What is YouTube Analytics and How To Use It to Make a Larger Impact on the Audience?

Youtube Analytics is a tool that allows you to measure and report the user interaction of your channel and videos.

In addition to major beauty- or automobile brands; travelers, amateur cooks, and even housewives are sharing their creativity to the world via YouTube. YouTube became sort of a meeting place where the most creative storytelling of recent times is taking place.

Successful YouTube channels that we like to watch and sometimes spend hours on, are not successful because they’ve only analyzed demographic data. They are successful in storytelling because they did a deep targeted audience analysis with the help of YouTube Analytics and many other tools. When they know what kind of audience they’re speaking to, they combine their analysis with the idea they have in mind and are able to present their story on a golden plate.

https://always.com/en-us/about-us/our-epic-battle-like-a-girl


I will explain how you can use YouTube Analytics in the following content. But first, you and I should be on the same page and understand what that ‘success’ I’ve talked about above, really means:

  • We all have more than one skill. Even those who think that they are good at just one subject, will surely discover a new skill (which they already possess) in the future. Therefore, remember that the targeted audience will also have a multi-skilled personality.
  • By doing a deep-dive targeted audience analysis on YouTube Analytics, you can succeed in making your story effective by creating brand awareness. In order to make people take action*, you actually have to be close to them.

*them buying your product, gaining social awareness, spreading your idea, interacting with you when the info you give works for them, subscribing to your channel, setting alerts for new videos, and so on…

How to Use YouTube Analytics

To begin your analysis, you should first access the YouTube Analytics Dashboard. Feel free to follow these steps:

  • Sign in to YouTube.
  • Click on your profile picture in the upper right corner of the page and select YouTube Studio from the drop-down menu. The first page that comes up, is the YouTube Studio Dashboard *.
  • To on the YouTube Analytics Dashboard, click “Analytics” on the left side of the page. Voila!

*Within the YouTube Studio Dashboard you can get a brief analysis of the last 28 days of the channel, the latest subscribers, tips, and inspiring content.

Youtube Analytics Dashboard 2019
Youtube Analytics Dashboard 2019

YouTube Analytics Reports: Overview, Reach, Engagement, and Audience

With the 4 major reports on YouTube Analytics, overview, reach, engagement, and audience, you can already do a detailed channel and video analysis.

In fact, each report leads you to the same panel.

Youtube Analytics 2019 Reports Panel
Youtube Analytics 2019 Reports Panel

Then why are there four different reports?

The YouTube Analytics panel contains a lot of metrics and reports. This may seem quite complicated and scary when you do not know anything about YouTube Analytics. Suppose that you want to do a mass analysis and don't know which metrics to look at. YouTube Analytics' categorization of specific topics will make it a lot easier.

What Do The Overview, Reach, Engagement, and Audience Reports Show?

1. Overview Report:

You can access the key performance metrics for your videos and channel in the overview report.

Youtube Analytics Channel Overview Report
Youtube Analytics Channel Overview Report

Even within just the overview panel, you can already see which video content or marketing activity changes the number of views, watching time, and number of subscribers*. But to take action, you need to examine more metrics which I'll explain later in the content.

*Other factors that may cause change are not included in the analysis.

2. Reach Report:

Information about your channel's reach level is available through the reach report. Here you can find the answers to many questions such as where the most important traffic source is, which playlist brings more traffic, and with which keywords users search on YouTube search.

Youtube Analytics Channel Reach Report
Youtube Analytics Channel Reach Report

3. Engagement Report

Together with the engagement report, you can see your best-performing videos and playlists, or cards and end screen elements’ performances to analyze how well you’re maintaining your audience.

Youtube Analytics Channel Engagement Report
Youtube Analytics Channel Engagement Report

4. Audience Report

You can find out how your subscribers or watchers behave towards your channel, in this report. It’s easy to get the answers to questions such as how much is the watching times of the subscribers, how many people are notified when a new video is added, or whether the majority of the audience is female or male, etc, in this report.

