A popular feature of many platforms and apps is livestreaming. This enables users to create and share video content in real-time just like live television. Livestreamers get to be “in the moment” and participate live at an event wherever they are in the world.
Before the advent of Twitch streams and live YouTube videos, livestreaming was a spontaneous activity. People would just whip out their mobile phones, point the camera at themselves, hit the record button and start talking. Audio and video quality back then was just average, and livestream broadcasters didn’t pay a lot of to attention to the output.
Fast forward to today, livestreaming is now powerful and complex. People use it to communicate with their audience and even earn money.
Viewers today also expect videos and livestreams to be of good quality. This, of course, doesn’t always happen.
Some livestreamers make goofs that ruin their hard-earned reputation or make them look like an idiot. These situations are what you call livestream fails.
What are Livestream Fails?
“Livestream fails” is slang for instances when streamers on YouTube, Twitch or other platforms make a boo-boo on camera. These moments have created a community centered in the /r/LivestreamFail subreddit.
Before this term became popular, people referred to YouTube livestream problems as a live webcast fail. Roland Pelletier, a YouTuber, reposted a video back in 2008 called “live Webcast fail.” The video featured Brad from 4Player Network when he clicks “watch live webcast” on his site while livestreaming. It caused a glitch and pandemonium ensued.
Examples of Other Livestream Fails
The term “Livestream Fails” saw more use several years after the “live Webcast fail” video. You’ll find tons of videos posted on YouTube in 2014.
One notable example is the video from the YouTube channel OHH EpiC, which featured a girl getting drunk on Twitch and ended up passing out during a livestream. The worst part comes when she wakes up and starts puking live, in front of the camera.
Whereas some livestream fails were simple facepalm moments, others caused major career slip-ups. One of these slip-ups happened at E3 2019 when Dr. Disrespect was streaming live via Twitch. Before stepping into the stall, he addressed the camera stating that he had to “take a diarrhea” in the bathroom and will be right back.
The shocking part is that the cameras were still rolling even while Dr. Disrespect was doing his business. The camera operator even had the gall to hover close to several people using the urinal as Dr. Disrespect took his time in the stall.
Not surprisingly, Twitch suspended Dr. Disrespect’s channel shortly after the broadcasting of the incredibly cringey bathroom footage. The video livestreaming platform specifically prohibits streamers from recording a person against their will.
How to Prevent Common Livestream Fails
Nobody wants these career-ending and facepalming livestream fails to happen. If you’re going to livestream for your audience on YouTube, Twitch or other platforms, make sure that you avoid these streaming boo-boos:
Minimal to Zero Planning
You need to plan for your livestream even if you can do this on the fly. The competition is stiff out there, so you’ll want to make sure that you stand out and make a good first impression on your livestreaming audience.
Before you go live, check if you have all the materials you need, including pre-recorded videos, a slide deck and sponsor segues. Your goal is to get everything prepared and exactly right once you go live. Also, be clear about how your segments can smoothly transition from one topic to another.
A surefire way to commit a livestream fail is to go live with a bad internet connection, audio and video. Viewers have a low tolerance for terrible streams, so make sure that you have enough bandwidth, adequate lighting, a decent web camera and a separate microphone.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to shell out thousands of dollars for your livestreaming equipment. If you’re just starting your career as a streamer, you could purchase the basics. Then, once you’re bringing home more money from your streams, you could upgrade your gear.
Failure to Test Your Equipment
Some Twitch and YouTube live streamers have the best equipment, but they don’t always take the time to test it. As a result, they sometimes encounter technical difficulties, which they could have avoided had they checked their gear.
Before you go live, make sure that your livestreaming equipment is working properly. This will help keep all technical errors to a minimum.
Not Making Your Livestreaming Event Interactive or Engaging
Unlike watching a pre-recorded YouTube video, livestreaming must be a two-way dialogue. Live video should create a connection between the audience and the streamer.
When doing a livestream, consider adopting a setup, which:
- Involves the ability to respond to real-time questions, comments and feedback
- Includes presentation software that produces charts, diagrams, graphics that will preserve the interest of viewers and elicit audience participation
- Awards points or special prizes to viewers who participate in your events
Avoiding livestream fails is crucial, as the quality of your stream represents you and your brand. After all, the last thing you want to happen is to end up like Dr. Disrespect or the other streamers who have a fool of themselves in front of the camera and their audience.