A Beginner’s Guide To Understanding YouTube Analytics

Being a YouTube channel owner is more than just a hobby. Everyone is trying their best to succeed. It’s not about making videos, uploading, and then just sitting there and waiting for the magic to happen. Your analysis of how your individual video and your Channel is performing are certain metrics that you need to be fully aware of. You must know that how much views, watch time, likes/dislikes, comments, and shares you have achieved, and based on all this data evaluate your Channel’s overall performance.

YouTube analytics helps you evaluate Channel’s performance through checking your watch time, audience’s metrics i.e audience retention, traffic sources, geography, gender, age, devices, and a lot more. In order to grow on YouTube, you fully need to understand YouTube analytics.

Here we are going to discuss what are the features in the YouTube Studio that will help you be a pro in this extremely competitive industry of YouTube. We are to help you to understand analytics for YouTube and also how to analyze the data to increase your average view duration, increase your audience by understanding traffics sources, and a lot more.

This information will always help you with your current video strategy to see what is working in your favor and what is actually going against you. It is only possible when you understand such YouTube Analytics and match them with your videos. To learn more about being a successful YouTube, read Starting a YouTube channel from scratch.

Good Average View Duration

Before we get into the fully loaded YouTube Studio interface, it is important to clear a couple of small concepts. The stuff that should matter to you like average view duration and average percentage viewed.

What is a good average view duration anyways? As a YouTuber, you are really concerned about your watch time. As a new YouTuber, you have a milestone of 4,000 watch hours and 1,000 subscribers to achieve in order to activate your monetization with the YouTube partner program. If you have already achieved this milestone first of all congratulations, but you still need to check your average view duration in order to see how any why your videos are able to generate results, what is YouTube analytics telling you when some of your videos are making more revenue and some are making less. Your time report will help you analyze the audience’s behavior while watching your video. Making longer videos that bring more watch time as compared to short videos is difficult, read here some ways to make videos longer so that you are able to obtain a good average view duration.

Average Percentage Viewed

The average percentage view means for how much time a viewer watched your video. Suppose your video is 6 minutes long, how will you know that did people really watch the complete video? If people watched less than 3 minutes( 50 %) of your video that is an indication that you need to go back to the drawing board. If it’s plus 3 minutes ( 50% plus) you are in a safe but not in an ideal zone. A good average percentage on your YouTube videos is in the 70-80% range that means you are able to retain the large chunk of your audience and things are going quite well. It can also go up to 100%, which indicates that your content is excellent and able to retain as many people as you want. Such a situation will make your videos go viral and your YouTube channel an ultimate success.

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YouTube Studio Analytics

  • Login to your YouTube channel
  • Click your channel icon on the top right and click YouTube or go directly to that will let you in YouTube Studio
  • On the left sidebar choose the second option Analytics

Don’t be afraid, all these metrics are there to help you. You will be able to see YouTube metrics like how many people are watching your video and how they are adding or holding you back to achieve your success. Let’s go to our journey of YouTube Studio dashboard.


In the YouTube Studio analytics section, you have analytics on YouTube channel overall, by default the time duration is set to last 28 days. It means that the data you get to see first when you load this page represents only the activity of the last 28 days. You can change the duration to evaluate your YouTube channel performance in a certain period of your choice. But to get to the next level you must understand certain YouTube analytics metrics.


Audience Retention

The audience retention is there to show you that for how much time your YouTube videos are able to hold the attention of your viewer. As discussed above, a good average view duration on YouTube is above 60-70%. The audience retention analytic lets you measure your performance. You can check these metrics for an individual video and also for all of your videos combined.

Traffic Source

The traffic source provides you information on how your audience has reached your video. First of all, you need to check how many viewers came to your video from YouTube search & your unique viewers which came there through YouTube suggestions, playlists, or any other source on YouTube that brought Traffic to your videos.

Usually, there are various external platforms that are bringing the audience to your videos. This data is very important for you in order to understand where and how much effort you need to put into each of these platforms. These platforms include social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. That’s why many YouTubers ask you to share their video with your friends cause they know this is a big traffic source and plays a big role in bringing the traffic to their videos. This section also indicates that how many views came there through messaging apps like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Text Messages, and many more like these.

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As obvious by its name, the geography section refers to the location of your viewers when they watched your videos. There is a huge difference if we measure the quality of your audience based on their location. Your ad revenue after being monetized on YouTube will be based on what people are watching your videos and what location they are in.

