What is an instant Premiere on YouTube? Everything you need to know

Instant Premiere is a new feature on YouTube that you should be using if you want to catapult your views on day 1.
January 9, 2024
Lizzie Davey
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It’s time to roll out the red carpet for instant Premieres on YouTube, a new feature that creates exclusive watch parties for your subscribers. Instead of publishing a video as you normally would, you can share it as an instant Premiere to generate hype around new content, encourage a discussion, and bring together subscribers at the same time.

In this article, we’ll highlight what an instant Premiere is on YouTube, why you might choose to Premiere a video instead of just publishing it, and how you can set up Premieres in your YouTube Studio. 

What is an instant Premiere on YouTube?

An instant Premiere on YouTube is a free and easy way to Premiere your upcoming videos. Rather than just uploading a new video to your channel, an Instant Premiere lets you chat with your subscribers while they watch your latest upload in real-time. 

When you choose to create a Premiere for your video, YouTube will automatically create a Premiere watch page that you can send subscribers to. This page will feature a countdown clock that shows your video when it hits zero.

This is the standard countdown timer for YouTube Premiere videos: 

Image of an instant Premiere countdown on YouTube

If you have more than 1,000 subscribers, you can customize the countdown timer to match your brand. 

Viewers can use a chatbox to the side of the video to chat with each other during the video. Once the video has “Premiered” (basically, once it’s finished), it’ll get added to your channel without a countdown timer just like any other regular upload.

YouTube Premiere vs. publish: Why Premiere a video

So what’s the deal? Why should you Premiere a video over simply publishing it to your channel? The key difference is that a Premiere includes a live chat feature and a countdown clock, both of which incite a buzz around your video and encourage subscriber engagement.

If you’ve had a YouTube channel for a while, you’ll know how hard it can be to attract viewers and boost engagement on your videos. The Premiere feature tackles this by sending a notification to subscribers that lets them know you’re about to drop a new video and lets them chat among themselves while they watch it for the first time. The more engagement you get on your videos, the more likely they are to show up in search results and reach more people. 

When you set your video as an instant Premiere, it’ll produce a URL for the Premiere page that you can share on social media and other marketing channels to boost the initial watch count on your videos.

YouTube instant Premiere vs. scheduled Premiere

There are two types of Premieres on YouTube: 

  1. Instant Premieres 
  2. Scheduled Premieres

Instant Premieres launch as soon as you hit publish, whereas scheduled Premieres are launched at a later date of your choosing. 

Instant Premieres are great if you’ve forgotten to announce a new video or you want to build on the engagement from a YouTube Live (you can direct viewers straight to a Premiere to keep the momentum going). 

Scheduled Premieres are great for consistency and give you time to promote your upcoming videos to subscribers and your audience elsewhere. When you create a scheduled Premiere, YouTube will automatically generate a URL you can send to your audience. They can then set reminders to watch your live video. YouTube will also send a notification to subscribers letting them know when they can expect the Premiere to air (they can click on their notification bell to see the details). 

Setting up an Instant Premiere in YouTube

To schedule a Premiere, choose the Schedule option when uploading your video, choose a date, and check the Set as Premiere box. When you click schedule, YouTube will send a push notification to your subscribers with the date and time of your upcoming Premiere. 

How to Premiere a video on YouTube

Here’s a quick tutorial that will show you how to set up video Premieres on YouTube:

1. Go to your YouTube page, click the video camera icon at the top, and select “Upload new video”. This will open your YouTube studio where you can upload videos and edit existing uploads. 

Image of user uploading a new video to YouTube

2. Choose the edited video you want to upload from your computer and add video details like a title, description, thumbnail image, and any relevant tags. 

Image of Instant Premiere Details dashboard

3. On the final upload screen, set visibility to Public and then click Set as instant Premiere to save your selections

Setting a video as instant Premiere

After you’ve hit publish, you’ll get a URL for the Premiere page, which you can use to promote your watch party. Subscribers will receive a push notification about your Premiere that they can click on to navigate straight to the Premiere page. 

Once your video has Premiered, it will automatically show up in your channel just like any other video. 

Here are some tips for a successful instant Premiere:

  • If you have more than 1,000 subscribers, you can customize your Premiere countdown theme, unlock monetization benefits, or show a trailer on the watch page before your Premiere starts. This can be a great way to tease future videos or promote an upcoming product.
  • Running an instant Premiere immediately after a Live is a great way to keep momentum going. Use YouTube’s Live Redirect to send viewers straight to your Premiere page. 
  • Share your Premiere watch page URL on social media, via your email list, and on other platforms where your audience hangs out. 

