So, you’re a YouTube creator who is breaking into live broadcasting, and you want to reward new folks for subscribing to you, or for donating. Or you’re a user of the YouTube “sponsor” feature, who wants to let those supporting users get an on-screen thank you. Or perhaps you’ve got an audience supporting you via funding services like StreamTip and want to integrate those into your content. In any of these cases, it’s possible that Livestream Alerts is the tool for you.
(This tutorial is also available as a video, for those who are more visual learners.)
What is it?
Livestream Alerts is a web platform targeted at use during a live stream to acknowledge supporters of the livestream. The intent is to create an in-stream popup that can be used to reward your community for their participation.
Livestream Alerts initially supported YouTube, but is intended to support multiple platforms — so whether you stream on YouTube or Twitch, Hitbox or Beam, Livestream Alerts may be a tool you want to use.
Livestream Alerts generates a URL you can include in your broadcast software — software like OBS or Xsplit — which automatically displays images and plays sounds of your choosing. You choose what the sounds are and what the images are, and control how they display.
In addition, Livestream Alerts can provide customizable text files that can be saved to disk and integrated into your streams, or other options like donation goals across multiple donation services.
We’ll start with a simple setup. This tutorial will be based on YouTube, and will not cover all the functionality of Livestream Alerts, so feel free to dig in, or ask questions, if you need more info!
First, create an account on livestreamalerts.com and login.
Next, connect your Google account to Livestream Alerts. This gives Livestream Alerts permissions to see your incoming subscriptions, fan funding donations, and paid sponsors, needed for the alerts. You only need to do this once, and if you decide you want to stop using Livestream Alerts, you can unlink your account from the accounts page.
Now, we’ll start to configure a subscriber notification; this is an alert that will display on screen when a YouTube user with their subscription information shared publicly subscribes to you.
Subscriber notifications generally use a sound and an image which displays when the user subscribes, though you can exclude either of these. You can start by uploading your files, or add them during your alert process.
One thing to note: Because Livestream Alerts does not use Flash, MP3 support is limited. In general, you should upload a .wav file to Livestream Alerts unless you know that your software supports other file types — most do not.
Once we’ve uploaded each of our files — our .wav file as a sound, and our transparent megaphone image file as an image — we can go back to our alert configuration.
Connect your Google account (Add New Account, then select your previously configured Google account), and then add a new alert.
We’ll now select the sound and image we uploaded earlier from their respective dropdowns. At this point, you can leave everything else at the default, but know that you can configure fonts (using Google Font names, or fonts pre-installed on your computer), or configure what alerts look like with scrolling, colors, and more.
Now that we’ve set up our alert, we can test what it looks like.
Testing Your Alert
Before we even worry about our broadcast software, we’ll test the alert in the Livestream Alerts website: just checking that the popup works. So, go to the homepage, and click the “Go” link, which will open a new tab which will respond to alerts.
Now, click “More Info” under configured alerts, and you can click “Test”; this will create a new testing alert which will appear (and play your subscriber alert sound) in the alert page.
Once you’ve got the alert looking how you want, you can add it to your broadcast software!
Now that we’ve set up our alert, we simply need to add it as a source to our broadcast software — the software that you use to send data to YouTube, whether it’s OBS, Xsplit, or otherwise. This tutorial will show how to do it via OBS Studio, but all of the software is pretty simple.
When downloading OBS, you’ll want to make sure you’ve download OBS Studio and the “Browser Source” package; the latest version can be found for your OS at https://obsproject.com/download#mp .
Once you’ve done this, open OBS, and in your scene, add a Browser Source:
- Under Sources, Click “+”
- Give the source a name
- Select the URL from the input box on the Livestream Alerts homepage, and copy the URL.
- Paste it into your Browser Source config:URL field, and click “Okay”
- Now position the alert wherever you’d like, and you can go back to your alerts page to test what it actually looks like in OBS.
In this tutorial, we walked through a basic Livestream Alerts setup for YouTube Alerts. This includes setting up a Google account, uploading files to use for alerts, and setting up an alert, then configuring your broadcast software to use it. There are many more accounts and alerts you can configure, but this basic setup should get you started with using Livestream Alerts in your broadcasts for YouTube.