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Can YouTubers See Who Viewed Their Videos?

This is undoubtedly one of the most common questions asked by new YouTubers. After all, it makes sense that content creators want to better understand their audience. This is an important aspect of being able to better tailor your content and increase viewership. Like many things, the answer is a bit more complex than a “yes” or “no.” Let’s take a look at what information YouTubers can gain regarding who views their videos.

Can I See the Specific People that Watch my Content?

The short answer to this question is no. YouTube is not like your Instagram story, and there is no way to see the exact users who watch your videos. Additionally, there is no way to see who likes or shares your videos. This is likely due to YouTube’s efforts to balance providing useful information to content creators with the desire to provide privacy to users.

While this may be a bit frustrating to YouTubers, the good news is that there is a lot of information that you CAN access which will help you better understand your audience. Additionally, for those wanting to engage with specific users, taking time to read and respond to comments is always a recommended strategy.

How do I access information about my audience?

The information provided by YouTube is actually rather easy to find and many YouTubers exploring the menus may have already stumbled upon it. Simply click on your profile photo or icon at the top of the page after logging onto YouTube, select “YouTube Studio,” and click “Analytics” in the left panel which will expand a list of tabs that provide statistics. For a step-by-step guide with images, check here.

Audience

One of the most important aspects of YouTube’s analytics is audience, which is where you will find most of the answers to your question regarding who is watching your content. You will be able to see the top countries that watch your channel or specific videos as well as reports regarding age, gender, and the time frames when people watch your videos, the latter of which may be useful for users seeking to determine when to release videos.

YouTubers can also identify other videos your viewers watched aside from those on your channel in the following seven days. This is an excellent resource to mine for information about what types of content your existing users are interested in.

Reach

Another effective analytical tool can be found under the reach tab. Here, you will find a number of core statistics from your audience. One important metric is unique viewers, which allows you to see how many unique people watched your content within a specified time frame.

Another metric is watch time, which is measured in minutes. This helps you separate what people are actually watching versus videos they may have initially clicked on but quickly left for other content.

Another important aspect of reach is impressions, which reveals the number of times your video’s thumbnail appeared on viewer screens. You can also access a click-through rate which shows the number of times viewers watch a video after seeing its thumbnail.

Engagement

The engagement tab is useful to measure the ever important concept of audience retention. After all, in addition to expanding to new viewers, YouTubers want to ensure that they are satisfying the needs of their existing audience. Perhaps the most valuable graphic here is the audience retention chart, which shows the percentage of viewers who watch each moment of a video.

This can be used to identify things that cause viewers to disengage. An important audience metric here is average minutes watched per view.

Meanwhile, relative audience attention compares your retention with that of videos of similar length, helping provide important benchmarking data. This page also provides insights into whether your audience results from organic traffic or is directed from paid advertising.

Conclusion

While YouTubers may be disappointed not to be able to see each and every person that views their content, the information provided through YouTube’s analytics reports will provide a thorough understanding of your audience. The information may seem a bit overwhelming at first.

However, spending some time playing with the reports will help YouTubers to understand what information is offered and what is most important for their needs. Noting how analytics change over time can also help YouTubers to discover trends about how they are engaging with their audience.

Leveraging your analytics will greatly impact your ability to produce engaging content.

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Author

  • Mike Seals

    Mike has over a decade of experience in higher education as a researcher, administrator, and faculty member. He currently teaches leadership and communication. He possesses a doctorate from the University of Arkansas in organizational leadership, masters from Grand Valley State in education, and bachelors from Southeastern Louisiana University in behavioral sciences. His writing interests include politics, travel, and social issues.

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