Live Streaming Services to Instagram

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With almost all churches around the globe right now streaming their weekend and mid-week services online, we thought we’d share the processes we’re using to live stream to Instagram.

Utilising Instagram’s platform is a great reach opportunity for anyone/group with any kind of following. It’s another way of getting the Word of God out there in ways that don’t break the bank on expensive equipment and web streaming provider costs.

One of the easiest ways is using pre-recorded content for your livestream. Below is a step by step guide on how we have been live streaming our services to Instagram.

A few essential things you need to get started:
• Computer (Windows or Mac)
• Solid internet connection (Wi-Fi is possible but for stability a physical connection is always preferred)
OBS software (This is your directors desk/studio software allowing you to add layers of content for your livestream. It’s free and works on both Windows & Mac)
YellowDuck software (this is what allows you to stream from your computer directly to your IG account)
• Completed video file of your Service (usually provided by the Video Team)

Here is a quick overview of the setup we use to stream our weekend services live to Instagram. (Note: These services are pre-recorded into a single file we stream)

We start with a computer running the OBS software and the Yellow Duck software. Once we have a complete service file from the video team, we import this into a premiere template we’ve created and export it as a vertical video. Here is a link to our Premiere template you can use as a guide. We’ve designed our template this way to allow for space at the bottom for the live comments and also space at the top where we can add images or text graphics throughout the service.

Now that we have exported the vertical video, (9:16 dimensions), we can start setting up OBS to be ready to import all our assets. Firstly, you need to go into OBS’s settings and adjust your output canvas dimensions to 1080×1920 which will match your vertical video.
OBS-CanvasSettings
Now you’re ready to start importing your assets into OBS. We start by setting up 2 Scenes.
1. BLACK: this can have your Church Logo on it. You will start your stream with this before transitioning to the next scene with your content.
2. MAIN: this will hold all your in-service graphics and your main vertical video.

As you can see in the examples below, we have multiple layers in our main scene which allow us to turn on and off the text graphic layers when it’s applicable during the service. You can use both still images that you’ve pre-created and/or animated graphics like we’ve been using. Here is a link to our template that includes a guide for still image text and also our After Effects motion graphics text.
OBS-Layers
Now that you’ve imported all your assets into OBS, there are a few final detailed settings you need to adjust before you’re ready to live stream. Go into OBS settings and copy the settings in the images below.
• Video Bitrate is dependent on how much your local internet can handle. 5000Kbps should be fine for most scenarios.
• We run a 5sec delay on our stream output from OBS. This acts as a buffer for the stream before it hits Instagram to allow for smooth playback.
OBS-Settings
Now the final step before we go live is opening YellowDuck. Be mindful that once you sign into your Instagram account in YellowDuck, it automatically starts the livestream to your Instagram account so for this next step you need to be quick and ready to avoid streaming a black screen for a long period of time. This is why we have our logo setup on the BLACK scene so we’re always streaming some form of content out.

1. Have your IG login details on hand and ready to enter into YellowDuck.
2. Have OBS open and ready at the settings, stream tab.
3. Once you’ve logged into YellowDuck you’ll be given a RMTP server URL and a stream key. (Instagram Server URL – rtmps://live-upload.instagram.com:443/rtmp/ ) This is what grants OBS access to stream directly to your Instagram account. (This stream key is unique and a new one is generated every time you want to stream)

Now you have started your stream, you can copy and paste the stream key into the OBS settings, save and click start streaming, then make sure to transition to your main scene. You’re now streaming LIVE to Instagram!
OBS-StreamKey
We hope you have found this helpful! Share your streams with us @hillsongtech