The best video tools for YouTube creators

Editing YouTube videos can be a drag if you’re using a traditional timeline editor. Descript has revolutionized the way YouTube creators can edit their content by making it more like editing a document than a video. You can simply drag and drop your footage into the Descript dashboard, generate an automatic transcript, and edit your video by editing the transcript. 

Descript also has a range of tools especially for YouTube content creators: 

  • AI voices, which lets you create high-quality audio by typing out a script.
  • Remote recording ensures you record great audio and video from any guest speakers wherever they are in the world. 
  • Screen recording easily shares your screen with viewers.
  • Green screens let you remove the background from your videos and replace it with a photo or video. 
  • Video montage maker for sewing together multiple clips into one longer video. 

Descript’s all-in-one YouTube editor has everything you need to record, transcribe, and edit your videos in one central place. Sign up for a free Descript account today.

YouTube Premiere FAQs

Should you use Premiere on YouTube? 

In short: Yes. YouTube’s Premiere feature builds anticipation around your videos and encourages viewers to add your new video uploads to their calendars. Viewers can participate in the live chat during your Premiere, which increases engagement levels and boosts search rankings. 

Is YouTube Premiere worth it?

Yes! YouTube Premiere is a great way to promote your upcoming video content. As well as sending push notifications to subscribers when a new Premiere has been scheduled, you can interact live with your viewers while your Premiere is airing. 

What are the benefits of YouTube’s instant Premiere? 

YouTube’s Instant Premiere feature has some great benefits: 

  • Watch your new videos live with viewers in real-time
  • Encourage super chats around your latest uploads as viewers interact with each other during the Premiere
  • Keep viewers up-to-date on your latest content with video reminders
  • Create a buzz around your videos with an exclusive “watch page” 

What’s the difference between a YouTube Premiere and a Live? 

Premieres mix key features of traditional videos and livestreams. Premieres are pre-recorded and uploaded in the same way as a traditional video, but you can play the recording live to your audience with a dedicated chatbox. Some creators direct viewers from their livestreams straight to a Premiere to generate excitement around a launch, new episode, or product.

Lizzie Davey
Lizzie has been a SaaS and ecommerce writer for 10 years. She helps her clients create content that turns readers into customers and loyal fans.
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What is an instant Premiere on YouTube? Everything you need to know

half of a phone pointing to a pink microphone and yellow backgorund

It’s time to roll out the red carpet for instant Premieres on YouTube, a new feature that creates exclusive watch parties for your subscribers. Instead of publishing a video as you normally would, you can share it as an instant Premiere to generate hype around new content, encourage a discussion, and bring together subscribers at the same time.

In this article, we’ll highlight what an instant Premiere is on YouTube, why you might choose to Premiere a video instead of just publishing it, and how you can set up Premieres in your YouTube Studio. 

A fully powered tool that does everything you’d want an editing suite to do. So you can spend less time on the technical grind and more time creating something great.
Descript makes editing easier, faster, and more fun.

What is an instant Premiere on YouTube?

An instant Premiere on YouTube is a free and easy way to Premiere your upcoming videos. Rather than just uploading a new video to your channel, an Instant Premiere lets you chat with your subscribers while they watch your latest upload in real-time. 

When you choose to create a Premiere for your video, YouTube will automatically create a Premiere watch page that you can send subscribers to. This page will feature a countdown clock that shows your video when it hits zero.

This is the standard countdown timer for YouTube Premiere videos: 

Image of an instant Premiere countdown on YouTube

If you have more than 1,000 subscribers, you can customize the countdown timer to match your brand. 

Viewers can use a chatbox to the side of the video to chat with each other during the video. Once the video has “Premiered” (basically, once it’s finished), it’ll get added to your channel without a countdown timer just like any other regular upload.

YouTube Premiere vs. publish: Why Premiere a video

So what’s the deal? Why should you Premiere a video over simply publishing it to your channel? The key difference is that a Premiere includes a live chat feature and a countdown clock, both of which incite a buzz around your video and encourage subscriber engagement.

If you’ve had a YouTube channel for a while, you’ll know how hard it can be to attract viewers and boost engagement on your videos. The Premiere feature tackles this by sending a notification to subscribers that lets them know you’re about to drop a new video and lets them chat among themselves while they watch it for the first time. The more engagement you get on your videos, the more likely they are to show up in search results and reach more people. 

When you set your video as an instant Premiere, it’ll produce a URL for the Premiere page that you can share on social media and other marketing channels to boost the initial watch count on your videos.