Youtube Analytics Channel Audience Report
Youtube Analytics Channel Audience Report

All Metrics and Their Meanings in the YouTube Analytics Panel

The Metrics in the Overview Report
Metric Definition
Watch time (minutes) You can see how many minutes your channel was watched compared to the previous period.
View The number of views of the channel compared to the previous period.
Average View Duration It gives you the average viewing time compared to the previous period.
Average percentage viewed You can find out what percentage of the video the user averly watches on each view.
Subscribers You can see the change in the number of subscribers through this metric.


The Metrics in the Reach Report
Metric Definition
Impressions It shows how many times your video thumbnails were shown to viewers on YouTube.
Impressions click-through rate It shows how often viewers watched a video after seeing an impression.
Unique viewers It’s the estimated number of unique users who watched your content.


The Metrics in the Revenue Report
Metric Definition
Your estimated revenue You can find the total estimated-net revenue from all Google-sold ads and transactions.
Your transaction revenue It shows the estimated-net revenue from transactions, such as paid content and Fan Funding, deducting any partner charged refunds.
Transactions It’s the number of transactions from paid content or Fan Funding.
Your revenue per transaction It’s the average amount of a transaction from paid content or Fan Funding.
Your YouTube Premium revenue It’s the estimated transaction from YouTube Premium.
Your estimated ad revenue It’s the estimated revenue from AdSense and DoubleClick ads. The revenue from any partner-sold ads is not included in this number.
Your estimated DoubleClick revenue It’s the estimated revenue from DoubleClick ads.
Your estimated AdSense revenue It’s the estimated revenue from AdSense ads.
Ad impressions It shows the verified ad impressions that were served to the user.
CPM The estimated average gross revenue per thousand served ad impressions.
Playback-based CPM The estimated average gross revenue per thousand playbacks on which an ad was shown.
Estimated monetized playbacks A monetized playback is when a viewer is shown at least one ad impression when watching the video.

Note: The revenue report is only available to YouTube partners. In order to become a partner, you need to have more than 4,000 hours of follow-up over the last 12 months, and more than 1,000 subscribers. For other eligibility requirements, you can look at the YouTube Partner Program.


The Metrics in the Premium Report
Metric Definition
YouTube Premium views It’s the number of total views from YouTube Premium subscribers - including free trials.
YouTube Premium watch time (minutes) This metric shows the estimated total minutes of viewing time of your video content from YouTube Premium subscribers.


The Metrics in the Interactions Report
Metric Definition
Likes It shows the change in the total likes number.
Dislikes It shows the change in the total dislikes number.
Likes vs Dislikes This metric can help you identify the types of content your audience likes most.
Shares It shows how many times your videos are shared with the share button.
Comments It shows how many times you received comments via your videos and channel.

The playlist is a collection of videos that you can aggregate by thematic features. Collecting videos with similar themes into the same playlists increases the likelihood of users watching other related videos.


The Metrics in The Playlists Report
Metric Definition
Playlist starts It’s the number of times viewers initiated playback of a playlist.
Playlists exits It’s the number of times viewers exited a playlist after watching this video.
Playlists exits rate This metric shows the percentage of times viewers exited the playlist after watching a video out of the total number of video views in the playlist.
Average time in playlist This metric shows the estimated average time watched after a playlist started.

The cards are used to enhance the interaction of video watchers, and they are added to video content. With the cards, you can show any channel to the watchers in the videos or any link of a product page on your website. For more information, please go to YouTube Help.

The Metrics in The Cards Report
Metric Definition
Card clicks This metric shows the number of times a card has been clicked.
Card shown This metric shows the number of times a card has been shown.
Click per card shown You can see how often viewers clicked a card after seeing it.
Card teaser clicks It shows the number of times a teaser has been clicked.
Card teasers shown It shows the total number of times a teaser has been shown.
Teaser clicks per card teaser shown You can see how often viewers clicked a teaser after seeing it.

