Once upon a time, YouTube users would visit the platform to catch their favorite longform videos. Their favorite channels and creators would upload them and those videos would be viewable anytime after on-demand.
Those days are long gone. YouTube now offers multiple different content types, from quick bite-sized 60-second videos, known as YouTube Shorts, to livestreaming videos. The platform even lets creators publish posts with text, images, and polls.
However, YouTube’s analytics for creators has not really updated with the times. Viewership, engagement, and other relevant data were displayed equally across these different content types, without consideration for the different ways these types of content are consumed or how users interact with them.
YouTube is now changing that though. The platform has provided Mashable a sneak peek at its new analytics display so that creators can better understand how their different types of content are performing.
YouTube’s new content-type analytics
Creators will likely first notice that the “Reach” and “Engagement” tabs in YouTube Studio’s Analytics have been replaced with a new “Content” tab. Previously, those two tabs broke down viewership, watch time, traffic sources, and other data for the channel’s content as a whole. The new Content tab, however, will provide options to further break down the data by content type. Creators will notice “Video,” “Shorts,” “Live,” and “Posts” tabs that will provide reach and engagement data that previously wasn’t broken down by content-types.
For creators who would like to see all the data together as it was previously displayed before the update, the “All” tab will take care of that as well. (The one caveat is the content-specific analytics are only available for videos created from Jan. 1, 2022 forward. However, YouTube stresses that no historical analytics data has been removed and can still be seen in the “All” tab.)
The ability to separate content types in analytics is a huge change for creators. As some YouTubers have been finding success with YouTube Shorts, for example, it doesn’t make sense to compare the watch time data of those 60 second clips to longform content that provides users with many more minutes of runtime.
The analytics for YouTube Shorts specifically breaks down data unique to shortform content.
“Our hope is that by creating the Content tab and separating these formats in Analytics, our creators will have the insights they need to tailor a content plan that best helps them reach their goals,” said YouTube Analytics Product Lead Robin Zueger in an exclusive for Mashable.
According to Zueger, YouTubers who create across all of YouTube’s video mediums — the “multiformat creator” —will especially benefit from these changes as it will help them better “connect their community with the right content at the right time.”
“The ability for creators to see and compare the viewership of different video formats will help them make content strategies that work best for their channel and community,” Zueger explained.
And this change is just the beginning, too. Zueger said that the feedback from creators “will inform next steps” for YouTube in order to “help enable creators on YouTube to move seamlessly between the formats available to them on the platform.” Zueger brought up how YouTube livestreams already provide chat messages and concurrent viewer data, something that’s unique only to that video format.
For viewers, YouTube previously rolled out content tabs on channel pages on mobile that allows fans to just view Shorts, livestreams, or uploaded video content. The company is looking at even more ways it can get even more specific for each content-type.
“We think there’s more opportunities to really customize the analytics of each specific content type to the particular aspects of its format,” said Zueger. “We look forward to building on this model in future iterations of YouTube Analytics.”
Some YouTubers may already have started to notice the change, as the video platform has begun rolling the new analytics system out. YouTube has confirmed to Mashable that everyone should have the update rolled out to their YouTube Studio by May 31. Creators will notice the change on desktop, iOS, and Android.
With this new analytics breakdown, YouTube also solidifies its commitment to these content-types defining the YouTube platform going forward. That’s good news if you’re a creator that’s found success with YouTube’s newer offerings like YouTube Shorts.