YouTube Analytics: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

How to use Youtube analytics

The way video content is consumed is changing fast.  And when you talk about videos, you have to mention YouTube.

YouTube is great, but also weird. It can be extremely useful or completely pointless. The type of content on YouTube ranges from life-hacks and tutorials to “Lord Voldemort laughing like a retard for ten hours”.

Why am I mentioning all this? Because it shows how diverse and vast YouTube’s audience is. In case you are still wondering why it is important to include YouTube in your marketing plan, here are a few stats for you:

  • YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google.
  • YouTube has nearly 2 billion monthly logged in users. 
  • It is available in 88 countries and can be accessed in 76 different languages.
  • People pay more attention to YouTube ads than Facebook ads.

If you are a marketer deciding whether to use YouTube or not, these numbers should give you enough proof of its reach.

Reach is important for any marketing strategy, but a platform as big as YouTube also presents huge competition. Which is why understanding how YouTube analytics work is very important.

How to use YouTube Analytics?

Understanding YouTube Analytics and Metrics is not that difficult, but finding them could be. In order to dig into the basic data around your YouTube channel, you can use the native YouTube Analytics tool. But before that, you need to create a channel for your business on the platform.

How to set up a Brand Account?

It is advisable to have a brand account if you want to create a channel for your business.

Why? Because a brand account allows you to assign multiple managers and owners to the channel. This makes the handling of a business account very easy.

Here are the steps you need to follow to create a brand account:

  1. Log in to YouTube from the account you want to use to manage your brand account.
  2. Check the menu on the top right corner of the window. You will find a Settings option.
  3. Clicking on the settings option will direct you to a new window. Then click on Accounts if it isn’t selected by default. Then click on Create a new channel.
  4. This will take you to a new window that will give you an option to create a brand account.

Youtube for business

Note: To create a new brand account or move your existing channel to a brand account, make sure that you are using the latest version of YouTube.

Once you create a new channel or move your existing channel to a brand account. Your existing videos, subscribers, views, interactions and your channel-layout will be transferred automatically.

However, some content may be lost in transition as it cannot be moved. This includes the channel’s Custom URL, comments made by the channel, messages(sent and received) and verification badges. If you channel contains any of this content, you will receive a notification regarding this at the time you switch.

What happens to the channel’s URL?

Once you move your personal channel to a brand account, the URL of your channel changes. For example, your personal channel’s URL is Youtube(dot)com/unboxsocial.

Everything you need to know about YouTube Analytics

YouTube has registered an audience of 1.5 billion users. This indicates that the platform opens a door to an ocean of potential customers. And your content could be the key to unlocking this door.

But, how do you measure the success or failure of your content? By understanding and tracking your YouTube metrics. Learning how to analyse YouTube analytics can be crucial if you want to make the most of your channel.

We have explained all the YouTube metrics that matter so that by the time you are done reading this guide, you know how to improve your video performance.

YouTube Analytics is divided into three main sections, Watch time reports, Interaction reports and Revenue reports.

A. Watch Time Reports

The watch time reports is a compilation of some of the common metrics such as views, watch time and retention. It tracks traffic from your YouTube channel and the individual videos on your channel.

The overview feature for each metric contains a drop-down menu on the right side. Clicking on this drop-down menu will allow you to filter the time duration for the metric being analysed.

Watch time reports

Watch Time

Views are very important when deciding the success of a YouTube video. But they alone should not be considered as a measure to success. Why? because a video earns a view as soon as it reaches 30 seconds. This does not give you enough information that you can use to make changes to your videos. Especially if they are long in duration.

If you measure the success of your video only on the basis of views, you won’t understand what changes does the video require.

Watch time is the total time users have spent watching videos on your channel. This, however, represents the total minutes people have spent watching your videos and is not a per video breakdown.

Average view duration

This metric combines watch time and views for you. Unlike watch time, this can be measured on a per video basis. It indicates the average amount of time someone spent watching your video.

A higher average view duration is indicative of good performance and will improve your channel’s rank.

Audience Retention

Audience retention measures how engaged your audience is with your content. This metric presents data such as average view duration and average percentage viewed.


It is extremely important to understand your audience while creating your video strategy. The demographics metric allows you to analyze the age, gender and geographical location of your viewers.

Why is this important? It can help you make changes to your content based on the type of your audience. It can also help you to target a different audience.

Playback Locations

Playback Locations can help you to analyze where your content is being viewed. Whether people are finding it on their feed or searching for it. It also tells you whether they are viewing the content directly on YouTube or via different websites.

how to track youtube analytics

The views you receive are divided between YouTube channel page, YouTube watch page, embedded videos and mobile devices.

Traffic Sources

Traffic Sources will tell you how are people finding your videos. This can help you to take into consideration which keywords or specific terms are working and which aren’t. This can make the SEO part of your process easier.

How to measure youtube analytics


This metric tells you which device are your viewers using to consume content. Are they watching videos on a desktop, mobile phone, smart TVs or a gaming console.

