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Track YouTube watch time metrics

Use case

Identify areas to improve on video watch time.

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1. Navigate to YouTube Studio > Analytics to view the analytics page of your YouTube Channel.

In the past, YouTube ranked videos based on their number of views or how often they were played. However, this metric didn’t reveal how engaged viewers were. Today, YouTube focuses on watch time. This shows the length of time a viewer spends watching a video (X minutes).

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2. Take note of your general watch time statistics in the Overview and Engagement tabs.

By default, these tabs will show the same thing; your channel’s total watch time in hours over the past 28 days. To view the metrics of a specific video, select the video in YouTube Studio > Content.

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3. Use Advanced Mode to see more detailed watch time statistics and compare them to other performance metrics.

In Advanced Mode, you can view watch time grouped by different dimensions. For example, you can view watch time by video, traffic source, or video type. Change the dimension by selecting the tabs on top of the page. You can also compare watch time metrics against other metrics such as views and impressions. Do this by selecting a secondary metric in the drop-down box above the graph.

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4. Adjust the date range of your analytics charts to identify peak periods and the most popular videos. 

Use large-scale views like the lifetime view to track overall channel growth and locate periods of peak performance. Zoom in to peak periods to find more detailed information about the most popular videos.

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5. Compare watch time numbers to identify the best and worst performers.

Select key videos, such as best and worst performers, to find the range of watch time by your audience. Use this information to identify what types of content and video elements engage audiences.

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Current Playbook:

Track YouTube watch time metrics

Sep 11, 2021

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