To stream beautiful live video in up to 1080p HD through Vimeo, all you need is a camera and a Vimeo Premium account. To learn more about Premium and its associated live streaming capabilities, go here.
✦ Setting up your stream on Vimeo
The first step to going live is creating your event on Vimeo. From your browser, go to Vimeo.com and click “Upload.” On the right side of this page, click the ● Create live event button, and you’ll be prompted to enter the name, date, time, and privacy of your event. Please note that scheduling your live event for a given time still requires you to manually begin streaming at that time.
Hitting the Next button will take you to the live settings page, which is the control center for your live stream.
Check out this video for an overview of setting up your stream:
✦ The Live Settings Page
The live settings page is where you can access your stream's Vimeo URL, add a thumbnail, grab the embed code for your stream, enable live viewer chat, and (when you're ready!) go live.
Along the top of the live settings page, you’ll see a pencil icon next to your stream's title, which allows you to edit it, as well as a countdown of how much time you have remaining in your broadcast (individual Vimeo streams cannot exceed 12 hours). Also on this page, you’ll find the option to add a thumbnail (on the bottom left of the player window), as well as the Onsite, Embed, and Destinations tabs.
This tab contains the shareable link for your stream on Vimeo, the toggle switch to enable/disable live chat, a button to change your event's privacy settings, and the description box for you to edit.
This tab contains more advanced customization options for your live video's embedded player. If you're a Premium member, you'll also have the ability to add email capture before or after someone watches your stream. You can also grab the embed codes for both the live video player and the viewer chat module.
In this tab, you can access your simulcast settings. This feature allows you to relay your stream to other social platforms, or anywhere with the manual RTMP destination. For more information on simulcasting your stream, please check out our Simulcast Guide.
Polls and Q&A Tabs
If you toggled the live chat switch on in the Onsite tab, you'll be able to see the Polls tab and Q&A tab. From here, you can create a live poll or a Q&A segment. For more information about polls and Q&A's, please see this article.
✦ Going live
When you're done adjusting your settings and you are ready to stream, click Next on the top right of the live settings page and allow your browser access to your webcam. You will now see two tabs, Webcam and Connect (RTMP).
The Webcam tab shows our Browser-Based Encoder preview. Clicking Webcam Settings allows you to connect your webcam and microphone as inputs and begin streaming directly from your desktop browser, provided it supports WebRTC protocol (we recommend Chrome 28+, but Firefox 22+ and Safari 11+ both support WebRTC as well). If you have any other connected inputs, such as USB microphones and webcams, these should show up in the dropdown menus as well. Some more advanced inputs may require an external encoder to work on Vimeo.
In addition, when you use a Webcam to go live via the browser, you have the option to share your screen, a specific application, or an open tab in Chrome, which is great for presentations or software demonstrations. This feature only works on Google Chrome.
The Connect tab contains your RTMP URL and Stream Key for your event. Copy and paste the RTMP URL and Stream Key into the destination field of your broadcast encoder and when your event is ready to start, just begin streaming from your encoder. Your stream signal will be broadcast live to your viewers, regardless of the status of your webcam and the browser encoder. We recommend starting a local recording of your stream from within your encoder at this point as well, just in case of any problems with your internet connection.
The Connect tab also contains a link to Livestream Studio, so you can learn more about using this broadcast software, which is included with your Vimeo Premium membership. This software has been designed to work perfectly when streaming to Vimeo, and contains many advanced production features not found in any other production software or hardware. For more information on Livestream Studio, please check out the Livestream Help Center.
If you are streaming via an external encoder, you have the option to toggle on a stream preview which allows you to start streaming from the encoder and see a low-latency preview of your stream in the player alongside its stream health before going live to your audience. This is off by default and would need to be configured for each individual event.
This video provides a walkthrough of the Live settings and the process of going live:
✦ Managing your live stream
After your stream goes live, you’ll see your event title, a countdown of the maximum remaining time of your event, an indicator light that you are currently live, and a button to end your stream.
The stream preview window shows exactly how your stream appears for viewers, with your live stream stats beneath.
✦ Moderating chat
If you've enabled viewer chat, it'll appear to the right of the player. The chat menu contains options to minimize and disable/enable the chat, as well as pop it out into its own window. You have the ability to delete individual comments or ban a user entirely by hovering over their message and selecting the Block icon on the right side. The offending user can still comment, however, their comments will no longer be visible to any other participants so it will appear that they are being ignored by everyone else. You can also unblock the user if you wish.
Note: Commenting on live videos is not available until the stream is archived. To get viewer feedback during your event, make sure chat is enabled or use our Polls and Q&A features.
✦ Stream health
You’ll also be able to monitor your stream’s quality and stability in real-time. Read this article for more information about monitoring stream health.
✦ Live Stats
While your stream is live, you’ll see some helpful metrics right beneath your stream preview to help you track how many people are viewing your stream, and for how long.
- Watching Now: the number of people currently watching your stream
- Peak views: the highest number of concurrent viewers on your stream
- Total plays: total number of player loads
- Average view time: average duration of a viewer’s page load
✦ Ending your stream
To end a stream, simply click End event on the top right corner of the Live Settings page on Vimeo. Ending your stream will trigger the final stages of the video archiving process.
When your stream ends, your live settings page also changes to the post-live version. The indicator light on the top right changes to Offline and your video preview will now link to your archived video settings page.
If you separately recorded a higher-resolution version of your broadcast (e.g. 2K or 4K), you can replace the Vimeo archive with your higher-resolution version. You can replace the video at any time, so feel free to edit the video file before replacing it on Vimeo.
Once your video has gone through the archival process, it appears in your video manager like any other video.
Here's a video about managing and ending your stream:
✦ Support features
While you're setting up your broadcast, there is a support chat icon in the bottom right corner of the broadcast view. Clicking the chat support icon will prompt you to enter your name, account email address, and a short description of your problem.
If a live video support specialist is available, you can troubleshoot with them directly on your broadcaster view page. If a live video support specialist is not online, your message will be re-routed to our email support team, who will respond via email.