If you’re just getting started with your own youtube channel, but are serious in your mission to make money with it, then analyzing and viewing accurate stats from your own account is mandatory to see if your videos are indeed good enough and matching the right audience.
The bad thing is that YouTube Insights only shows stats for the last month, and does not allow you to download your statistics for the entire channel history. Also, the data shown will always have a delay of at least 3 days, so you won’t get the latest visitor tracking info. Below we dissect and explain each section of youtube analytics.
In a few words, YouTube Insights allows you to know whether you’re doing a good work with your videos or need to improve the quality a lot in order to view improvements in subscriptions and sharing.
Mind you, once you’re in a partnership, the channel earning stats will not longer appear in your YT like it used to when you had Adsense associated to it. Each partner has their own control panel where they show the earning reports (see the complete list of youtube partners here).
Despite having a general engagement report on the analytics homepage, you will have a chance to get a detailed look at the left sidebar section. Click on “Views” and you will see a chart displaying views for the last month, whether in a weekly, monthly or daily view. From this page you can also verify the list of countries where the views are coming from and the total watched minutes for the last month.
Youtube, unlike any other tool that monitors your website’s activity, can give you a failry accurate demographics report, since they do count signed in users to do this. The main chart gets a chart for the male/female distribution and below you have a report giving the age distribution divided by countries.
The playback location is a fairly good indicator of why your views and earnings do not correlate, since many devices like the youtube app for iOS devices (or consoles like the Wii U) does not display ads. It is divided into
- Mobile devices
- YouTube watch page
- YouTube channel page
- Embedded player on other websites: This feature now has its own section, and details most of the websites embedding your videos, quite good if you have a single page compilation instead of looking at individual videos stats.
Another section you simply cannot miss if you want to monitor where your visitors are coming from, most of the sources below have their own page displaying more focused statistics (even though they only list up to 25 results, maybe a premium version with unlimited results would be widely accepted amongst pro youtubers).
- Mobile apps and direct traffic (unknown sources): Views of unknown referrer on mobile apps and direct traffic on the YouTube watch and channel pages. Possible origins of direct traffic include email and instant messaging clients or copying and pasting a URL into the browser.
- YouTube suggested video: Views from thumbnails appearing on the side of the page of other videos or on the end screen of a video.
- YouTube search: Think of organic search keywords but for YouTube’s search engine only.
- Embedded player (unknown sources): Referring pages for videos embedded on other websites are unknown. See which sites are embedding your videos in the playback locations report for an individual video.
- Homepage feeds and subscriptions: Views from the various feeds on the YouTube homepage and subscription features
- Google search: Yes, your videos do receive visitors through regular Google searches. They offer you a brief list of keywords.
- YouTube – other features
- External website
- YouTube – other features: Includes YouTube video annotation and Spotlight (featured videos in the user’s youtube homepage)
- YouTube channel page
- YouTube advertising
Estimated average minutes watched per view for the selected content, date range and region. You will notice that the most important data given is the average view duration percentage shown right next to the raw time number, the closer to 100%, the better.
Subscribers: One of the most used reports; shows subscribers lost, gained and the net change, it also displays a list of the videos that get you the most subscribers.
Likes and dislikes: Better used when you include both likes and dislikes in the same chart.
Favorites: This graph should always show mostly added favorite videos, if the amount of removed favorites is high, then there’s something seriously wrong with your videos.
Comments: These reports shows comment stats and the top 10 list of videos receiving most comments.
Sharing: Facebook and Twitter shares done from YouTube’s own sharing buttons get included on this report.
Annotations: This feature allows you to link from within your own videos to other videos or websites, or simply giving information snippets that can be quickly added. Both Click through rate stats (The percentage of clickable annotations that received clicks.) and Close Rate stats (The percentage of annotation impressions that were closed by the viewer.) are given
List of 3rd Party Tools to Track Your Youtube Channel Activity
The quickest ways to check your channel subscribers and views growth, including average and estimated earnings (the latter not accurate though) are using Socialblade and Vidstatsx YouTube tools. These tools also have their own ranking system, which is indeed quite good.
Socialbakers, Statsheep and Channelmeter work the same way, but always need to have the channel “searched” a first time in order to get it added to the database, so you won’t find stats from previous months.
None of the mentioned trackers have access to demographics information, or video engagement, they are mainly used to check if your account is growing or not, and of course, the only way of looking at other channels besides yours. Finally, remember that the views counter in your channel homepage gets frozen quite often, when such thing happens, the 3rd party tracked will show 0 views for that day.