Navigating YouTube Analytics – Views Edition

With YouTube’s new design layout came a new look for YouTube Analytics, previously known as “Insight.” These metrics break your performance down into three sections – Earnings Report, Views Report and Engagement Report. Today I’m going to focus on the Views Report and will cover the Engagement Report in a later Entry.

The Views Report is broken down into five sections: Views, Demographics, Playback Locations, Traffic Sources and Audience Retention. Each section provides a unique insight into your video’s performance.


Views: This section shows the number of views, by date, your channel accumulated as a whole and the number of views, by date, for each individual video.
What You Can Learn: This is an easy way to gauge how well each video is performing on a basic level. Pay attention to when your videos see the most views. Do they get a lot of views when first uploaded, and then trickle off, or do they constantly receive a steady stream of views?

Tip: Also take note if there are certain days of the week your videos are viewed more often. This may indicate the best time to post new videos.


Demographics: This section shows you the age and gender of your viewers as well as their locations down to country and state.

What You Can Learn: This is an important piece of the analytics if your product/service is catered to a specific age, gender or locale. These numbers can tell you if you are on the right track with your videos and that you’re reaching the right target audience.


Playback Locations: This section, formally part of the Discovery Report in Insight, lays-out where/how online viewers are watching your videos – for example, on a YouTube watch page, mobile device, channel page or on another site with an embedded player.
What You Can Learn: The two important features of the playback locations are the number of views on mobile devices and the number of views on embedded players. If the number of views on mobile devices is low or non-existent, check to make sure your videos are playable on mobile devices. This setting can be found in the Edit Info and Settings on each video in the Video Manager section. If you, or someone else, has embedded your YouTube player on another site, this section can tell you how many views have been seen there compared to on YouTube itself.


Traffic Sources: The traffic sources, previously known as Discovery in the old YouTube Analytics, tell you how people are discovering your videos – from YouTube, from outside YouTube on other portals or websites, or from Mobile Apps and direct traffic.

What You Can Learn: There are a couple key insights you can make from this section. The most important may be how many views are coming from YouTube or Google searches. If the percentage of these two sources are low, that means your videos are either not coming up when people search for your topics, or your audience isn’t searching for what your videos offer. If these numbers are low, you may want to try and better optimize your YouTube title, descriptions and tags. Another key insight is the Home Page feed and subscriptions sources. If these numbers are low, that may mean you either don’t have enough subscribers or you don’t have the right subscribers because they aren’t interested in your content. The last big source, if you participate in it, is the YouTube advertising. This will show you if your advertising spend is successful or not. Knowing where your traffic comes from helps you to know how to best market your videos.


Audience Retention:
This section, formally know as Hot Spots, is only for individual video data. It tells you how much of your video your viewers are watching and at what point in the video they stop watching.
What You Can Learn: By studying the audience retention, you can understand if your video is engaging enough to keep the attention of your audience or not. If people are dropping off early in the video, this could tell you that the beginning of the video isn’t engaging enough or if your video isn’t what people expect when they click on it. If people are dropping off somewhere in the middle of your video, you may want to consider that your video is either too long, or not entertaining or educational enough. This section is really important to monitor so that you can know if you should edit your videos or not.


It’s important to periodically sign into YouTube and spend some time checking-out your analytics. Video marketing isn’t nearly as effective if you can’t tell if it’s successful. It’s also a marketing source that is hard to put a financial return upon, so consider setting a “social” return goal on your vides that measures things like views, interaction, shares etc.

About Fathom Team Member

Leave a Reply