I made a 24/7 lofi stream on YouTube. Here's how I did it in 10 steps.

Update: It's been about 2 months since I launched the first stream, which crashed 3 times in the first month. By working with OhBubble I learned there were 3 things I needed to change about the process I posted below, plus two general tips about running a stream.

  1. Use OBS Studio instead of Streamlabs. They've found their clients have more reliable streams when running OBS Studio.

  2. DO NOT "optimize" your stream settings, meaning skip most of Step 8. Leave bitrate stock, but make sure the stream frame rate matches that of your video. Upping bitrate is great if you're streaming a hi-res video game for a couple hours, but it's too taxing on your server to run indefinitely.

  3. When launching your stream on YouTube, be sure to do it from the scheduling tool (https://prnt.sc/uq5mvp) INSTEAD of the "go live" button (https://prnt.sc/uq5mvo). For whatever reason, OhBubble has found well over 90% of failed streams were initiated using the "go live" button instead of the scheduler.

General tips:

  1. If you truly want 100% uptime, you can look into getting a backup server from a different hosting service. My stream has been fine since I fixed these 3 problems, but if you want to take no chances, consider a backup.

  2. Sometimes the Pixelchat/Last.FM Song banner will get stuck, sometimes this happens multiple times a day. To remedy this, click the eye icon on your Now Playing tab in the sources box to hide it, then click it again to bring it back. This is the equivalent of the refresh button. You may need to do this a few times a day, so just keep a tab open and double click that eye icon every once in a while.

(end of update)

Check out my stream here: https://youtu.be/fwoUNrQ3fCY

I recently asked the IH community why no one here runs passive 24/7 music streams on YouTube and got exactly 0 responses. This surprised me, given its ridiculous potential for growth, community building, and multiple streams of passive revenue generation. Oh, by the way, this is 100% No Code, so by definition, you HAVE to love it if you have an IH account.

Why should you do this? If you have any interest in monetizing your YouTube channel, you should be concerned with the relevant statistics that get you there: 1K subs and 4K hours of watch time within the last year. 24/7 streams have the ability to skyrocket your watch time, since people just leave them on in the background. Additionally, you can play this in the background of your videos and send your subscribers to the livestream so they can listen on their own. You now have control of a royalty free music catalogue for your channel. Brilliant!

Once your channel/stream garners a following, you can post links that generate revenue such as merch stores, affiliate links, blog pages, company websites, sales funnels, whatever you want. There are really no limits to how you leverage your cute new marketing stunt.

It took me a few hours to figure out how to get this all set up, so I've condensed EVERYTHING you need to know to run a stream like mine into 10 steps.

  1. Hire an amazing animator. I found a truly amazing artist on Dribbble.com, I'd start there. If you want to contact my animator, I've left a link to his studio in the description of the stream. Expect this to take 2-4 weeks, it can be difficult to chase down animators with steep backlogs.

  2. Get a Virtual Private Server (VPS) from OhBubble.com and wait for them to contact you. This is how you get your stream to run 24/7. I had about a 10-day wait before mine was set up.

  3. Get a separate Spotify premium account (you can't use the one you already have, you'll see why below). Once that's done, start browsing for companies that have royalty free music and find their playlists on Spotify. Services like Epidemic Sound and Musicbed have their own subscriptions, but a Spotify subscription gives you access to both of their catalogues, so why not access it all with one account? This way you can switch up your playlists to keep it fresh. Just make sure you're either using no-copyright music, or music to which you own the copyright. YouTube are notoriously nasty about copyright use and access, so don't forget about this.

  4. If you want to be able to tell your users what song is playing in real time on your stream, make free accounts with Last.FM and Pixelchat.tv while you're waiting for your animation and server to be delivered. In Last.fm, go to Settings and click Connect on the "Spotify Scrobbling" option. Sign in with your new Spotify account and you're halfway there. To make an account with Pixelchat, you will first need a Twitch account in order to log in, so go ahead and make an account with Twitch if you don't have one yet. While you're at it, make a Streamlabs account. Your Ohbubble VPS comes with Streamlabs preloaded, you'll be using it to facilitate your stream.