With the help of end screens, you can show more videos/playlists to your audience, make non-subscribers take action to subscribe, or link to approved websites. Just add the relevant end screen element into the last 5 to 20 seconds of the video.

The Metrics in The Endscreens Report
Metric Definition
End screen element clicks It shows how many times an end screen element was clicked.
End screen elements shown It shows how many times an end screen element was shown.
Clicks per end screen element shown You can see how often viewers clicked an end screen element when it was shown.

*All metrics belong to the date range that you select in the top right corner of the panel, region, and other filters you add on the panel.

*Definitions of all metrics are taken from YouTube Help.

How to Use The Reports on YouTube Analytics Panel

I told you that each report leads you to the same panel when you click the “See more” button on the overview, reach, engagement, and audience report pages. Now, we can review the reports under this panel one by one.

YouTube Analytics Video Report

You can see the performance of the videos or the channel with the YouTube Analytics video report, and how the videos affect one another.

There are 5 metrics that YouTube Analytics recommends you to use when using the video report:

  • Impressions
  • Impressions click-through rate
  • Average view duration
  • Views
  • Watch time (minutes)
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Video Report
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Video Report

The video performance depends on how strong, creative, and helpful the content is for people, so it will not be enough to just analyze the metrics that I’ve listed above. Therefore, you may need to add new metrics from the field indicated by the “ + “ sign to your analysis.

I recommend that you should evaluate the impressions, views, and impression click-through rate metrics together. Assuming users type in millions of queries every day on YouTube search (impressions), seeing how many times they click on your videos (impression clickthrough rate) and how much they watched (view) can help you to analyze your report.

At the same time, the average view duration metric will tell you how many minutes your viewers stayed connected with the video content. If you say, “this information is not enough for me, I should see what percentage of my video they’ve watched”, you can also add the average percentage viewed metric to the report. The goals you are aiming for are very important. For example, if you've made video content to increase the number of subscribers on your channel, you also should add the subscribers metric to the report.

Here are some of the steps you can take with this report:

  • If you have video content that has a high number of impressions but low impression clickthrough rate, don’t worry. It obviously means that you produce videos people are looking for and that’s why your impressions are high. The thumbnail, title, or description of the video perhaps may not seem trustable or interesting to the users. After optimizing these elements, watch the performance of the same video for at least 3 months. If you've really optimized that based on your audience and content, you will see a progress in the numbers.
  • If you have video content with a low average percentage viewed, watch your videos again through the eyes of the viewer. Sometimes, even if we're really curious about the content, we can increase the playback speed while watching them. Try to keep information and comment intensity equal in video content. Much information - little comment or much comment - little information combinations in the videos can distract the audience. Therefore, set a video length based on your videos’ average view duration and try not to exceed this time duration. According to HubSpot research, the ideal video length for YouTube should not exceed 2 minutes.*

*I know that some video content cannot fit in the 2-minutes rule. Therefore, I recommend that you should apply the information-comment ratio I mentioned above with plenty of supporting content such as visuals and the other supported samples.

What to Find in YouTube Analytics Traffic Source Report

Under the traffic source category, you can find out where and how users have reached your channel or videos.

There are 5 metrics that YouTube Analytics recommends you to use when looking at the traffic source report:

  • Impressions
  • Impressions click-through rate
  • Average view duration
  • Views
  • Watch time (minutes)
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Traffic Source Report
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Traffic Source Report

Some of the comments that can be made based on this report:

  • “My audience reaches me more through X source. So I need to keep feeding this source.”
  • “People have reached my videos less through Y source than other traffic sources. Is Y source important for my marketing activities? If it's important, I should improve it. If it’s not that important, I still need to track its performance but not spend any budget either.”