Live Streaming

Live streaming metrics are visible only for 48 to 72 hours after your live streaming ends. It shows peak concurrent views and all your chat messages. This allows you to track at which point was the audience most engaged during the live stream. There are no interaction or revenue reports available for live streams.

Note: Despite the limited data available under YouTube Analytics, YouTube provides other metrics that are visible only during the live stream. These metrics will be visible only when you are live on the platform.


YouTube has a huge presence around the globe. Which is why a lot of creators use YouTube tools to translate their content. If you do that, you can use the translations report to analyse the performance of localized content.

It tells you how your reach and discoverability has been impacted after making your content available to other language audiences. It also indicates whether the audience is watching the original video or the translated version of it.

B. Interactions Report

According to a report, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch a video, as compared to only 10% when reading in text. This shows how important it is to create content that is not only fun but also engaging.

The interaction reports include metrics that will tell you how engaging your content is. Metrics like subscribers, likes and dislikes, comments and sharing, all directly tell you whether users like your content or not.

track engagement on Youtube


Tracking your subscribers report can be very important in terms of checking your progress, but not so much in terms of altering content. You can see where you are getting your subscribers from and how many subscribers did you gain or lose in a given time period.

As the number of your subscribers increase, your brand will grow and there is a greater chance of exposure. You can also watch this stat on a per video basis and see which video gained more subscribers.

Note: The subscribers data on YouTube Analytics might be different than the subscribers number on your channel. YouTube Analytics are delayed by 48 hours and hence don’t show real time numbers.

Likes and dislikes

Your viewers can express their feelings regarding the video with one click. Understanding your audience and what they like is the first step in creating engaging content. Tracking this metric allows you to see which video has gained more likes and based on that alter your content strategy.

Dislikes are a bad indicator for any channel but it does not actually reflect the quality of your video. For example, some videos such as opinionated ones are bound to dissatisfy some people. This does not reflect the quality of the video. To understand what your audience really thinks, you should measure comments with likes and dislikes.


Although likes and dislikes are a quicker method to measure your audience’s reaction, comments give you a better understanding. Below the graph in this report, you can select the video you want to see the data for. The data shown includes the number of comments the video received but the comments themselves are not visible.

Which is why you should monitor the comments section under your videos regularly. This is also a good opportunity to interact with your audience. Replying to an audience will boost your engagement metrics.

Tip: You should not ignore negative comments as customer service is very important. There might be only one dissatisfied customer but all of your subscribers act as spectators.


There is a reason why all YouTubers ask their audience to like, share and subscribe at the end of the video. This is because sharing is one of the most important metrics that measure engagement.

What is it important to measure shares? Because someone liked your video enough to go and share it with someone. This is also important for SEO purposes. A higher number of shares indicates a higher number of backlinks. This improves the chances of your channel getting a higher rank.

Clicking on the Sharing Service filter below the graph will allow you to measure your social shares. You can see when viewers are sharing your video and via which app or social media platform do they share it the most.

Track audience on Youtube

Note: YouTube measures only those shares that are generated via the share button available next to the video. The actual number of shares you receive could be greater than that.

Videos in Playlist

This report indicates the number of times any of your videos has been added to someone’s playlist. This could be default playlists such as Favorites or Watch later, or a new playlist which the user might have created on his own.

The visual representation of this metric is quite similar to the Subscribers report. There are three data sets to choose from:

  • Videos in playlist: Indicates the total number of times your videos are included in the user’s playlist.
  • Videos added to playlist: Indicates the total number of times videos were added to a playlist in a given time period. Even if they were removed shortly.
  • Videos removed from playlists: Indicates the number of times your videos were removed from viewer’s playlist.
  • This report was formerly known as the Favorites report. Earlier it used to focus only on Favorites but now considers all the playlists a viewer might use.


Cards were launched by YouTube in order to replace them with Annotations. They are meant to increase interactivity and boost engagement. Cards are used as CTAs and usually appear at the end of the videos, to inform users about relative videos or other merch or products. They come with clickable links.

Under the cards report, you can measure the performance of these cards. The metrics available are:

  • Card teasers shown: Number of times card teasers were visible. They can have multiple impressions per view.
  • Card teaser clicks: Number of clicks on a card teaser.
  • Card clicks: Number of clicks on an individual card.
  • Clicks per card shown: It is the CTR of each card.

C. Revenue Reports

The revenue reports are available only for YouTube partners. In order to be a partner, a channel must satisfy certain criteria.

  • The channel must reach 4,000 hours in watch time.
  • The channel must have 1,000 subscribers.

As soon as the channel meets these requirements, it will be reviewed by YouTube for the partnership program.

Once they become partners, they are eligible to earn money from the ads served on their videos. They also need to associate an AdSense account in order to earn money.

The two metrics available under this report are:

  • Revenue
  • Ad Rates


You can use this metric to keep a track of your earnings on YouTube. The two stats to track are:

  • Estimated revenue
  • Estimated ad revenue

You can only view your estimated earnings on YouTube analytics and not your finalized earnings. The finalized earnings are visible in your Adsense account report.

