Ultimate guide to live streaming on a Chromebook

Ultimate guide to live streaming on a Chromebook
stream on Chromebook using Melon for free

Live-streaming space is on fire. Everyone from up and coming creators to professionals to small business and F500 companies are live-streaming to grow their presence online, to get their message out, and to connect.

A lot is written about how to stream from desktop PCs. There is powerful software like Streamlabs OBS or OBS or Xsplit that you can download on you computer. There are also many options to live-stream directly from your phone.

But what about streaming from a Chromebook? Chromebooks are wildly popular. Recent BBC article called out that Chromebooks overtake Apple Mac laptops in popularity.

This is a comprehensive guide to streaming from your Chromebook. We will cover everything in hyper simple terms so that you can go from reading this straight to your first stream. If you are already an experienced streamer, you will find tips on how to grow your stream.

Why live stream?

People get into live-streaming for many reasons. For some it is fun. For others it is a way to express themselves. Yet for others - it is a way to connect with like-minded people. There are those that do this as profession and for them live-streaming is also a primary source of income. Your live-streaming motivation is yours only.

Pick your live streaming platform - where do you want to stream?

  • Twitch is a popular live-streaming platform that boasts the largest engagement in the live-streaming community. Twitch is known primarily for the gaming audience, but the rise of IRL (in real life) streaming is clear. There are now education channels, music channels, cooking shows and more. Twitch is owned by Amazon.
  • YouTube is the 2nd most visited website in the world after Google. Live-streaming to YouTube has enormous benefits given the reach of YouTube. If you already have a presence on YouTube - you can benefit from your existing community there. Similar to Twitch, YouTube has a number of commerce options to help you monetize your livestream. To learn more about YouTube Live click here.
  • Facebook is a wildly popular social platform. One of the benefits of streaming to Facebook is that if you belong to a Facebook group and have the rights to stream to that group, you may automatically have an audience. The same goes for your friends - if you have a list of friends on Facebook and you live stream to your feed - you already have a few viewers. This enables you to get past that difficult hump of going from zero to your first 10 viewers. Facebook also offers a solid number of commerce options. This guide has even more info on how to livestream on Facebook.
  • LinkedIn is yet another platform. To stream to LinkedIn live you need to be a verified broadcaster. When you stream to LinkedIn you tap into a massive network of professionals. Your broadcasts should be different in nature and should not be gaming.

There are many other platforms where you can stream such as VK, Twitter, Trovo and others. You can stream to those using Melon via custom RTMP. Check out this guide for more information on how to think about which live streaming platform is best for you.

Specifics of live-streaming to YouTube

To stream to YouTube from Melon you need to do these steps once.

  1. Go here and verify your channel for streaming.
  2. This may take 24-48 hours.
  3. Once verified, please go https://studio.youtube.com/, click create, click go-live and stream once from YouTube studio directly. This is a necessary step.
  4. Once you are verified and you streamed from YouTube studio, you can now stream from Melon to YouTube.

You only have to do steps 1-3 once.  If you are streaming to YouTube for the first time and/or if you are getting any errors streaming to YouTube from melon, please reach out to us via [email protected] and please try these steps for yourself.

For more information on verifying your YouTube account, check out: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/171664?hl=en

Setup your streaming account

For every live streaming platform you will need a live streaming account. This takes a few minutes. You will want to go to that platform, sign-up with an email, verify your email, make a username and that's it.

  • To create a Twitch account go here
  • To create a YouTube livestream account go here  and please note that any google account would do, but it will need to be enabled for live-streaming with YouTube
  • To create a Facebook account go here
  • To get verified as LinkedIn broadcaster go here

Please know that with Twitch and Facebook you can go from account creation to streaming right away. For YouTube and LinkedIn there is waiting period, but its short for YouTube and a bit more nuanced for LinkedIn.

Understand the hardware fundamentals of your Chromebook

The beauty of a Chromebook and simple but powerful live-streaming apps like Melon is that with both you are ready to stream. Nothing else needed.