To distinguish the above ideas from each other, you need to consider multiple metrics in order to make the most accurate analysis and understand the behavior of your users.

Where, How, and Who Reaches Your Video Content?

  • YouTube Advertising: When you want to deliver video content to your target audience with advertising, you can target keywords, demographics, interests, and specific topics. Based on the data from the users who access the videos through the YouTube Advertising channel, you can plan to change your targeting strategy or keep it as it is.
  • YouTube Search: This channel shows traffic from user searches on YouTube search, and is really important to keep track of user behavior - you can see which words people used to reach your content. To see this, just click the “YouTube Search” channel once.
  • External: It shows the traffic you’ve received from websites or applications where the video is placed. Also, you can find the traffic that comes from social media channels (even from Whatsapp) or Google search results where your videos are being clicked on. So before sharing video content, you should not only review videos on YouTube search results, but also the video content listed in the Google search results.
  • Suggested Videos: Traffic from recommended videos that appear immediately after watching a video on YouTube, or videos that immediately begin to play afterward, are shown under this channel. In addition, you can also monitor the traffic you get from a link that is shared on another video’s description. Once you click on the “Suggested Videos” category, you'll see the videos that drive traffic to your channel. This metric is an important element that shows the relevant areas of your target audience. You can evaluate your audience based on the information you get from here.
  • Playlists: Under this channel, you can find traffic from other playlists, including your own playlists. Also, traffic from liked and favorite video playlists is shown here. Therefore, you can reach collaborators who are covering the same themes as you, as well as channel analysis with inferences about whether your videos are liked or not.
  • Browse Features: You can find the traffic homepage/home screen, the subscription feed, and other browsing features under this channel.
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Browse Features Report
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Browse Features Report
  • Channel Pages: The traffic you receive from other YouTube channels, as well as your own YouTube channel, is shown in this report. Also the traffic you receive from other content producers when they share your video on their channel, is included in this report.
  • End Screens: You can find the traffic you get from the end screens that are added to the last 5 to 20 seconds of videos, added to highlight videos, or added to increase subscription, can be found under this channel.
  • Video Cards and Annotations: As the name implies, this channel shows the traffic that comes from an annotation, card, or featured content in another video.
  • Other YouTube Features: You can only see traffic from partner promotions, Android home screen widgets, or dashboards within YouTube, under this channel.
  • Direct or Unknown: Traffic from users' interactions specifically with the URL of your channel or with bookmarks they have previously added, is shown under this category. There is also traffic from applications that cannot be identified by Analytics. - This channel usually has low traffic.

What to Find in YouTube Analytics Geography Report

You can see from which countries your audience frequently visit your videos and channel under this report.

There are 3 metrics that YouTube Analytics recommends you to use when looking at the geography report:

  • Average view duration
  • Views
  • Watch time (minutes)
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Geography Report
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Geography Report

I suggest adding the “subscribers” metric to the panel if you haven't added it yet. (“ + ”; Overview; Subscribers) Also, you can include each one of the “Interactions” metrics in this analysis, if you want more specific targeting or reporting. (Interactions: Likes, Dislikes, Like vs. Dislike, Shares)

You can make the following conclusions with the relevant YouTube Analytics metrics:

  • You can find out from which countries your users are driving traffic, and when possible, added subtitles to the related videos.
  • You can analyze in which countries the content is relevant or not, and compare subscribers, likes, and dislikes metrics with geography data.

As a result, you might consider not to invest too much in countries with low traffic data (especially if the dislikes metrics are too high and the number of subscribers is close to nothing in those countries). Thus, you will transfer the investment from the worst ones, to the best ones.

How to Use YouTube Analytics Viewer Age and Viewer Gender Reports

There are 4 metrics that YouTube Analytics recommends you to use when looking at the viewer age and viewer gender reports:

  • Views
  • Average View Duration
  • Average Percentage Viewed
  • Watch Time (minutes)
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Viewer Age Viewer Gender Report
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Viewer Age Viewer Gender Report

Age and gender data give you some good ideas about the way you speak to your audience in your future video content. For example, if the target audience is between 13 and 17 years of age, the moment you stop speaking like them, you may lose them.

