Understanding YouTube Analytics

Understanding YouTube Analytics

Last updated on January 11, 2021

What happens after you click ‘Publish’ on a YouTube video?

How do viewers find it?

Where are they from?

How long do they watch your videos for?

Do they enjoy some topics more than others?

These are just a few of the many questions that can be answered by understanding YouTube analytics. 

But while extremely useful, the amount of data available to analyze can get overwhelming sometimes.

That is why this article is going to focus on breaking down this platform and all the different metrics we can make use of.

Understanding YouTube Analytics

YouTube Analytics offers five categories of metrics, which are: 

  1. Overview
  2. Reach
  3. Engagement
  4. Audience
  5. Revenue.

Here’s a detailed guide to the five categories of your YouTube Analytics dashboard.  

  1. Overview

This section gives you an overall idea of how your channel is performing.

You may find similar information concerning these metrics in other reports.

But Youtube offers this data (in graphs) in the overall section as they provide a quick insight into the progress of your channel.

Let us look at the meaning of each metric:

  • Views: Here, you will find data on the total number of views gotten on your channel for the selected period.


  • Watch time: The total number of hours which people have spent in watching your videos.


  • Subscribers: This shows the change in the number of people who have subscribed to your channel. You can also view the exact number of people who subscribed on each day.


  • Estimated Revenue: If you have chosen to monetize your channel, you will be able to see the amount of revenue earned here.


By looking at your overview dashboard, you can see the rise and dips in your channel views.

The default period for which data is shown on this platform is 28 days but you can always adjust the filter for shorter or longer periods.

You can also find out exactly how a video has impacted your number of views or subscribers by hovering over the video icons at the bottom of the graph.

This allows you to see which one of your videos is helping to increase views or gain more subscribers.

2. Reach 

The metrics under Reach include:

  • Impressions: This shows you how many times your video thumbnail has been seen by users. Your thumbnail is a still snapshot that shows a little of what your video is about and people see this as they scroll past on Youtube.


  • Impression click-through rate: (CTR) as it is more commonly called represents the number of times your videos were clicked on. This shows you how many people are clicking on your videos and this results in views for your videos.


  • Unique viewers: This is an estimate of the number of different people who watch your video content over some time. The difference between views and unique viewers is that views show how many times your video is being watched (for example,1 person could be watching your video 100 times which would give you a hundred views). But unique viewers shows the actual number of people who are watching your video.

This section also shows information about your traffic sources and viewership funnel.


Traffic sources: You could be getting traffic from YouTube searches, browse features, suggested videos, or even external platforms and this metric shows you what percentage of your traffic is coming from each source.

Viewership funnel: This is important as it highlights the journey of how your impressions turn into views and then measures the overall watch time gotten from those views.

It also shows the percentage of impressions gotten as a result of YouTube recommending your content.

For better chances of getting your videos recommended by YouTube, you should focus on increasing your impressions and click through rates.

3. Engagement 

Engagement focuses on how people are interacting with your videos. The metrics involved in this are:

  • Watch time (hours): This displays the total watch time for your videos and allows you to view the hours watched every day if you hover over the period.


  • Average view duration: Here you can view the estimated amount of time (in minutes) which people spend on watching your videos before moving on to another piece of content.

This section also lets you view data on other statistics such as Top performing videos, top playlists and top-end screen element types. 


Playlists: This report shows how many of your videos are being added to people’s playlists. This means any folder which someone creates for their favourite videos or for videos they would like to watch later.

Top-end screen element types: This shows end screen elements used and how many clicks they have been able to gather.

It also helps you to discover what exact elements are preferred by your audience.

End screen elements are boxes that appear at the end of a video and direct you to a different video, a channel, a playlist, or a link.

Also, if you choose to search for the engagement metrics for a single video, then you will find information such as Likes vs Dislikes and Audience retention.

Audience retention: This shows you how much of your videos your viewers are watching.

This can be a great insight for you as it allows you to pinpoint the exact time that people lose interest.

Having access to this information will help you know what topics and areas to avoid in your future videos. 

Likes vs Dislikes: This metric shows you which videos have more likes than dislikes and you can use this to have a better idea of the kind of content that your audience expects from you. 

You can also view the comments section of your videos to see what people have to say.

Many YouTube channels reply to comments as a way to encourage engagement, so I would advise that you also do this frequently.

Users want to know that there’s a person on the other end who is paying as much attention to them, as they are to you. 

4. Audience

This section shows the size of your audience and allows you to view information regarding the people interacting with your content.

The metrics included here are Unique viewers, Average views per viewer, and Subscribers.

These are pretty self-explanatory and have been talked about already so I am going to focus on the other analytics included in this section such as:

  • Watch time from subscribers: This can be very useful in determining whether the people who watch your videos have subscribed to your channel or not.


  • Gender: This metric displays the age group and gender of your viewers. It can show what percentage of your audience is male or female.


  • Top countries: Displays the countries and locations in which your videos are being watched.


  • Subscriber bell notifications: Here you can see the percentage of subscribers who have enabled bell notifications to be alerted when you post a video on your channel.

5. Revenue

Understanding YouTube Analytics


If you would like to join the YouTube Partner program, this section provides data on the revenue of your YouTube channel such as:

  • Monthly estimated revenue: which shows the amount of money earned over any period selected. 


  • Top earning videos: The ranking of videos in order of which ones made the most money for your channel.


  • Top advertisement types: such as bumper advertisements, Pre-roll ads, and TrueView advertisements.

You should note that revenue reports are only available for YouTube partners as they are the ones who can monetize their channels.

To qualify for monetization, you have to gain 1000 subscribers and reach 4000 hours of watch time on your videos.

See More/Advanced Mode

You may have come across the See more/Advanced mode when scrolling past each segment.

This feature is present for each section and it allows you to categorize your data using filters such as device type, geography, traffic source, and many more.

It can be used to get a more detailed analysis of the information available.

As a beginner, it is not necessary to make use of this feature as the basic metrics are sufficient enough.


You are also able to search for specific videos and get metrics for them using this feature.

And if you wish, you can export your data using this tool.

All you need to do is select the metrics you want and the date range of the data.

While you can view up to 50 rows of data on the Analytics platform, this feature allows you to download a report of up to 500 rows of data.


Successful YouTube channels and YouTube marketing strategies are built on data.

With the data you collect over time, your users’ needs and preferences become more evident.

You can run tests (such as A/B tests) on the content format, visual elements, voice options, topics, segments, and so much more, and measure their performances from the Analytics dashboard. 

For beginners, Analytics data may seem overwhelming at the start. So start out paying attention to the basics.

In the beginning, you only need to concern yourself with reach, engagement, and audience.

As your channel grows, you can continue to learn about the more complex aspects of your YouTube dashboard. 

Overall, consider YouTube Analytics as a guide when making decisions towards your video marketing efforts on YouTube. 

PS…We hope this post has helped in understanding YouTube analytics. Please share this post and leave any comments or questions below.



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