YouTube’s Live Redirect, Trailers and Countdown Themes

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YouTube’s Live Redirect, Trailers and Countdown Themes

YouTube have announced three new pre-Premiere features that each give channel owners a chance to have more control over their video Premieres and build excitement around a video launch. This year YouTube Premieres have replaced in-person gigs and live events for artists, and these new additions – Live Redirects, Trailers and customised Countdown Themes will all contribute towards making YouTube a more exciting online destination.
Example of Live Redirect. Image: YouTube

Live Redirect

Live Redirect gives a new way for artists to engage with their fans in real time right before a Premiere. Live Redirect will allow artists to host a live stream, where they can engage with their fans and build anticipation leading up to the Premiere. Once the live stream ends it will seamlessly transition the audience to the scheduled Premiere all in one place. You can think of it as a red carpet interview or piece to camera before a movie starts.

To set up Live Redirect on YouTube, you’ll need to choose a source video (live stream) and destination video (Premiere). You can do this in YouTube Studio or from your live control room by following these instructions:

Find out how to set up your Live Redirect.

Important things to remember with Live Redirect:

  • Set up Your Premiere before you set up your live stream.
  • You need to end your live stream before the Premiere can begin. Wrap up the live stream about a minute before the scheduled Premiere time and then go into the chat to continue the conversation in the interim.
  • Tell your audience that when the live stream ends, they just need to wait a few seconds for the screen to load the Premiere. Everything’s taking place under one Watch Page so there’s no need to refresh. Patience is key!

YouTube advise that there are different best practices you can follow before, during and after the live stream to engage fans with the experience.


Share the link where the live stream and Premiere will be going live with your fans on your social media. Consider posting it along with a piece to camera letting your fans know what’s going to happen.

Think about other tools you can use within YouTube to engage your fans in the experience. Past artist live streams have included behind-the-scenes, ‘Ask Me Anything’ dialogues, musical performances – perhaps taking requests from fans via the Super Chat feature.

More on YouTube’s Super Chat and Super Stickers features.


Remind your audience in the beginning and throughout the live stream that once it ends, they just need to wait on the same page for the Premiere to start.

Thank your fans for joining you for this experience. Shout them out, like their comments and use Super Chat to answer their questions, after all, you want your fans to feel special. In turn, your fans may be more likely to support your next one.


Use the Community tab and your socials to promote your live stream and Premiere after the event, perhaps with a caption thanking your fans for joining you. For more on YouTube’s Community best practices.

Example of Trailer. Image: YouTube


Trailers give artists an opportunity to create even more buzz in advance of a Premiere. Artists can set up a pre-recorded video that will play on the Watch Page before the Premiere goes live. So instead of the thumbnail we’re used to seeing on the Watch Page, artists can gather momentum and anticipation for the Premiere by getting fans excited and encouraging them to set a reminder for the scheduled Premiere time.

First, you’ll need to set up and schedule your Premiere before you can set up your Trailer. You can do this when you upload the Premiere, or through YouTube Studio as described below. Make sure the Premiere video is set to unlisted or private and has not been premiered, and never been set to public.

Read more on how to set up your Trailer.

Once you’ve set up your Trailer you can preview it on the Premiere Watch Page. Your Trailer will play in place of the thumbnail, and viewers can begin interacting through comments and Live Chat on the page whilst your Trailer is playing as well as during the Premiere.

To preview the Watch Page for your Premiere, go to the Video details page and click the Video Link.

Here are some of YouTube’s best practices for what to do when it comes to making and promoting your Trailers.

  • In your Trailer, remember to communicate to your fans what they should expect in the Premiere. Perhaps suggest they set a reminder for the big event.
  • Show that you’re excited. This is a great opportunity for you to gain new fans and ensure your loyal following will be tuning in. Make sure it’s compelling and leave viewers wanting more.
  • Preview the watch Page once you’ve set up your Trailer to make sure your Trailer plays and everything looks in order.
  • Share the video link to promote the Premiere and Trailer on social media before the event so that your fans are aware.
  • Use Community to post reminders or shout out fans who are showing they’re excited about your Premiere!
Customised countdown themes. Image: YouTube

Countdown Themes

YouTube have additionally announced a “countdown themes” feature. These will be pretty much what it says on the tin – YouTube will allow artists to select from a variety of “themes, vibes or moods” for their Countdown to the Premiere. This feature will be rolled out in the coming months – so stay tuned!

To learn more about Live Redirect, Trailers and Premieres, you can visit YouTube’s Help Centre.

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