Or, if you just want to stop addressing a particular group and expand your target audience, you can look at which audience would make more sense in the light of these data.

How to Use YouTube Analytics Subscription Status and Subscription Source Reports

There are 6 metrics that YouTube Analytics recommends you to use when looking at the subscription status and subscription source reports:

  • Watch Time (minutes)*
  • Views*
  • Average view duration (minutes)*
  • Subscribers**
  • Subscribers gained**
  • Subscribers lost**

*The Report that is recommended to use in the subscription status report.

**The Report that is recommended to use in the subscription source report.

Youtube Analytics Dashboard Subscription Status Subscription Source Report
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Subscription Status Subscription Source Report

In the subscription status report, you can examine how subscribed viewers interacted with the channel and the videos in terms of watch time, views, and average view duration metrics. If you aim to increase the number of subscribers, you have to be creative and develop ideas about how to encourage them not to go.

Take note of the answers to the following questions and rethink the strategy from beginning to end:

  • 95% of users who bring the highest traffic are not subscribed, are your video contents not continuous?
  • Are your contents as old as the hills?
  • How is the video quality content?
  • Are you directing them to subscribe by cards?
  • Why do they prefer watching without subscribing? Because they're not signed in? Can you give them a little reminder in your content?

In the subscription source report, you can get information about the changes in the number of subscribers. Did you win or lose them?

Subscription Button in Video
Subscription Button in Video

If you want to create your own audience on YouTube, your aim has to be increasing the number of subscribers.

Subscription Button on YouTube About Page
Subscription Button on YouTube About Page

How to Use YouTube Analytics Playlist Report

You can see the traffic from any playlist* of the videos you've put together in this report.

*If a different user has added your video content to her playlist, you also can find the traffic from this playlist in the report.

There are 4 metrics that YouTube Analytics recommends you to use when looking at the playlist report:

  • Playlist Starts
  • Average View Duration
  • Views
  • Watch time (minutes)
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Playlist Report
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Playlist Report

When analyzing traffic from playlists, I suggest you include the following metrics in your analysis. This allows you to better understand the movement of the users in the lists:

  • Average Percentage Viewed
  • Average Time in Playlist
  • Playlist Exit Rate
  • Playlist Exits

Note: The traffic information you see on the panel also includes the traffic coming from “Liked videos“ and “Favorite videos” playlists of users. In light of all this data, you can make better decisions about the playlist cards that you want to add to your videos.

How to Use YouTube Analytics Device Type Report

You can find out on which devices your channel and videos are viewed more (or less) in this report.

There are 3 metrics that YouTube Analytics recommends you to use when looking at the device type report:

  • Watch time (minutes)
  • Views
  • Average view duration
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Device Type Report
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Device Type Report

Other metrics you can include in the device report are:

  • Reach → Impressions, Impression click-through rate, Unique viewers

70% of YouTube watch time comes from mobile devices. This means that more than half of the user reach is obtained from mobile devices. It is, therefore, useful to include impression, impression click-through rate, and the number of unique viewers in your analysis.

  • Interactions → Likes, Dislikes, Likes vs. Dislike Rate, Shares

The low mobile like-dislike rate* may be due to insufficient or poor video quality on the mobile devices. People who watch on m.youtube instead of the YouTube app would be watching the video without logging into YouTube using their email address. In the case of liked videos, people have to log in. This kind of explains why the liked metric is low*. But you can take the first step by telling them to click the like button if they enjoy your videos, to improve this metric.

*Of course, there may be many other factors affecting.

  • Cards and End Screens

In this case, there are lots of important points like at what minute of your video should you add your cards and end screen elements, or are they good fit together thematically… And when it comes to mobile users, you need to think more mobile.