  5. If this is your first time doing a Livestream on your YouTube channel, be warned: YouTube will lock you out for 24 hours before starting your first livestream, so make sure you click the "go live" button at least 1 day before you plan to publish your livestream.

  6. Once your server is ready, access it. Open up your email from within the server and download any assets (like your animated video) and get all your accounts connected inside the VPS (Spotify, Streamlabs, Last.fm, Pixelchat.tv).

  7. Open up Streamlabs OBS. Click on your Scene and give it a new name. Drag your video file into the Sources box and it will automatically start playing on a loop. To add music, choose your playlist in Spotify, turn on shuffle and loop, and press play. You won't hear anything yet, and that is fine. Click + on the Sources box and choose Window Capture. Set it to Default and it will automatically bring in the audio from Spotify. You now have a video loop with music (that you can't hear yet, but that's fine) in the background.

  8. Make sure your stream settings are maximized. This sounds boring, but it's crucial. Ask your animator for the aspect ratio and frame rate of your animation, you will use them to figure out your stream settings. TheVideoNerd has a fantastic, in depth tutorial explaining the different stream settings. Watch the Output Settings section of this video and come back once you've optimized your settings to your video specs: https://youtu.be/ce9Ekk-0wYM?t=221

  9. To add your "Now Playing" overlay, log into Pixelchat.tv from your VPS. Click on Overlays, click Create New, choose Now Playing from the dropdown menu, and click the pencil icon on the pop-up window to edit it. Scroll all the way down and type in your Last.FM username. Make sure Spotify is playing something, refresh the Pixelchat page with the in-page refresh icon, and the overlay should update to match the current song info! You can edit the overlay's appearance in the Style window, I changed the size to small and left everything else stock. Be sure to enable the "Stay Open All The Time" slider.
    To connect this to your Streamlabs account, click the "Open in new tab" Icon. Once you're in the new tab, copy the link. Go into Streamlabs, add a new source, choose Browser Source, name it Now Playing, and paste your link into the URL box. You can now edit the size and positioning of your "Now Playing" overlay.

  10. Once this is all done, press "Go Live" in the bottom right corner of your Streamlabs window. A window will pop up allowing you to edit the title and description of your stream and you can go live! If you're missing a few things, don't worry- you can access your stream from the YouTube Studio under Channel Content in the Live tab and edit the name, thumbnail, description, tags, and all your other metadata while the stream is running. Once you press Save Changes in the top right, it will update instantly without needing the viewer to refresh their tab.

I hope this is helpful! Happy streaming:)

  1. 2

    A month and a bit on - how is it going?

    1. 1

      I've learned a LOT that I need to update you guys on, the question is whether to do it as a comment, as a new post, or as an addendum to the original post here?

      1. 1

        write a new post. i wanna know. just about to kick mine off

  2. 2

    Awesome man! I've always wanted to do this, animation and all, but never found the time. Perhaps one day soon with this little guide :) Good luck with your stream

  3. 2

    @FearlessFODMAP - being online is this taken care of via the VPS?

    so all the tools plug into the VPS (obs; spotify; ++) and you lean back?

    1. 1

      Exactly! I think it's a good idea to periodically check on the stream to make sure there are no problems. I've found that the Now Playing overlay sometimes gets stuck but you just refresh it within streamlabs and it gets itself back on track, but otherwise you really just lean back and let it roll.

      1. 2

        Ok, sweet. Might just spin up an instance myself for shits and giggles.

        Thanks for laying down the steps. Good luck with your cook book.

        1. 1

          I'm glad to see there's interest in this now! You're welcome, hmu if you have further questions and let me know how it goes if you spin one up!

  4. 2

    Do you make any money?

    1. 1

      Not yet, it only launched yesterday lol but it will.

      1. 1

        Doesn't a server cost like $40 a month - think you'll make more ad revenue than that?

        1. 2

          I think I might start a live stream that is just workouts 24/7 with music in the background.

          Hmmmm you got me thinking

            1. 1

              Why did you use Ohbubble rather than another VPS?

              1. 1

                I looked at another but chose OhBubble because the servers are set up specifically for 24/7 livestreams like these. It also seemed the most intuitive to get started, having never used a VPS before.