Below the revenue graph, you will find filters based on which you can view data based on region, time or on a per video basis. You can use this data to see your earning pattern and make changes to your strategy based on that. For Example, if you notice that you are earning more on a certain day during the week. You should try to post more during that period.

Ad Rates

Similar to revenue, this metric is also only available for YouTube Partners. This metric provides data on YouTube Ad Revenue, estimated monetised playbacks, CPMs and ad impressions.

You can use the ad rates report to compare how different ads are performing over a period of time. Ad rates and revenue report don’t show the same numbers. Ad rates display the amount advertisers pay to run the ads. Whereas revenue reports show the amount you will be paid.

Try YouTube Analytics by Unbox Social 

If you want to dig deeper and analyze your YouTube channel metrics, go for the YouTube Analytics by Unbox Social. This tool allows you to jump into elaborate, in-depth insights about your YouTube channel. You can also pull out detailed reports about your YouTube channel with the help of this YouTube analytics tool.

To give you a quick tour of the tool, here are the main metrics that it covers:

Retention Rate 

What percentage of viewers stayed till the end of the video? What percentage of viewers only saw half of the video?

This YouTube analytics tool helps you capture how your video fared by tracking what percentage of the total viewers saw what percentage of the entire video. In doing so, you can assess the quality of your video content and accordingly alter your video content to meet up the expectations of your target audience.

YouTube Analytics Tool

Total Video Shares and Views 

Find out what number of people viewed your content, on a day-by-day basis. At the same time, get a day-wise analysis of the total number of shares on your YouTube channel. These metrics help you get a sense of how your channel is faring. In the process, you can stay on top of any fluctuations in the numbers and accordingly make changes to your YouTube strategy.

Optimal Video Length 

This YouTube analytics tool analyzes and assesses all your content and audience activity with your YouTube channel. It then provides you with the optimal length of the videos that will work for your YouTube channel. With the help of this metric, you can generate more YouTube views for your channel.

YouTube Analytics Video Length

Based on an analysis and assessment of all your content and audience activity on your YouTube channel, Unbox Social provides you with an optimal video length.


With this YouTube analytics tool, you can look into the number of subscribers gained and lost, as well as the net subscribers for your YouTube channel.YouTube Channel Analytics

Keeping an eye on your subscriber growth helps you monitor any fluctuations in these numbers and put a relevant strategy in place. 

 Top Videos 

Based on the assessment of your video views and an in-depth analysis of all the data around your YouTube channel, this YouTube analytics tool provides you with a list of your top-performing videos. Taking cues from this data, you can boost these videos across other social media channels. Further, these insights can also feed into your content creation strategy.

Find out which of your videos are performing well and use this intelligence to create more such content on the platform.

Audience Insights 

The audience insights help you uncover important intelligence about the audiences interacting with your YouTube channel. Here, you get access to the age, gender and geographical insights about your audience.

This can help you to create country specific videos in future for that particular audience. Or add subtitles so that your message is conveyed properly in case there are language barriers.

YouTube Audience Insights

Derive vital insights about your target audience and use this intelligence to create content that your audience will enjoy watching.

Let’s assume that you are a fashion blogger who creates videos for teenagers and provides fashion tips that are suitable for them. According to the demographics, you realize that a huge section of your audience is also from the middle age section. Ranging from 30-40-year-olds. Now that you know about this, you can create content that would be useful for them also.

Post-Wise Analytics 

Look at the analytics for every video you put out on your YouTube channel. This covers the total number of likes & dislikes, video views, average view percentage and comments received on your videos.

With the help of YouTube Analytics by Unbox Social, you can uncover valuable insights about your YouTube channel and videos. With the help of elaborate data and comprehensive graphs and charts, you can map out the strategy for your YouTube channel more effectively.

Wondering how your YouTube channel is performing?
Dig deeper into your channel’s performance on YouTube with in-depth insights and intelligence by Unbox Social.


How to improve your YouTube strategy?

Now that you know which metrics matter and how to analyze YouTube analytics. It is time to put that knowledge into use. Using the analytics you can make changes to your channel that will help you to attract more users and indefinitely, rank higher.

Monitor your reports

You can use the Reporting feature offered by Unbox Social, to put all your data into context through comprehensive, multi-format reports. With the help of the intelligent snippets that this tool comes with, you can get a sense of how your YouTube marketing strategy is faring.

Utilise/Include keywords

Keywords are an essential part of SEO and help you rank higher. This holds true for YouTube too. Before you publish your videos, it will be advisable to do a keyword research to see which words are most suitable for your video. Based on the keywords you find, you can use them in your video title and description.

Keyword research can also help you strengthen your future strategy. You can see which words are most searched or most relevant and create videos around those keywords.

Marketing on any platform or through any channel can be very difficult. But analytics can ease this process for you. It tells you how close or far you are from reaching your target. And with a platform like YouTube, that is so dynamic and competitive, it is extremely important for you to track your success.

Let us know which of the above metrics will you use the most. Also, here are a few more blogs to help you with social media analytics.

Sign up for Information you need

Sign up for Content to boost your business' Social Media presence. We don't spam.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top