Livestreaming on TikTok is quickly becoming one of the best ways for creators to gain a massive audience.
With TikTok’s powerful recommendation algorithm, even small streamers can get their content pushed out to millions of viewers on the For You page.
The problem is that to properly livestream on TikTok and take advantage of tools like overlays, you need a special stream key that isn’t easy to get.
Let’s get started!
What Is a TikTok Stream Key and Why Do You Need It?
A TikTok stream key is a special code that lets you connect streaming software like OBS or Streamlabs to TikTok’s livestreaming servers.
With a stream key, you can livestream high-quality broadcasts straight from your PC to TikTok, instead of relying on your phone’s camera which can overheat or provide suboptimal quality as noted.
Benefits of Using a TikTok Stream Key
Here are some of the key benefits of getting a TikTok stream key:
- Improved production quality: Add overlays, scenes, graphics and multi-cam streaming with OBS.
- Streamlabs integration: Collect donations, run alerts and leverages other Streamlabs features.
- Increased engagement: Easily highlight and pin comments on stream.
- Multistream: Simultaneously stream to Twitch, YouTube or Facebook while also on TikTok.
- Desktop streaming: Avoid phone overheating and gain access to PC tools.
In short, a stream key unlocks the full potential of streaming on TikTok. It transforms you from an amateur mobile streamer to a pro broadcaster.
TikTok Stream Key Eligibility Requirements
TikTok has strict requirements accounts must meet before they will issue a stream key. Here are the key eligibility rules:
- Be 18+ years old
- Have at least 1,000 TikTok followers which can take 1-2 months for most creators to build as explained here.
- Have no active community guideline violations or risk getting banned which you can recover from using the steps in this guide.
- Frequently go live on TikTok like the tips in this post explain.
- Be located in the US (or use a VPN to appear that you are).
Going live consistently shows TikTok you are committed to streaming. I recommend going live at least 5 times a week for 1-2 months before applying.
Note that meeting requirements does not guarantee you’ll get approved. TikTok is selective, so putting in the work to build an audience beforehand gives you the best shot.
Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a TikTok Stream Key
Getting a TikTok stream key is tricky, but definitely possible if you meet the requirements and follow these steps:
Step 1: Build Your TikTok Following
As mentioned, you need at least 1,000 TikTok followers to be eligible for a stream key which can take time.
Here are some tips to quickly gain followers:
- Go viral: Create clips optimized for TikTok’s algorithm using popular sounds and hashtags.
- Go Live frequently: You can go live with just 1,000 followers. New followers will get notified.
- Engage with your audience: Reply to comments, do collab Lives, and build connections.
- Post daily: Use the same hashtags and post at the ideal times for your niche. Consistency is key.
It takes most creators 1-2 months of daily posting and Lives to reach 1,000 followers. Be patient and keep providing value for your audience.
Step 2: Apply for a Stream Key Through CarterPulse
Currently, the only way to get an “official” TikTok stream key is through management agencies that partner with TikTok like CarterPulse.
- Follow CarterPulse on Twitter.
- Send them a DM explaining you meet all requirements and would like to apply for a stream key.
- Fill out their onboarding form when they reply with the link.
- Wait for their response (usually 1 week).
- If approved, follow their setup instructions.
I highly recommend applying through CarterPulse instead of trying shortcuts. While not guaranteed, they offer the best chance for most creators to get approved.
Note: You don’t have to pay or give CarterPulse a cut of your income. TikTok brought them on specifically to handle stream key requests.
Step 3: Set Up Your Stream Key
Once approved, CarterPulse will send instructions for activating your stream key within TikTok’s streaming dashboard.
You can then use your new TikTok stream key with OBS or other streaming software to connect them to TikTok’s live servers.
Here are the steps to set up your stream in OBS:
- Create a new Stream Profile.
- Select Custom Streaming Server.
- Enter the following info:
- Server: rtmp://live-api.tiktok.com/push
- Stream Key: Your TikTok stream key provided by CarterPulse
- Click apply and you’re ready to stream!
Be sure to test your connection before going live and adjust encoding settings as covered in this OBS streaming guide.
Now you can producde professional, desktop-quality broadcasts for your TikTok followers!
What Doesn’t Work to Get a TikTok Stream Key
After extensive testing, here are some methods that do not work to get a TikTok stream key:
- Directly contacting TikTok: They no longer accept stream key requests outside their agency partners.
- Loola.tv: This unauthorized service breaks TikTok’s rules and can get you banned which is irrecoverable unlike other types of bans explained here.
- Giveaways: Follow-for-follow or stream key giveaways will lose your access.
- Buying access: Anyone selling keys is likely scamming you.
- Android emulators: Emulators are against TikTok’s terms and can cause bans.
Stick to building your audience organically and applying officially through CarterPulse. While tedious, it’s the only guaranteed safe method that abides by TikTok’s policies.
Tips to Keep Your TikTok Stream Key
Getting a TikTok stream key is just the first step. You also need to keep up consistent streaming to avoid losing access.
Here are some tips to maintain your hard-earned stream key:
- Stream often: Go live consistently, at least 15 days a month. Shoot for 5-10 hours weekly.
- Avoid extended breaks: Don’t take weeks off or your key could get revoked.
- Create variety: Keep coming up with fresh stream ideas and content formats to avoid seeming repetitive.
- Promote your streams: Remind viewers across TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Discord when you’ll be live using cross-promotion tips.
- Track analytics: Use a tool like StreamHatchet to monitor your viewership stats and growth.
- Stay engaged: Interact with viewers and show appreciation for their support to boost engagement.
TikTok will revoke keys from creators who go inconsistent or stagnant after getting access. Stay motivated and keep providing value to retain your coveted stream key.
FAQs About TikTok Streaming
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about TikTok streaming and stream keys:
Do you need 1,000 followers to go live on TikTok?
Yes, having 1,000 followers is a firm requirement to access TikTok’s livestreaming feature on both mobile and desktop.
How do I set up a TikTok livestream?
On mobile, tap the + create button and select “Go Live“. On desktop, you need a stream key to broadcast through streaming software.
Where do I find my TikTok stream key?
TikTok does not display stream keys in their app or dashboard. You need to apply through CarterPulse to get issued a usable stream key.
Does a TikTok stream key expire?
No, your TikTok stream key will not expire on its own. However, it can be revoked by TikTok if you stop streaming consistently.
Can you use a fake GPS to get a TikTok stream key?
Trying to spoof your location with a VPN or GPS spoofing app violates TikTok’s terms and could get you banned.
Is livestreaming on TikTok monetized?
Not yet. However, TikTok is testing creator monetization programs that may soon offer in-stream gifting, tips or ad revenue sharing.
Getting a TikTok stream key opens up a world of potential for your channel’s growth. Apply the tips in this guide to set yourself up for success on TikTok’s booming livestreaming platform.
The key takeaways for getting a TikTok stream key:
- Build to 1,000 TikTok followers
- Go live consistently from your phone
- Apply through CarterPulse
- Set up your stream key with OBS
- Stay active to maintain your access
For any other questions, feel free to reach out in the comments! I’m always happy to help fellow creators.