Chromebooks run on the Chrome operating system that would support browser based apps like Melon.

Chromebooks do not have a discrete GPU. This means that Chromebooks are not going to be great for gaming and especially for gaming and live-streaming.

Ensure stable internet connection

If you have a Chromebook you likely have an internet connection since it is a web-first computer. For live-streaming especially you want to make sure you have a stable internet connection. Being plugged in directly into the internet and or being close to the router will help for signal strength.

Pick a live-streaming tool

You have your Chromebook, your internet, microphone and camera enabled and your streaming platform account setup. Let's pick a live-streaming app

  • Melon is our pick. It is s a web-based live streaming studio that enables creators to go live with ease. Easily broadcast to social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or Twitch, go live in just a few clicks. With Melon, you can go live to every major streaming platform in just five clicks. Built by the team at Streamlabs, there is no complicated setup and nothing to install for you or your guests. Other streaming solutions are complicated and can take hours to set up. With Melon, everything is hosted on best-in-class cloud infrastructure, meaning podcasters, brands, businesses, and individuals get blazing fast response time, low CPU usage, and minimal latency.
  • Streamyard is a strong option. StreamYard is also free to use, but to unlock some features you’ll have to pay for the Basic or Professional package. The basic package starts at $25 and gets you up to three multistreaming destinations. Overall, StreamYard is also a good service, however, you can get everything you need in the standard package from Melon at a cheaper price point. Not to mention, Melon comes with several free features that outclass the competition like integrated Alerts with Streamlabs and the ability to accept tips from viewers.
  • Restream is another solid option. Restream is famous for enabling people to livestream to 30+ destinations. Anyone can use the service, but the majority of the features are most beneficial to entrepreneurs, marketers, and corporations. The standard plan costs slightly more than Melon’s monthly plan, but it includes a few extra features such as more guests and additional multistream destinations. Most of the time, you won’t need this many options, but if you feel like spending the money for those extra benefits, definitely check out Restream’s website to learn more about the options available to you.
  • Lighstream is primarily known for letting people stream from their Xbox. It is also available in the browser. The user experience is more complicated than that of Streamyard or Melon.

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to browser-based streaming services. At the end of the day, no other service provides the features that Melon does at that low of a price point. Melon is built by the teams behind Streamlabs and Logitech and is releasing features every single week. There is a reason why everyone is switching to Melon to live-stream.

How to decide between native streaming options and streaming tools listed above

There are also ways to livestream using YouTube Studio or Twitch Studio or Facebook mobile app. These are also options. There are some trade-offs.

Twitch Studio requires a download and will not work well on Chromebooks.

YouTube Studio works nicely in the browser, but it will lack a lot of the options such as inviting guests for collaborative streams, integrated donations that help you monetize your stream, and the level of customization that tools like Melon or Streamyard or Restream will offer. Same goes for Facebook native tool.

Tips and advice: preparing for your first livestream

There is a lot that can be written here. For in-depth guide - check out this blog, but a few tips below from talking to dozens of experts and just supporting the live-streaming space for last 5+ years.

  • Start simple if you are just getting started. Chromebook and Melon will do great
  • Ensure you have good lighting and solid internet. Good lighting does not even mean fancy lights. It just means a well-lit room
  • Run a test stream. Yes, you can do a quick stream to Twitch and delete it. Or you can live-stream to a private or unlisted YouTube channel
  • Keep experimenting. Try different titles, try scheduling streams to let your audience know, experiment with highlighting messages in chat to enjoy your audience. See what works
  • Invite guests on your livestream. That can make for a great show
  • Engage with chat. Chat is the support and heart and soul. Make sure you acknowledge your chat.
  • Record your livestreams. You can then re-use them or even study them. Melon allows seamless live streams and recording
  • Stay professional. Your theme is yours, but do avoid breaking live-streaming platforms terms of service. Think long-term. Think about your brand.
  • Promote your live-stream on social media. For example, with Melon you can auto-post to Twitter when you go live.