        2. 2

          Eventually yes, like I said in another comment, I see it as a marketing expense for my upcoming cookbook and merch.

          1. 1

            Great marketing tactic. Would be curious about the results down the road!

          2. 1

            apologies for being annoying

  5. 2

    This was amazing. Apart from merch sales or maybe channel growth, is it possible to monetize this via youtube ads?

    1. 1

      Yes, you can run mid-roll ads and overlay ads once your channel is eligible for monetization!

  6. 2

    Bookmarked! Thanks I love this music and art!

  7. 2

    Very informative, thanks!

  8. 2

    Awesome write up Ross!

    I was super curious how people did that :)

    Could you talk about the cost associated with it?

    1. 1

      Thanks man! This is a great question. The animation was $640, so basically my stimmy plus a tank of gas. My OhBubble plan is $50/mo and Spotify is $10/mo, so total of $60/mo. You could go cheaper on the animation, but a poor animation isn't going to want to make people click the thumbnail. The recurring $60/mo feels expensive now, but I consider it a marketing expense for my future cookbook and merch sales.

  9. 1

    nice! still i do not understand how a vps works and how much storage do you have on it?.. .if i rent a vps do i still need to run my pc 24/7. !? how powerfull needs to be my pc for a livestream if i have rented a vps? i want to make a livestream with music...thanks in advance. sorry for my english.best of luck, mate.!

    1. 1

      The OhBubble VPS is basically a desktop computer in a warehouse a million miles away that has lightning fast hardwired internet and a badass graphics card. My Gold plan OhBubble server has 504GB of memory, 16GB RAM and a 3.10GHz processor. It can run 24/7 with no problems, you just need your own computer to control it remotely.

      As far as I can tell, you could run your VPS off a 2017 Chromebook dug out of a trashcan, and you honestly might be able to do it from a phone (but I wouldn't recommend that). You really don't need much processing power or storage on your local PC, you just need an internet connection to be able to control VPS remotely. It allows you to log in and control everything from your laptop at home. You won't need to keep your computer on 24/7, that's what the VPS is for.

      Does that help, my dude?

      1. 2

        Thanks alot !!! i will try to make one livestream 24/7 with music. maybe you can help me because i saw alot of videos on youtube about it and some of them say that it is hard beacuse of copyright free music and i can get complains. is it legal to play music from spotify? i mean directly from playlist...i'm so confuze about this, and how can i setup all of this with music. Thanks for help again. When i have acces to vps i write to you and if you want i can pay you for a day to help me set it up, and talk about how it works. have a nice day ! you can contact me to talk about : [email protected]

        1. 1

          For sure man I'm happy to help out, that sounds great! Email me at [email protected] whenever you're ready.

          1. 2

            Ok, i will contact you verry soon. next week we will talk about it.

      2. 1

        How good is the graphics card on this? Say I was trying to run a 24/7 stream of a Minecraft game instance open do you think it would run at reasonable FPS?

        Is it integrated graphics ?

        1. 1

          Man that's a really cool idea! The short answer is I'm not sure.

          I'm not too good with PC specs but my server tells me it's running 4 Intel Core i5-3570S CPUs at 3.10Ghz. I went looking for info about the graphics card and all it said was "Intel HD Graphics," so not sure what to make of that. However, they've now reopened access to Diamond tier servers, which allow streaming at 1440p 30fps. You'd probably want the best they've got if you're testing the limits of the server.

          What I can say is when my stream has crashed, OhBubble has checked on my server and never found any issues. I just checked my CPU The weak link has been either OBS/Streamlabs not being able to handle customized bitrate and FPS settings or YouTube's stream key just deciding to shit itself. I'm still trying to figure out the problem on this and I'll be sure to update the post with my findings.

  10. 1

    Thx for the guides, it's amazing, I will totaly use it for my project: https://www.locospartygame.net/
    Keep up the good work!

    1. 1

      You're welcome! I could totally see you doing this with your game characters, that would be perfect.

  11. 2

    This comment was deleted 10 months ago.

    1. 1

      Thank you! I'm happy to share my plans/discuss an interview. Just signed up for your newsletter!

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