Understanding YouTube Analytics

By Liam Foy

At the start of the month YouTube fully rolled out their new analytics and stopped using their old insights. If you’ve been having trouble understanding the differences or what the new analytics features are, here is a walkthrough of the main new features.

Playback Locations

youtube analyticsThe Playback Locations report (formerly part of the Discovery report in Insights) reveals the page, site, or device the video was viewed on. There are four types of Playback Locations:

  • YouTube Watch Page: YouTube’s individual video page – the most common viewing page on YouTube
  • YouTube Channel Page: Views directly on your channel page
  • Embedded players on other websites: Views of your video embedded on another website. Click on the link to drill down to a breakdown of views across the various sites that have embedded your video
  • Mobile Devices: Views on mobile applications (e.g. iPhone, Android) and YouTube’s mobile site (m.youtube.com)

Traffic Sources

The Traffic sources report (formerly part of the Discovery report in Insight) shows the various sites and YouTube features through which the viewer found your content. There are many ways people find videos: they search for them on YouTube, click on Suggested Videos thumbnails, follow links from social networking websites such as Twitter or Facebook, etc.

Audience Retention

youtube analyticsThe Audience Retention report (formerly known as Hot Spots in Insight) is an overall measure of your video’s ability to retain its audience, measured in two ways:

  • Absolute audience retention shows the views of every moment of the video as a percentage of the number of views from the beginning of the video. Rewinding and re-watching a particular moment or starting viewing mid-video will push the graph upwards (perhaps even above 100%), while fast-forwarding or abandoning the video will push the graph downwards
  • Relative audience retention shows your video’s ability to retain viewers during playback relative to all YouTube videos of similar length. The higher the graph at any given moment, the proportionately more viewers kept watching your video over the preceding seconds of playback versus other videos at that same moment in their playbacks
The above three changes are the major differences between the old insights and the new analytics but there is also the likes/dislikes, subscribers, favourites, comments and sharing metrics that can add value to fully understand how your video(s) are performing. If you’re still having problems with the new analytics feel free to send us a message on Facebook or Tweet us and we’ll get back to you and help with any queries you have.

This post was written by Liam Foy

As Head of Client Services, Liam ensures that all of his clients’ strategies are on track, delivering ROI and coming up with new ideas to drive them forward. Beer makes him tick, reading, learning and drinking it.