How to Get a YouTube Channel’s RSS Feed

Well, I was trying add the PBS Space Time YouTube channel’s RSS feed to my reader like I’ve done with other channels in the past; however, the browser was never detecting the feed and it has seemed problematic with YouTube for sometime. Actually, when I examined the source code, I could not find any reference to a feed for the browser to detect.¬† So, here’s what I did.

I found a working feed which had a URL like:

https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=(channel-id)

I then replaced (channel-id) with the one for PBS Space Time which happens to be

UC7_gcs09iThXybpVgjHZ_7g

so the complete URL would be:

https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UC7_gcs09iThXybpVgjHZ_7g

You can find the channel id by looking at the address bar in your browser when looking a the channel’s home. Example:

PBS Space Time channel ID in the browser's address bar.It worked! Hope this helps someone. :)


Update September 18, 2016: You can also use the user¬†name that shows in the address bar if it doesn’t have a channel ID. Use user=username to specify the RSS feed. In this case a URL would be like:

https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?user=periodicvideos


Update April 4, 2017: I found out from here that for a YouTube playlist, use playlist_id. So, for my music video playlist, the URL would be:

https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?playlist_id=PL8D8D4240EC972114


Update September 5, 2017: Check out my new post: How to Get RSS Feeds For All Your YouTube Subscriptions that describes how to import all your YouTube subscription RSS feeds at once.

15 thoughts on “How to Get a YouTube Channel’s RSS Feed

    1. ALEXIS SRM

      Nope, it was just a coincidence.
      Check this channel instead:
      UCkmRrRz3UvRCTEadCNCIoTg

      The main-livestream is
      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkmRrRz3UvRCTEadCNCIoTg/live
      equals (for now at least) to
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxoWgD4ig7U

      But
      https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=UCkmRrRz3UvRCTEadCNCIoTg
      does not list the live-event at first, in fact, it does not list it at all.

      My conclusion: The standard “videos.xml” only lists the 12 most recent events, nothing more.
      Someone knows a alternative?

    1. Mark Headrick Post author

      The thumbnails are included in the feeds. The code usually has something like <media:thumbnail url=”https://i3.ytimg.com/vi/fG52mXN-uWI/hqdefault.jpg” width=”480″ height=”360″> in it.

      Anyway, it’s up to YouTube what they send out in the feed and it’s up to the RSS Reader how it displays it.

  1. Michelle

    Thank you very much for this. I didn’t realize I could use the user name and with Youtube’s latest change, I was having a hard time finding their channel ID. Tried the username like you said and it’s working perfect. Thank you!!

    Reply