YouTube has been adding valuable new audience metrics to its analytics dashboard, and we wanted to make a guide to help you use and better these metrics. The new metrics include a comparison between your channel’s new & returning viewers, a chart detailing the times and days when your viewers are active on YouTube, and which other channels and videos your audience watches beside yours. Each of these metrics are extremely useful and can help you unlock additional growth for your channel.
Possibly the most powerful and insightful out of these new metrics is the “New & returning viewers” analytics. This data displays as a chart in your analytics dashboard when you click into the “Audience” tab.
What you’ll see here is a double line graph that illustrates how many viewers on your channel each day were repeat viewers of your content, as well as how many brand new visitors you reached that previously were not watching your channel on a regular basis.
Returning views (indicated by the purple line) are defined as viewers who already watched your channel previously, and returned to watch in the time period you’ve selected within analytics. In comparison, new viewers (indicated by the blue line) are defined as those who discovered your channel for the first time in the selected period. When analyzing this chart you can easily determine if your audience for a selected time period is comprised of mostly returning viewers or new viewers, or an equal mix of both. If you have an audience of mostly returning viewers and are seeking to expand your audience, you can try experimenting with new content topics or formats. If you have an audience of mostly new viewers that don’t seem to come back for repeated views, you can try creating a thematic series of videos that are connected by a topic or format that keeps your viewers coming back for more.
This new data, specifically your returning viewers data, will give you incredibly valuable insight into how you are growing your audience – possibly even more valuable than your subscriber data. This is because some viewers may stop watching your content while staying subscribed to your channel, so this new returning viewers data will show you more accurate insight into the growth of your engaged audience. These metrics allow you to see how effectively you are retaining your core audience, but it also shows how many new viewers you are reaching, and how both of those numbers trend over time. Another valuable detail that YouTube includes is the number/play button icons under these charts. This allows you to easily hover over them to determine which videos may have caused spikes in those charts, which in turn helps you understand what content may catalyze more growth on your channel.
Another useful audience metric that YouTube analytics provides is “When your viewers are on YouTube.” This graphic in the analytics dashboard shows exactly which day of the week (and times of day) your viewers are most frequently on YouTube. When analyzing this graphic, you want to look for the dark purple color which signifies a time and day when a large portion of your viewers are on YouTube. These are typically the best times for you to publish videos, launch live streams, post in Community, or schedule a Premiere. This data can be found in the same “Audience” tab within YouTube analytics, directly under the returning viewers graph.
The last new metric we want to highlight is “Other channels and videos that your audience watches.” Like the other data discussed here, these metrics can be found within the Audience tab, under the returning viewers graph and to the right of the when your viewers are on YouTube graphic.
This data is straightforward, and will display the other channels that your audience also watches, as well as videos from other channels that your audience recently watched. You can use this to help evaluate potential collaborations with other creators, to get ideas on what type of content to create going forward, and just to generally understand what topics and content resonate most with your viewers.
IMPORTANT: Official Artist Channels (OACs) do not yet have access to “New & returning viewers” data, as well as “Other channels your audience watches” data. We’ll provide an update as soon as those features become available for OACs!
As always, please reach out to us with any questions about how to best implement this new data into your video strategy!