YouTube instant Premiere vs. scheduled Premiere

There are two types of Premieres on YouTube: 

  1. Instant Premieres 
  2. Scheduled Premieres

Instant Premieres launch as soon as you hit publish, whereas scheduled Premieres are launched at a later date of your choosing. 

Instant Premieres are great if you’ve forgotten to announce a new video or you want to build on the engagement from a YouTube Live (you can direct viewers straight to a Premiere to keep the momentum going). 

Scheduled Premieres are great for consistency and give you time to promote your upcoming videos to subscribers and your audience elsewhere. When you create a scheduled Premiere, YouTube will automatically generate a URL you can send to your audience. They can then set reminders to watch your live video. YouTube will also send a notification to subscribers letting them know when they can expect the Premiere to air (they can click on their notification bell to see the details). 

Setting up an Instant Premiere in YouTube

To schedule a Premiere, choose the Schedule option when uploading your video, choose a date, and check the Set as Premiere box. When you click schedule, YouTube will send a push notification to your subscribers with the date and time of your upcoming Premiere. 

How to Premiere a video on YouTube

Here’s a quick tutorial that will show you how to set up video Premieres on YouTube:

1. Go to your YouTube page, click the video camera icon at the top, and select “Upload new video”. This will open your YouTube studio where you can upload videos and edit existing uploads. 

Image of user uploading a new video to YouTube

2. Choose the edited video you want to upload from your computer and add video details like a title, description, thumbnail image, and any relevant tags. 

Image of Instant Premiere Details dashboard

3. On the final upload screen, set visibility to Public and then click Set as instant Premiere to save your selections

Setting a video as instant Premiere

After you’ve hit publish, you’ll get a URL for the Premiere page, which you can use to promote your watch party. Subscribers will receive a push notification about your Premiere that they can click on to navigate straight to the Premiere page. 

Once your video has Premiered, it will automatically show up in your channel just like any other video. 

Here are some tips for a successful instant Premiere:

  • If you have more than 1,000 subscribers, you can customize your Premiere countdown theme, unlock monetization benefits, or show a trailer on the watch page before your Premiere starts. This can be a great way to tease future videos or promote an upcoming product.
  • Running an instant Premiere immediately after a Live is a great way to keep momentum going. Use YouTube’s Live Redirect to send viewers straight to your Premiere page. 
  • Share your Premiere watch page URL on social media, via your email list, and on other platforms where your audience hangs out. 

The best video tools for YouTube creators

Editing YouTube videos can be a drag if you’re using a traditional timeline editor. Descript has revolutionized the way YouTube creators can edit their content by making it more like editing a document than a video. You can simply drag and drop your footage into the Descript dashboard, generate an automatic transcript, and edit your video by editing the transcript. 

Descript also has a range of tools especially for YouTube content creators: 

  • AI voices, which lets you create high-quality audio by typing out a script.
  • Remote recording ensures you record great audio and video from any guest speakers wherever they are in the world. 
  • Screen recording easily shares your screen with viewers.
  • Green screens let you remove the background from your videos and replace it with a photo or video. 
  • Video montage maker for sewing together multiple clips into one longer video. 

Descript’s all-in-one YouTube editor has everything you need to record, transcribe, and edit your videos in one central place. Sign up for a free Descript account today.

YouTube Premiere FAQs

Should you use Premiere on YouTube? 

In short: Yes. YouTube’s Premiere feature builds anticipation around your videos and encourages viewers to add your new video uploads to their calendars. Viewers can participate in the live chat during your Premiere, which increases engagement levels and boosts search rankings. 

Is YouTube Premiere worth it?

Yes! YouTube Premiere is a great way to promote your upcoming video content. As well as sending push notifications to subscribers when a new Premiere has been scheduled, you can interact live with your viewers while your Premiere is airing. 

What are the benefits of YouTube’s instant Premiere? 

YouTube’s Instant Premiere feature has some great benefits: 

  • Watch your new videos live with viewers in real-time
  • Encourage super chats around your latest uploads as viewers interact with each other during the Premiere
  • Keep viewers up-to-date on your latest content with video reminders
  • Create a buzz around your videos with an exclusive “watch page” 

What’s the difference between a YouTube Premiere and a Live? 

Premieres mix key features of traditional videos and livestreams. Premieres are pre-recorded and uploaded in the same way as a traditional video, but you can play the recording live to your audience with a dedicated chatbox. Some creators direct viewers from their livestreams straight to a Premiere to generate excitement around a launch, new episode, or product.

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