Creators’ Guide To The New YouTube – Analytics

At the end of November, YouTube Insights was replaced with YouTube Analytics, a new and improved tool with more detailed reports and statistics to help YouTube creators get a much better idea of how viewers are connecting and engaging with their videos. We take a look at how the new YouTube Analytics are set up and what information can be gleaned from them.

This is part two in a series covering the ins and outs of the new YouTube design, which launched last month.  We previously covered Channel Design & Layout.  This installment will focus on YouTube Analytics.

At the end of November, YouTube Insights was replaced with YouTube Analytics, a new and improved tool with more detailed reports and statistics to help YouTube creators get a much better idea of how viewers are connecting and engaging with their videos.  Read on to find out how the new YouTube Analytics are set up and what information can be gleaned from them.


If you go to while logged into your YouTube account, the first thing you’ll see is the Overview.  The Overview is exactly what it sounds like – an overview of some of the key analytics related to your YouTube channel.  You can set a date range, search for specific videos or locations and it shows you a basic overview of Performance, Engagement, Demographics and Discovery.

The channel overview also shows you a list of your top 10 videos over the date range, complete with the number of views, likes and comments the video received during that time period.  Click on any of these top 10 videos for an overview of the analytics for that specific video.

The Overview might be enough for you, depending upon your needs, but if you’re curious you can also drill down to find out more detailed information about views and engagement.  Read on to learn more.

Views Reports

On the left side of the YouTube Analytics page you’ll see two drop down menus – one is ‘Views reports’ and the other is ‘Engagement reports.’  We’ll take a look at the ‘Views reports’ first.  These are divided into five sections—Views, Demographics, Playback locations, Traffic sources, and Audience retention.


This section is pretty self-explanatory.  If you click to view the ‘Views’ report you’ll see how many views you got on your channel during the chosen date range, as well as a ranking of the top 10 videos, according to the number of views you got during the chosen date range.

You can also view a line chart that illustrates how many views you got per day, week or month over the date range.  Compare the number of views to the number of unique viewers by choosing ‘Unique viewers’ from the dropdown ‘Compare metric’ menu.

Click on the ‘Map’ button to view a map of the world that shows how many views came from each country when you hover your mouse over the country.  The darker blue the country appears, the more views came from that country.

Scroll down and you can see how many views you got on your top 10 videos, how many views you got from different countries and how many views you got on each day by clicking through the ‘Video’, ‘Geography’ and ‘Date’ buttons.

All of this information is available for your channel as a whole, as well as for specific videos.  To choose a specific video, click on it from the top 10 list or search for it in the ‘Content’ field at the top of the page.


Demographics drills down the age, sex and location of your viewers.  You can view Male and Female viewers together or separately, and check out the demographics for your whole channel or for specific videos.

Playback Locations

Curious about where most of your views are taking place?  The ‘Playback locations’ analytics show you how many views came from a YouTube watch page, how many from mobile devices, how many from embedded players on other websites and how many from your YouTube channel page itself.

Traffic Sources

Where is most of your traffic coming from?  The ‘Traffic sources’ analytics shows you how much of your traffic is coming from referrals from YouTube (search, suggested video, homepage feeds and subscriptions, your channel page), how much is coming from referrals outside of YouTube (Google search and external websites) and how much is coming from mobile apps and direct traffic and embedded players.

This information can be helpful because it can show you if there are areas you should be putting more work into.  For instance, if you aren’t getting much traffic from the YouTube search then you may want to put a little more focus on your metadata (titles, tags, descriptions) so that you’ll show up in more search results.

Audience Retention

The ‘Audience retention’ feature is available for specific videos, rather than for your channel as a whole.  It shows you at which point in your video people stopped watching.  You’ll notice that when the video begins it will show around 100%, meaning that all the viewers watched the beginning, but you’ll notice that as the video progresses viewers drop out.

Watch the video to find out at what point viewers stop watching and then analyze things to figure out why and try to fix the problem for future videos.  Maybe your video is too long, maybe it gets boring, or maybe something really annoying happens at a specific point.  Checking out the ‘Audience retention’ analytics can help you figure this out.  You can also click ‘Relative audience retention’ to see how your retention stacks up against other people’s videos—is it above average or below average?

Engagement Reports

The ‘Engagement reports’ show you how viewers are engaging with your video content.  Which videos are viewers liking and disliking?  Where are they leaving comments?  How and where are your videos being shared?  The engagement reports will show you all this and more.


The Subscribers report delves into how you have gained and lost subscribers over the date range.  Which videos have you gained and lost subscribers from?  What has the net change in subscribers been?  You can also see which countries you’ve gained and lost the most subscribers in, as well as how many subscribers you gained and lost on each day.  You can also use the dropdown ‘Compare metric’ to compare your net change to your subscribers lost or subscribers gained.

Likes and Dislikes

The ‘Likes and dislikes’ report shows you how many likes and dislikes you had on your videos during the date range.  You can view the total likes and dislikes for all of your videos on your channel or narrow it down to specific videos.  Compare likes and dislikes to each other or to the ‘Total engagement’ for your channel (which also factors in Favorites, Shares, Comments and Subscribers) by using the ‘Compare metric’ dropdown menu.  You can also look at a map to see where most of your likes and dislikes are coming from.

At the bottom of this section (as well as the ‘Favorites,’ ‘Comments,’ and ‘Sharing’ metrics) you’ll also find a ‘Total engagement’ bar.  The strength of this bar will show you which of your videos your audience is engaging with most, according to likes and dislikes, favorite, shares, comments and subscribers.


Similar to the Likes and Dislikes metric, Favorites shows you how many people have favorited and unfavorited your videos during the specified date range, and in different countries.  Compare favorites added to favorites removed and compare your favorite action to total engagement using the ‘Compare metric’ dropdown menu.


Comment is very similar to the previous metrics.  You can view the total number of comments on your channel during the specified date range, the number of comments on specific videos and see which countries your comments are coming from, as well as compare the comments to the total engagement.


Finally, the ‘Sharing’ report shows you how many times your videos were shared and how they were shared.  Click on the ‘Map’ or ‘Geography’ buttons to see which country the most people shared your videos from, click on ‘Date’ to see how many shares you had per day.  You can also find a list of the top 10 most-shared videos.

Clicking on ‘Sharing service’ will show you which services were used to share your videos (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, blogger).

Now that we’ve been though an overview of the new YouTube Analytics, head on over to YouTube to check out the analytics for your channel.  What do you think about the new set of metrics?  Will you be using them to monitor your own YouTube channel?

Image Credit: pressureUA /

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.