From an advertiser’s point of view, the Google ads’ cost per view varies according to the location where people are watching your videos. The content creator(you in this case) gets a percentage in the YouTube Partner program based on your audience’s geographic location largely. For example: if people are watching your video in the USA, UK, or Europe, the ads played on your video have targeted these locations and therefore they’re paying Google a higher cost per view. Therefore these ads are going to give you better AdSense revenue. However, if these videos are played in some locations where Cost per view is not that high, your revenue will most probably be lesser than the first case.

If your video is based on certain location audiences such as content in your non-English native mother language, your audience would be from your home town, if these videos are based on International topics you will be able to gather a lot of audiences from different countries. You need to check the geography of your videos in order to make sure that are you getting the right audience that you had in mind while making these videos.


Viewer Gender

Genders play a role when you are planing your YouTube channel genre. If you have made a men’s lifestyle YouTube channel, your audience mostly is always going to be men. Similarly, if you are making videos on YouTube about women makeup, your viewers are mostly going to be women. You need to check viewer gender in YouTube analytics in order to make sure you are reaching the right audience.

Viewer Age

Your audience’s age is one of the key factors while you are checking YouTube analytics. You must understand there is always a big difference in people’s choices according to their respective ages. If your retention time is mostly coming from the 18-24 age group, and other age groups are not leading the watch-time chart, you need to realize that most of your content is being popular in younger people or teenagers. Similarly, any other groups might take the lead on a certain topic & give you a better watch time while the youngsters would not be interested in that topic. Overall, this helps you in your YouTube video strategy.

Subscription Status

Subscription status simply tells you how many of your views in total are coming from your YouTube subscribers and how many are coming from non-subscribers. It gives you a brief picture that how many of your viewers are actually converting in your YouTube subscribers and the loyalty of existing subscribers can also be measured by this metric. It is crucial to remember that you should not upload your videos in a time of day when your subscribers are not active or are asleep, try to upload your content on the best time to upload YouTube videos according to your subscribers.


Playlist always helps you hold your audience and convince them to spend a long time watching your videos. It is always recommended by YouTube to put your similar videos in a playlist if your audience is looking for a certain type of video after they watch one of your videos and like it. If they like your video they might want to watch another and then another one and in most favorable circumstances watch all of your videos and give you a lot of watch time.

You can check how much you are able to hold your audience by checking playlists in YouTube analytics. Compare the average view time of each playlist to have a detailed view of what’s working for your channel and what’s not.

Device type

The device type tells you what devices people are watching your videos on. This also is a big indicator of your channel’s overall success. It is divided between desktop, cell phone, tablet, or TV.  You need to check the device type on your videos to make yourself visually clear that on what devices people are watching your videos. This plays a vital role when you are making your videos. If you make Abode Photoshop tutorials, you are most likely to get the most view from people while they are using their desktop computers. If your video does not demand computers or is an entertainment prank video, you are most likely to have your traffic sources coming from mobile phones, that is why it is advised to keep an eye on your device types. This will always help you choose the long-term strategy of your channel if you need to make this content for mobile users or desktop users.

Playback Location

Your Playback location is one of the clear indicators of your traffic source on YouTube, such as YouTube watch page, browse features, and embedded in external websites and apps. You can track your playback location in the YouTube Studio. Here is a little data to give you a better perspective.

The playback analytics help you understand the number of times a browser, user, or device played your Video. How many subscribers your videos have been able to earn and your total watch time: The total time the event was played across all views.  If you do live stream, it will also give you time report of the peak time your viewers joined you in order for you to understand the overall performance.


BROWSE — Describes traffic sources with browse features such as recommendations or suggestions on YouTube.

CHANNEL — When people come to your channel page, what activity they perform. Check this in detail to know how you should manage and grow your channel.

EMBEDDED — If your videos are featured on other websites, the views come as embedded in your YouTube videos.

EXTERNAL_APP — Describes the views that came from any mobile application other than YouTube.

SEARCH — How many of your views came from YouTube search results.

YT_OTHER — Gives you data about an unidentified audience that watches your videos.


It can not be emphasized how much a YouTuber should be focused and sharp about their YouTube analytics. It helps identify a better understanding of the types of people who are engaged with your videos, check out the demographics page of your YouTube, the aim of a successful YouTuber is to get viewers to spend more time on channel videos, the total amount of minutes viewers have spent on your videos. All this and a lot more can only be identified and planned by understanding your analytics with a detailed perspective and analysis.

Whenever you upload a video on YouTube, you must check your data on regular intervals whether you are a new YouTuber or already successful on this platform. You should be checking your analytics as growth is always essential for every YouTuber.