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Focus on Time Watched in YouTube Optimization

Posted on 10.29.2012

The Web’s interest in leveraging video is accelerating. To maintain its usefulness to marketers however, there will need to be even greater access to "interaction data". The reason? Success on YouTube is no longer solely about the number of views. When it comes to ranking videos today, YouTube  takes information including "time watched" and "annotation clicks" into account as well. 

Fortunately, earlier this month, YouTube announced several improvements to its YouTube Analytics offering which includes details on meaningful interaction events. While for many it may have slipped under the radar, but if video is within your digital marketing mix, this is one development to monitor closely.

While the number of views (and sometimes clicks) were once deemed the most important variables in getting higher placement, YouTube now pays more attention to the amount of time users spend watching YouTube when suggesting videos to watch. As such, its analytics offering has enhanced the “Views” report to show more time watched data. Video producers are now able to see “Estimated minutes watched” and choose other data options from the “Compare metric” drop-down menu.

Data on its annotations feature are another area of enhanced by YouTube in its recent refresh of its Analytics product. Youtube’s new Annotations report shows data on the performance of the annotations with insights on viewer click and close rates.

Several other changes have been released this month as  well which are also worthy of note (most deal with the analytics account interface), including a new date slider, rolling totals (which averages out cyclical data to see overall growth; meaning you’ll see less spikes and troughs), a metadata section which shows lifetime views and video duration at a glance, and a video hovercard which shows a thumbnail of the video and.

“Understanding what your audience likes is key to building a successful YouTube channel, so we've created more tools to help you interpret the performance of your video “ said YouTube Product Manager Ted Hamilton in the post at the YouTube Creator Blog.

Time Watched Reports in YouTube: 


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