How to Get a TikTok Stream Key: What Works and What Doesn't

Want to know how to actually get a TikTok stream key so you can stream to TikTok from your PC? In this article, I break it all down: what works and what doesn't.

How to Get a TikTok Stream Key: What Works and What Doesn't

If you've been trying to figure out how to get a TikTok stream key and keep running up against a wall of unhelpful or inaccurate information, don't worry. You've (finally) come to the right place.

I've done all the digging and testing for you to figure out what works and what's just straight up factually inaccurate when it comes to TikTok stream keys.

I'll walk you through what I learned so you can get streaming as soon as possible. Let's get into it.

TL;DR: You need at least 1,000 followers to first unlock the TikTok Live feature. Once you can go Live, reach out to an agency to help you get a stream key. We recommend Carter Pulse.

What Is a TikTok Stream Key and Why Do You Need It?

TikTok stream keys are the golden ticket you need to live stream gameplay from your PC to TikTok. You plug it in to your streaming platform of choice, like OBS Studio or Streamlabs, and it streams your content real time. Just like a Twitch or YouTube stream key.

Except on Twitch and YouTube your stream key comes gratis, no extra steps required. The TikTok stream keys, on the other hand, seem to be in short supply, much like actual golden tickets.

But Why Do You Want a TikTok Stream Key?

Just like regular TikTok content, TikTok Lives are pushed to the For You Page. That means that the powerful organic reach that the TikTok FYP algorithm offers can now be applied to streams. That kind of immediate discoverability doesn't really exist on platforms like YouTube and Twitch.

Using the TikTok stream key, gamers without big followings are able to reach new viewers and grow their communities. Not only that, but for streamers who were already streaming their gameplay to TikTok through... creative methods, the stream key offers a much easier and more aesthetic solution.

@roborttt if you have questions about streaming on TikTok, drop a comment 👉 #pokemon #tiktokstreamer #gaminglivestream ♬ original sound - Breanna Frederick

Not everyone agrees, though. If your main goal is to grow your following on Twitch, streaming directly to TikTok might not be the best option unless you can offer your Twitch followers a better, more unique experience to incentivize your TikTok followers to make the platform jump and subscribe.

@blue_thundergaming Do you need a tiktok live stream key? #tiktoklive #streamer #streamertips #smallstreamer #gaming #videogames ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

Easy for him to say. He has a TikTok stream key already.

Speaking of which...

What Works: How to Get a TikTok Stream Key

TikTok only announced their stream key and desktop streaming integration a few months ago, so it's relatively new. And like most new social media features in the murky waters of live testing, things are constantly changing.

That means that a lot of the information online about how to get your TikTok stream key is already out of date and inaccurate.

Eligibility Requirements for a TikTok Stream Key

As of the writing of this article, these are the only confirmed requirements for getting a TikTok stream key:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Be located in the United States.
  3. Have access to the TikTok Live feature already.

That last point is particularly important. While TikTok doesn't state this anywhere in their requirements, the general consensus is currently that you need 1,000 followers to go Live on TikTok. Whether that's true or not, you do need to have access to the Live feature (however you get that access) in order to get your stream key.

TikTok isn't handing out a stream key to every creator who meets theses requirements, though. These are just the minimum. Based on anecdotal evidence from streamers who've already received their keys, it seems like manual review is a big part of the approval process.

Previously, there was an online form you could fill out to request access, but that's been taken down. So, does that mean that you just have to wait around, posting constantly, and hoping someone from TikTok finally notices your account in the sea of millions?

Well, you should continue posting consistently and using TikTok Live because a) the algorithm rewards creators who post consistently and you'll get better reach and b) the whole point of this is to grow your community and stream to more viewers, so why wouldn't you be doing that anyway?

But no, you don't just have to wait around. You can use an agency instead.

Contact an Agency to Get Your TikTok Stream Key

After a ton of digging through old articles linking to that Google Form, YouTube videos with outdated advice, and a few key Tweets, I found Carter Pulse.

@doodybeard #greenscreen #tiktok #tiktokstreamkey #doodybeard #streamkey #obs #twitchstreamer #tiktok #streamersoftiktok ♬ Tetris Theme (From "Tetris") - Video Game Players

According to their bio, Carter Pulse is a "management agency with licensed attorneys. Services include contract negotiations, connecting with sponsors and orgs & much more!" I reached out to Carter Pulse on Twitter, hoping to understand a little more about how they were getting people TikTok stream keys.  

