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