Can I live stream video games from my Chromebook

Good question. It may work for some lighter games or browser based games, but we do not highly recommend it. You are always welcome to try and experiment.

  • First, you are going to be limited by the games you play because Chrome books do not have a discrete GPU. For gaming we recommend standard PC laptops.
  • You can play web-based games and get them from steam. You can also get an android emulator such as Blue Stacks and play android games.
  • When you play video games on your Chromebook, you can share screen and live-stream that. Melon allows you to do that with ease. Just be mindful of the apps running in the background for maximum performance.

Check out this guide on screensharing and live-streaming with Melon.

How to grow my livestream

If there a silver bullet recipe - everyone would do it. We've interviewed a few professionals and talked to veterans to come up with below list of tips and tricks for live-streaming.

  • Set clear goals
  • Make a schedule and stick to it. Discipline is key. Your community should know when you go live
  • Schedule your streams. You can schedule streams with ease with Melon for free
  • Be yourself. The easiest way to be authentic is to be you.
  • Study your streams. Asked yourself questions and reflect. What is working? What titles or thumbnails are working? What time of day is working? What content is working? That one time I brought a guest on with Melon I got more viewers when I played clash of clans. What does that mean?
  • Invest in personalizing your channel. Invest in aesthetics. This means overlays, alerts, banners and tickers customized to you. This means intros and outros. This means twitch panels or a thoughtful YouTube description.
  • Acknowledge your community and never let go of where you started, even as you grow. When people interact with you in chat - shout them out. Highlight comments in chat with Melon. Engage with your audience.
  • Promote your stream on social networks and within your community. You can auto-post to Twitter with Melon when you go live. You can post about your stream on Facebook or in your Discord. You have to find an authentic way to do it, but if you don't promote yourself, who will?
  • Be kind to others, stay optimistic, and put in the work. There is no substitute for optimism and hard work. The world is built by optimists so stay positive and keep going! It will all work out.

How to monetize my livestream

There are many ways to monetize your livestream. Below we break down a few. The common theme is that the larger you become - the more ways you have to earn an income. That is not surprising. Success is first nowhere and then it comes all at once. For those who are on their way to a successful PRO - you may not have access to subscriptions or advertising revenue or affiliate revenue or ads and that is okay. There are other methods to earn an income from livestreaming.

  • On-site commerce: Twitch, YouTube, Facebook offer monetization methods on their site. They allow your community to support you, but streaming platforms will take a cut of the funds. Some of these methods are only available to creators who are already large
  • Merch: launch your merch store and sell mech to your community. Services like Streamlabs allow you to do that with ease. Creators like Logan Paul are rumored to have made $100M a year from merch sales. Of course they use their platform and their following to drive a lot of traffic to their merch site, but everyone has to start somewhere
  • Affiliate: you can become an affiliate for a brand, put a link to their products in your bio and then earn commission. We often see this in fitness and fashion, but all industries work. There are often popular Amazon affiliate links as well.
  • Tipping: your community can support you with donations and services like Melon and Streamlabs will take no cut. 100% of the funds (minus the standard processing fees from banks) will go from your fans to you. This is the leading service that is available to all creators regardless of their size. You can learn more about donations and real-time alerts here.

We recommend you start with tipping and donations (available only on Melon for free) and evolve from there. If you are already a PRO - there is no harm in adding donations. Donations will work beautifully on any Chromebook while you stream.

Let's recap - so how do we live-stream to Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube on a Chromebook:

  • Get started today!
  • There are many reasons to stream and its easy
  • Chromebook has everything you need to livestream and services like Melon are free and will work well in your browser
  • Pick a streaming platform, ensure your room is well-lit and you have stable internet connection
  • Recommend Melon as your streaming tool on a Chromebook. It is feature packed, reliable, cheaper then all options and comes with more unique features such as donations, real-time alerts, and endless customization options to make your stream stand-out
  • Stay positive, disciplined, and promote your stream

You are on your way! Enjoy