So, you’re thinking of using YouTube Live to livestream a funeral or memorial service? You believe you’ll save your family (or your funeral home) some money because it’s easy – and it’s free, right? Wrong. As you shall see, there are 7 reasons why YouTube Live doesn’t work well for funeral livestreaming, including: appropriateness, ease-of-use and customization. These problems could cost you a lot in terms of your satisfaction with a funeral service, as well as your family’s sense of closure and peace.
7 Reasons to NOT use YouTube Live to live stream a funeral
1. Inappropriate content: The biggest risk of YouTube Live is one the parents of young children know all too well, and that’s the risk of content suggestions or advertisements that are inappropriate for the audience. I recently viewed an archived funeral on YouTube Live, and the algorithm recommended that I next watch “10 times people woke up at their own funeral.” Ouch. YouTube also needs advertisements for revenue. I recently saw an archived livestream for a murdered 16-year-old girl that was preceded by an ad for a Bosch refrigerator. Not what you probably want for your loved one.
2. Not that easy to use: To start, most people don’t want to bring a desktop or laptop or other equipment such as a webcam to livestream – but YouTube Live has some serious issues if you want to livestream a funeral from a mobile phone or other mobile device. Namely, to use a mobile device, you must have a YouTube channel – which means you need a thousand subscribers. Finding those 1,000 subscribers is not what you want to be doing while planning a funeral. Most likely, you’ll instead need to find and set up a webcam or bring a desktop or laptop computer(!) to broadcast the funeral via YouTube Live – though I am not sure how this would be done with the camera facing towards you. Neither type of device is particularly portable nor practical.
3. No technical support: YouTube Live is free and we all know what you get with most free services, and that’s no service at all. YouTube Live is no exception. Not only will you need to learn to use it for funeral livestreaming by watching OTHER YouTube videos, but there also won’t be anybody on hand to troubleshoot with you in the moment should something go wrong. As one media expert puts it, “There is nothing more stressful [than] a live event that is experiencing real-time technical difficulties both for the organizers of the memorial service and the viewers trying to participate live online.”
4. Not easy to record: You can record YouTube Live for downloading or to share via DVD or thumb drive – but it requires you to use a special program in addition to YouTube Live (Xbox Gamebar, EaseUS RecExperts, etc.].
5. Loss of sound, video or even the whole funeral due to the YouTube algorithm: Even the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) recommends against using both Facebook Live and YouTube Live for livestreaming. Why? Because the algorithms for both platforms have been known to silence or shut down copyrighted music – even when the funeral home has permission to use the material. Some funerals have been shut down completely, leaving remote attendees bewildered and upset. Purpose-built platforms like TribuCast® don’t rely on algorithms to stop piracy any more than we use to push out advertising or to make video suggestions.
6. No personalization: Finally, and perhaps most importantly from the TribuCast® perspective, YouTube Live does not give viewers the opportunity to sign a guest book, read the funeral program or even to see the deceased’s obituary. There is no way to post a slideshow of pictures, except within the video itself, or to share a scripture reading or a poem. The only content that remote mourners have access to is the irrelevant and possibly inappropriate content derived from YouTube’s algorithm.
7. You are giving away control of your content: In exchange for “free” broadcasting you are giving up control of your content as well as the user data of everyone who viewed the service. YouTube WILL use this to push advertising they benefit from onto those who view the service.
We hope this article has convinced you that YouTube Live is best reserved for livestreaming makeup tips, news from the stock exchange or possibly your daughter’s softball game – and not for funerals. For funeral livestreaming, however, your best bet is to rely on a purpose-built platform like TribuCast®. We welcome you to review our Definitive Guide to Funeral Livestreaming to consider the option that’s best for you.