What’s the Optimum YouTube Bitrate for Live Streaming and Uploads?

Recommended YouTube Bitrate Settings for Live Streaming and Uploads

When using YouTube to live stream or upload videos, the key to making them professional isn’t just the equipment you use. It’s also the bitrate you use for your videos.

If you use a YouTube bitrate that isn’t optimized for your Internet connection, you can increase buffering or lower the resolution of your stream. The best YouTube bitrate for live streaming without buffering depends on several different factors. Find out more below. 

YouTube Bitrate Settings for Live Streaming and Uploads

Bitrate is a measure of the number of bits of information that are being transmitted on a digital network. When it comes to video, bitrate is the amount of data to encode a single second of your video. Bitrate directly affects both the quality and file size of the video you are streaming.

The higher the YouTube bitrate the higher the quality of the video and the larger the file size. You have to find the right balance between quality and file size. If the file is too large, it will cause buffering when streamed because most people’s Internet connections cannot handle a huge file at one time.

But, if the YouTube bitrate is too low, the file quality will poor and your stream will look unprofessional.

The Optimal YouTube Bitrate for Live Streaming and Uploads

When live streaming video on YouTube, you have to take three things into account:

  1. Bitrate
  2. Framerate
  3. Resolution

All of these factors will affect the quality of your YouTube video, how much processing power it takes to encode your video, and how much bandwidth it takes to broadcast your video. It is always better to have a steady YouTube stream with a slightly lower resolution or framerate than it is to have a super high-quality stream that is constantly buffering.

Here are some recommended bitrates for live streaming and file uploads on YouTube:

  • Live streaming on YouTube: according to Google, YouTube live streaming bitrates range from 300 Kbps for a 240p video to 51 Mbps for a 4K @ 60 fps video.
    For example, in order to live stream a full HD 1080p @ 30 fps video on YouTube, you should have a bitrate of up to 6 Mbps.
  • Video uploads on YouTube: Google recommends YouTube video upload bitrates starting at 1 Mbps for a 360p video up to 85 Mbps for a 4k @ 60 fps video.
    If you’re uploading a full HD 1080p @ 60 fps video file on YouTube, you should set it with a bitrate of 15 Mbps.

YouTube Bitrate for Live Streaming: How Speedify Fixes Poor Internet Connections

One issue many YouTube streamers run into is that they have a poor Internet connection. This can prevent you from having a steady live stream, even if you are using the most optimal YouTube bitrate to avoid buffering.

You can always live stream on YouTube in standard definition. But, this will look strange to most viewers because almost all movies and video are now in high definition.

The best option is to download the Speedify app to better manage your Internet connections. Speedify is available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. It works in the background to both monitor the quality and manage your Internet connections.

Whether on a computer or a mobile device, Speedify can combine multiple connections together at the same time to produce a stable, lightning-fast Internet connection. Speedify has smart technology: it only uses the minimum amount of data needed to keep your live stream up and running at your desired bitrate.

Plus – if one of the connections should drop, Speedify’s automatic failover mechanism will make sure your YouTube live stream will still be online. That means no buffering, no drops and no loading screens for your viewers.

Speedify allows you to enjoy the live streaming without any buffering or loss of resolution. If you are planning on live streaming on YouTube, you should definitely use Speedify.

Download Speedify

Speedify is the only app that combines your wifi, cellular, wired, and even your friend’s phone signals – into one ultra-fast and super secure link that keeps you all connected for the best possible live streaming, video calling, or just posting to your favorite app.


Subscribe to Speedify on YouTube

Get news, success stories, and our weekly livestreaming show Speedify LIVE! Tune in to chat and ask questions or to yell at us if that makes you happy. We're from Philly, we can take it.