changes were saved.



While that alone will monetize your stream, you also need to click "Advanced settings" to make sure the correct ad formats are enabled.




The "Usage policy" should be set to "Monetize in all countries" (just like for your YouTube video uploads).




You then have all of the usual ad formats you can choose from, once again just like a standard video upload.




Which options you enable depends on your own personal preference and objectives, but generally speaking we recommend enabling all available formats to maximize potential revenue. This gives YouTube more flexibility in which ads they can display, making it more likely that a better-paying or more relevant ad can be shown.

Once you have decided on your preferred options, be sure to click "Save changes" before leaving.




These settings should be saved as your default options going forward, but just to be safe it can be a good idea to double check the next time you go live.


Playing ads during your stream: Viewers will only receive an ad automatically when they first open your stream, but as streams often run for quite a while you may wish to play additional ads throughout your stream. YouTube gives you this ability with a "Play ad" button in the Live Dashboard. Simply click this button during your stream whenever you wish to run another ad.




Playing ads during your stream can help increase revenue, especially if your viewers are watching your stream for a long time in a single session. However, you do not want to frustrate viewers by running so many ads that it harms the experience. It's important to space them out so that viewers don't mind as much.

It's best to incorporate ad plays into natural breaks in your stream if possible, that way it does not interrupt the content. For example, if you get up to grab a snack/drink or step away briefly for any reason that could be a great time to run an ad. Another option is while you're queuing for a game, or perhaps during a long loading screen.

Please note: Clicking the Play ad button does not guarantee an ad will be shown, some viewers may not see one for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they only joined your stream moments before and already saw an ad, they could have ad blocking software, or be YouTube Red subscribers, etc. Some portion of viewers will most likely still watching, so make sure the content is still appropriate during your ad break (e.g. don't pull up private messages during the ad break as it will still be part of the broadcast).


With that, you should be all set to monetize your Stream Now livestreams!


Monetize Live Events


Most livestreams are done using Stream Now as it's much easier and faster to set up, once your settings are saved you can go live anytime with the push of a button on your streaming software. But if you're hosting a large event planned in advance you might benefit from using a Live Event instead.

If you've decided to use a live event, you will most likely want to monetize it! To enable ads for a Live Event, you will first need to create your Event from the Events dashboard by clicking the "New live event" button in the top right corner. If you already have an event ready, open that instead of creating a new one.




Navigate to the "Monetization" tab (after setting up all your event details, such as the event time, title, tags, etc).




Here you will once again see the same options as a normal video upload. Make sure the "Usage policy" is set to "Monetize in all countries", then choose your preferred ad options.




As mentioned above, we normally recommend enabling all available ad options, as it will usually result in the most potential revenue, but it's completely up to you!

Once everything is set click "Create event"!




As with Stream Now, you can insert ads during your broadcast from the Live Control Room. On the right side of the page you'll find "ADS INSERTION" among the options, simply click "Insert" to play an ad during your stream.




Your Live Event should now be ready to earn revenue!