RTMP Streaming on YouNow

On iOS, we are using a new square video format for a more immersive viewing experience. This means that on some devices, the sides of your video may be cropped. In order to look your best on these devices, make sure to center yourself in the frame.
If you broadcast in widescreen (16:9) using OBS, your video will not be cropped. This is also the case for xSplit, but only if you use the RTMP streaming option. See our guide below on RTMP streaming for more information. 

About RTMP streaming

  • RTMP streaming is an advanced method for broadcasting on YouNow, that gives users more control over their broadcast
  • Things you can do with RTMP streaming
    • Adjust the Video / Audio quality
    • Share media, games or windows from your computer with your audience
    • Apply effects, such as green screens
    • Use professional hardware
  • Unfortunately, some functionality is not available while using RTMP streaming
    • Guest broadcasting
    • Youtube Simulcasting
  • RTMP streaming requires 3rd party software or hardware, such as:
    • OBS (a free, recommended tool)
    • xSplit (popular amongst gamers)
    • Tricaster (professional broadcasting hardware)
    • Any tool with a “Custom RTMP” option
  • While RTMP streaming allows you to increase the quality of a broadcast, doing so will increase the likelihood that viewers will experience lag and buffering, especially on phones with slow internet connections. We encourage you to use the “Recommended” settings below, which we’ve found to be the sweet spot for quality & reliability.
    • You can use the “High” settings for improved quality, but do so at your own risk
    • You can change Audio and Video settings separately, so a musician may wish to use higher audio settings, while leaving the video at recommended


Getting Setup

(Note: these instructions are for OBS, however they should be similar for others. Just search for how to do “custom RTMP streaming” with your tool of choice).

  • Download, Install and Open OBS
  • Stream Settings
    • Visit, and scroll down to see your stream server / key
    • In OBS, click Settings and go to Stream
    • For Stream Type, choose Custom Streaming Server
    • Input your URL (server) and Stream Key from YouNow
  • Output Settings
    • In OBS Settings, go to the Output tab
    • Video Bitrate = 500 (Recommended), 1200 (High)
    • Audio Bitrate = 128 (Recommended), 196 (High)
  • Video Settings
    • In OBS Settings, go to the Video tab
    • Base Resolution = 1280x720
    • Output Resolution = 1280x720
  • Add your camera source
    • In the main OBS screen, in the sources section (bottom, second from left), click the + button and choose “Video Capture Device”
    • Create New, and name it “Camera”
    • Choose your Camera from the device list
    • Set the Preset to 1280x720


  • Visit and click the “Go Live” button
  • Click the cog icon below your video and choose “Use external streaming tool”
  • Setup your broadcast like normal (pick a tag, etc), then click “Prepare Broadcast”
  • Switch to OBS and click the “Start Streaming” button
  • Switch back to YouNow, and after a few seconds, should see a message saying that you are live!
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