If the mobile user intends to receive information only, she can leave the video as soon as she receives the information. So I suggest you pay attention to when your cards will be presented to the audience.

YouTube Products and More on YouTube Analytics Reports

YouTube products category shows data from its own products (such as YouTube Music) on YouTube.

Live / on demand category shows the performance of the broadcast. How many people were watching it before you announced it on social media, and how long after that? You can follow the interaction between two marketing channels (YouTube and the other social media channels) under this report. Or knowing which time period the broadcast brings more interaction can help you to create the subject of the next live broadcast or video content.

Playback location category shows a kind of video backlink report. You can see how much traffic you've received through websites or apps where the video is placed, under this category.

Youtube Analytics Dashboard Youtube Product And More Report
Youtube Analytics Dashboard Youtube Product And More Report

The operating system category provides a report showing the analysis of the denominator between the operating systems that users reach your videos from.

In the subtitles and CC category, you can see which language option is used to watch more videos (or the ratio between them). If you want to positively improve the user experience of the YouTube channel, you must add subtitles.

I've mentioned the YouTube Analytics geography analysis above. Find out from which countries your audience comes and customize your videos for the languages they speak. The easiest way to do this is with subtitles. Don't forget to add subtitles for your own language as well. As we explained in our podcast about mobile, users sometimes like watching their videos silently but with subtitles.

Once you've identified video info language, your target audience, and your potential new audience, you can improve the language of your channel and videos. In addition to subtitles, you also can apply these changes to video titles, descriptions, and about page. To track the data coming from these changes, you can go to the video info language report. Remember, YouTube has launched local versions in more than 100 countries. If you want a global reach, the optimizations on the language will create a multicultural audience, and you may be getting interaction from different languages in your comments and even in other foreign sites where the video is shared.

The translation use category presents data on traffic flow for YouTube content producers who want to appeal to a multilingual audience.

In the end screen element type and card type reports, you can find out how many clicks or views you’ve got after adding these elements, cards or playlists to your video.

Sharing service shows the detailed shares report based on social media or other marketing channels, and the actions by “copy to clipboard”.

FAQ About YouTube Analytics

How often is the YouTube Analytics views data updated?

YouTube Analytics views data is updated once a day* and has a delay of up to 72 hours.

*Analytics views data is based in Pacific Standard Time.

How do I find my YouTube Analytics?

You can find the answer in detail in the “How to Use YouTube Analytics” section above.

How accurate is YouTube Analytics data?

YouTube Analytics data actually depends on how accurately your account settings are set up. To do so, you can get support in the YouTube Help.

How do I find YouTube Analytics on mobile?

First, you have to download the YouTube Studio app to your phone. I believe that this video below will be helpful for more detail about YouTube Analytics on mobile.

How do I export YouTube Analytics reports?

Select which report you want to export in the panel. In the example below, we are in the video report. Set the metrics you want to include in the report later. You can edit the metrics by clicking the “ + “ sign. Then set the date ranges you want to see in the top right corner of the panel.

Now, the last step… Just click the download link (indicated by the green box) in the top right corner of the panel after completing all adjustments in the report.

How do I export YouTube Analytics reports?

Select which report you want to export in the panel. In the example below, we are in the video report. Set the metrics you want to include in the report later. You can edit the metrics by clicking the “ + “ sign. Then set the date ranges you want to see in the top right corner of the panel.

Now, the last step… Just click the download link (indicated by the green box) in the top right corner of the panel after completing all adjustments in the report.

How Do I Export Youtube Analytics Reports
How Do I Export Youtube Analytics Reports

Is YouTube Analytics free?

Yes, feel free to use it whenever you want.

How do I see referral traffic in YouTube Analytics?

You can see referral traffic under 'External' section in the YouTube Analytics traffic source report.

İrem Yılmaz
23 Sep 2019

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