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Walkthrough of YouTube’s New Analytics Platform

Posted on Monday, December 5th, 2011 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, Social Media, Video

Last week YouTube introduced an updated version of its Insights platform called “Analytics.” And it’s fantastic. The now dead, but not missed, Insights provided the barest glimpse into what was happening on your YouTube channel and videos. In contrast, YouTube’s newly released Analytics offers a wealth of reports, which not only provide valuable insights into what’s happening on your channels, but can even help you create content that’s more appealing to your viewers. (Remember: more engaging video content on your channel will keep your viewers staying longer and coming back more often.)

Below we have embedded a screenshot walkthrough of the new YouTube analytics and below that we’ll go over some of the main points of interest.

For me the single most important section of the new analytics is the Audience Retention (slides 14 & 15) stats available for your videos. With insight into how your audience viewed your content, you can craft better, more engaging videos that speak directly to the interests and preferences of your audience. In the example we used the viewers’ attention dropped around the 2:00 mark, before slightly increasing and then dropping off sharply towards end of the video. This reveals a lot about what our audience enjoyed about our video and what bored them (minute 2). Equipped with this information we can refine our video style, find where to cut out excess content, speed up the pacing or even change the order of how information is presented to make it more appealing to our audience.

Individual video stats don’t stop there. Every report that is available for your channel can also be run for individual videos (provided they have been live long enough to generate data). This makes the new YouTube Analytics a great way to learn about your video content and help you become a better content producer.

The new Analytics platform is quite broad when compared to the previous version and its nuances could fill several posts. We’re going to save us both some time and supply you with an overview of the new YouTube Analytics platform and a quick guide to help you quickly find the data you’re looking for.

New YouTube Analytics Highlights 

New Overview (slides 4 & 5): Insanely helpful snapshot of your account supplied right away without having to do any digging.

Views Report (slides 7 & 8): With stats broken down into a line chart you can pinpoint successful (or disastrous) content at a glance. Sharp spikes in views may not always be good. Videos might be getting a lot of negative attention, which can spiral into a much larger crisis (the MotrinMoms ordeal started with a video), so watch this graph and investigate why the spikes occurred.

Playback Locations (slide 11): Previously unavailable, this locations page lets you know how content is being consumed. Optimize future video content according to how and where videos are being viewed the most.

Traffic Sources (slides 12 & 13): Knowing how people find your videos is important. Now you can couple query data with location data to gain even more insight into how viewers find your video content. We learned in the Playback Locations of our example that the bulk of our video views came from the YouTube watch page, which means that the majority of people are viewing the video directly and not via the YouTube channel. From there we move to Traffic Sources and see that YouTube search is ranked number 1. This reveals that people are finding our content via searching, which means we are creating content that people are looking for and that we should continue to generate similar content.

Likes and Dislikes (slides 18 & 19): Previously this was a pain in the @$$ to compile all on your own and wasn’t really worth the time. Now it’s easy to see whether your videos are getting good or bad views. Leveraging the views report to construct a timeline for spikes, we can narrow down the data and compare likes and dislikes to see if the attention your content received was positive or negative. (Although, if the response was negative enough to trigger a crisis, you will likely be aware of the problem before you read this report.)

Shares (slides 24 – 26): As YouTube is overhauling their entire service in look and feel some of the best additions they’ve made so far, in my opinion, are the sharing options (screen shot on slide 26). Letting you know where your content is going after people see it on YouTube can help identify secondary audiences for your content and places to start looking for engagement and feedback opportunities.

New YouTube Analytics Guide

Views Reports

  • Views (Slides 7 & 8): Total views for the selected date range and region.
  • Demographics (slides 9 & 10): The male and female split of your audience for the selected date range.
    • Male =Changes all data to reflect only those identified as male.
    • Female =Changes all data to reflect only those identified as female.
  • Playback Locations (slide 11): The total number of views from all playback locations for the selected date range and region.
  • Traffic Sources (slides 12 & 13): The locations from which your videos are being viewed. Contains information for on and off the YouTube platform.
    • Views from YouTube = Views resulting from links within YouTube for the selected date range and region.
    • Views outside of YouTube = Views resulting from links external to YouTube for the selected date range and region.
    • Mobile apps & direct traffic = Views of unknown referrer on mobile apps and direct traffic on the YouTube watch and channel pages for the selected date range and region. Possible origins of direct traffic include email and instant messaging clients or copying and pasting a URL into the browser.
  • Audience Retention (slides 14 & 15): How long your videos are keeping the attention of your viewers?
    • Absolute = The views of every moment of the video as a percentage of the number of views of the beginning of the video. Rewinding and re-watching a particular moment will push the graph upwards (perhaps even above 100%), while fast-forwarding or abandoning the video will push the graph downwards.
    • Relative = 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. Rewinding and re-watching a particular moment will push the graph upwards, while fast-forwarding or abandoning the video will push the graph downwards.

Engagement Reports

  • Subscribers (slide 17): The net, gains and losses of subscribers to your channel for the selected date range and region.
    • Subscribers net change = The change in total subscribers calculated by subtracting subscribers lost from subscribers gained for the selected date range and region.
    • Subscribers gained = The total number of times users subscribed to this channel for the selected date range and region.
    • Subscribers lost = The total number of times users unsubscribed to this channel for the selected date range and region.
  • Likes and Dislikes (slides 18 & 19): The combined rating of your videos and a breakdown of the likes and dislikes your content is receiving.
    • Likes = Only displays data for the likes.
    • Dislikes = Only displays data for the dislikes.
  • Favorites (slides 2 & 3): The daily change of favorites for the data range selected.
    • Favorites added = The daily addition of favorites in the date range selected.
    • Favorites removed = The daily removal of favorites in the date range selected.
  • Comments (slides 22 & 23): Comments left on videos for the date range selected.
  • Shares (slides 24 – 26): The amount of shares for the date range selected.
    • Sharing Service = Breakdown of what sharing service was used to share the videos from YouTube.

Common Buttons

  • Map = switches the view to a shaded-in world map
  • Video = shows data arranged by individual videos
  • Geography =  shows data arranged by geographic location
  • Date = shows data broken down by individual days

What do you think of the new platform changes? Do you find them to be helpful or irrelevant? Have you had a chance to poke around in them yet? In the comments below, let us know what you think about the changes and tips or tricks you might have discovered already.


About Josh Peters

Josh Peters is the Social Media Manager at The Search Agency. He’s the co-author of TwittFaced: (Your Toolkit for Understanding and Maximizing Social Media), blogs regularly at Shuaism & New Mix Marketing and can be found wasting company time daily on Twitter. Before joining TSA he ran his own internet marketing consultancy where we worked with small owner operated businesses to medium sized travel companies and Fortune 500 tech companies.

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  1. Walkthrough and Guide for YouTube’s New Analytics | Social Media, Internet Marketing, and Life connected | Josh S Peters

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