Their response to my first message seemed like an auto-response, which makes sense; they're fielding a lot of DMs. When I messaged back, clarifying that I was writing an article and wanted to know how it all works and what strings were attached (agencies usually make their money off of either commission or retainer), here's what Carter Pulse had to say:

TikTok contracted our company. Just means we are your TikTok managers or as TikTok labels it - your agency. There is no payment that is owed to us from you. So we are your TikTok account managers and will assist you guys in numerous ways with that. But that is completely different then the other stuff in your career - which some people have gotten confused over that! We are not your manager for other stuff in your career unless there is an agency talent agreement signed between us outside of TikTok. And no we are not taking any percentage of your earnings from TikTok! TikTok contracted us to do this for them basically! But that comes with perks. Being under our agency you get access to privileges (agency events, campaigns, support, coaching) that are given via TikTok. We can get you spotlighted and other things if you are playing in a big event or tournament - just like being featured on other platforms. Lots of cool stuff to come. TikTok is LOVING our agency right now and want to do a lot of cool things with y'all!

So, to sum up: TikTok is outsourcing their manual review and approval process to a few different agencies. Carter Pulse is one of them. That means you don't have to pay them (outright or through a cut of your earnings) because TikTok is already paying them.

You can DM Carter Pulse directly or comment on their tweets. Their response time is pretty quick and there are tons of success stories from streamers who were set up with their stream keys just a day or two after connecting with them.

As far as I know, this is the only reliable way to quickly get a TikTok stream key right now.

What Doesn't Work: Streaming to TikTok Without a Stream Key

Originally, I set out to write an article about how to set up your first TikTok Live stream from your PC, until I realized that the Kapwing TikTok account didn't have a stream key. When I realized that I couldn't just fire up a stream, I decided to write about how to get a stream key instead.

Almost all of the information I could find was old and the advice I was reading didn't work. Something that came up over and over again was a "loophole" that would let you stream on TikTok without a stream key: Loola.tv.

Loola.tv acts as a middle man between OBS or Streamlabs and TikTok. You plug the Loola.tv stream key into your streaming platform and then Loola broadcasts your stream to TikTok. No TikTok stream key required.

Like most loopholes, though, if it sounds too good to be true — it is.

This is not a Loola.tv tutorial.

Why You Shouldn't Use Loola.tv to Stream to TikTok

In the interest of investigative integrity, I tried Loola.tv. And I really wanted it to work. Here's what I discovered and why I wouldn't recommend it:

1) Loola.tv is costly

We're talking $20/month for anything more than 3 hours of streaming a month.

Since most streamers would blow through that in a single stream, the free option isn't really useful, meaning you're stuck paying that price if you want to use this "loophole."

2) Loola.tv can get you shadowbanned

Creators who've used Loola while waiting for their TikTok stream key warn that getting around TikTok's streaming restrictions could result in some consequences.

Now imaging paying $20/month so you can stream to TikTok only to get no views.

I can't personally vouch for how swiftly or frequently this shadowban hammer is brought down on Loola users, unfortunately. I never actually got to stream to TikTok from Loola because...

3) Loola.tv is buggy as hell

@zedion My livestream from my PC kept disconnecting... Apparently Loola.tv's server died... and I'm paying $31/month for this 😂😂🤦‍♀️ #loola #loolatv ♬ original sound - ZEDION

This is to be expected. It's a backdoor solution and not authorized by TikTok. So it lags, it crashes, and, worst of all — it straight up doesn't work for some users for no discernible reason at all.

When I logged in with my personal TikTok account, I was able to set up a stream but unable to go live on TikTok with it. Turns out even with Loola, you still have to have access to the Live feature on TikTok. Since I don't have that on my personal account, I tried with the Kapwing account.

No dice.

I wasn't even able to log in to the Kapwing TikTok account through Loola. Their customer service chat is just a bot that directs you to read their FAQ. A day later I received an email from an actual customer service rep, linking me to those same FAQ articles.

Although it might work for some users, the risks, costs, and, frankly, headaches associated with using Loola.tv are too much for me to ever recommend it. You're better off just reaching out to the nice folks at Carter Pulse. It'll probably be faster than trying to log in to Loola.tv anyway.

If you're still here, thanks for reading (and also, take a screen break, maybe get a glass of water). TikTok's support for PC streaming is still in its infancy, so some of the above information is bound to change. I'll keep this post updated with the latest info and news.

In the meantime, check out the rest of our Resource Library and follow us over on TikTok.