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Key metrics for analysing video success on YouTube

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Written by: Amy Shaw

YouTube has become an integral aspect of artists’ campaigns over the years, playing host to music videos, interviews and live set videos. With YouTube playing such a vital role in campaigns, it is important to look back and see just how well each of your videos has performed according to analytics. Looking back and measuring past success is vital for consistently improving your content, and thanks to key metrics, there are many aspects that can illustrate how successful or unsuccessful a video has been.


With YouTube videos, audience retention is much more important than the number of views in achieving good search and recommendation placement. YouTube measures the success of a video on the duration of views rather than the number of views. In short, if people lose interest in your video after 30 seconds, your video won’t be recommended as often as it should be. In looking at view duration, YouTube measures the quality of a given video and uses this data as a mark of public opinion. Most videos will gradually lose viewers through their duration, but it is important to limit this as much as possible. By producing quality videos that keep your viewers entertained for longer, you will experience increased views in the long run, as YouTube will be more inclined to encourage users to check out your content in recommendations and searches.

Overall views

Although view duration is more important to YouTube than views, views still provide a good measure of success to account holders. Comparing views per video is the simplest way to ascertain which videos proved more popular than others, and can give you an insight into which content you should replicate in the future. However, looking at viewing numbers doesn’t tell you why your videos succeeded or failed. By looking at views alone, you will have to decide for yourself why one video performed better than another. Without really knowing why a video performed a certain way, it is much more difficult to improve your content in the future.


Looking at the source of your video traffic can also provide a great deal of insight. Establishing where the majority of your viewers originated can tell you whether your social posts sharing the video were effective or not. If most of your viewers have come from your social media pages, you know that your posts have performed effectively in drawing views. If you aren’t receiving enough views from suggestions, you may need to check that you are tagging and describing your video effectively. Adding correct tags to your video can go a long way in encouraging views, so it is important to tag your video correctly.

Subscribers gained

When looking at the analytics for a particular video, it is also possible to see how many subscribers you gained. This provides much more detail than looking at your general subscriber increase and decline, as it illustrates just how effective that particular video was in encouraging an increase. Through monitoring subscribers, you can track the number of users that were actually willing to commit to your content, and wish to see more of it in future. A subscription from a viewer illustrates a lot more commitment than a simple view. Subscribers are much more valuable in the long run as they will continue to watch your content in future.

Likes and dislikes

Likes and dislikes on a particular video are also a good illustrator of public opinion. With the sheer volume of viewers out there, it is likely that all of your videos will gain a number of dislikes. Don’t be deterred, this is normal when you have a large number of views. The most important way to measure quality by looking at likes and dislikes is to compare the two. For example, having 10 dislikes is not a big deal if you have 500 likes, but having 10 dislikes and only 10 likes indicates a bigger issue. If your likes vastly outweigh the dislikes, you can be fairly certain that your content is being met with a positive reception.


If you have enough time to delve even deeper into your metrics, reading through comments on your videos can provide helpful insight into public opinion. Even simply checking out the top 10 comments can provide information on whether people liked your video or not. Even negative comments can be helpful in improving your content in future. Always see feedback as a positive thing, negative feedback often provides more valuable information than positive feedback. Hearing about an aspect of your video that people disliked can be extremely helpful in developing your future content.


Looking at how many shares your video achieved is also a good reflector of how well that particular video was received. A share is the most positive thing a viewer can choose to do upon watching your video, it illustrates full commitment to your content. Every share your video receives will encourage even more views, meaning that shares are extremely valuable, much more valuable than a simple view.

By looking at each of these individual aspects it is possible to clearly ascertain which of your videos performed well and which didn’t. By comparing performance across your videos, you can further improve your future content. Learning from past successes and failures is extremely important in every aspect of your social media, as it is the most effective way to improve in future. Taking the time to analyze your analytics is extremely worthwhile, never underestimate the power of improvement through trial and error.



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