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YouTube Live Streaming API

Video introduction

The YouTube Live Streaming API lets you create, update, and manage live events on YouTube. Using the API, you can schedule events (broadcasts) and associate them with video streams, which represent the actual broadcast content.

The API uses these core concepts:

  • A broadcast represents an event that can be watched on YouTube as it happens. Broadcasts can also be recorded and saved as YouTube videos so that users can watch them after they happen.

  • A stream identifies the audio-video content that is being communicated to YouTube. Each broadcast is associated with one video stream.

  • A cuepoint represents an ad break that can be inserted into a live broadcast.

The list below suggests several ways to use the API in your application:

  • Schedule broadcasts and define broadcast settings. Your application could enable users to predefine broadcast settings and then select the settings to apply to a particular broadcast.

  • Associate video streams and broadcasts.

  • Enable broadcasters to define information about a broadcast and its video (using the YouTube Data API) at the same time.

  • Simplify transitions between broadcast states (testing, live, etc.) and enable users to insert cuepoints.

You can also use Google's API client libraries to implement the Live Streaming API.

Getting started


  1. Register your application with Google so that it can submit API requests.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the core concepts of the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data format. For more information, see

Building your application

  1. Read the Getting started guide for an overview of the API as well as some tips and best practices for managing your live broadcasts.
  2. Read the Life of a broadcast guide, which walks through the series of API calls that you would make to create, claim, and complete a live broadcast on YouTube.
  3. Select a client library to simplify your API implementation.
  4. Read the authentication guide to learn how to implement OAuth 2.0 authentication.
  5. Check the API reference guide for definitions of the resources that the API interacts with, the specific properties that each resource contains, and the methods that the API supports for each resource.