YouTube Live latency (delay)

  • Live Streaming Latency is the delay between your camera capturing the event and the broadcast being displayed to your viewers.

    Latency is caused by the read-ahead buffer at your viewers-side. Network congestion and other factors that could cause live streaming issues (that would delay or pause your livestream) are corrected using this read-ahead buffer. Delays will happen even if you have a great network and your viewers' player will try to absorb (correct) these issues by keeping an amount of live stream data in reserve (buffer).

    If you live chat with your audience, a lower latency is best, to respond to viewer comments and questions in time. A lower latency however, will result in issues, your viewers experiencing more breaks and playback buffering. If you aren’t interacting with your audience, a higher latency (longer delay) is recommended to keep your livestream stable and enjoyable.

    Live for YouTube and Live Pro apps are set to “Normal Latecy”. The actual delay cannot be stated as it’s affected by many factors (I would say between 6 and 40 seconds initial delay that averages out to 6 - 12 seconds during the live broadcast).

    Low and Ultra-low latency support is planned but it’s not as easy as it sounds; while it is a simpe setting, we must check internet connection, video resolution and bitrate to offer a solution that works under many circumstances, without the need to manually fine-tune your app every time. Please upvote this post if you need to have this feature!

    Google Support about YouTube live streaming latency.
    Change live streaming latency on YouTube Live Dashboard.