Google offers video producers better YouTube analytics

Search giant hopes improved metrics leads to higher-quality YouTube videos

Google on Wednesday announced an upgrade to the analytics it offers YouTube content creators.

The search giant, which bought YouTube five years ago for $1.65 billion, wants to improve the general quality of the videos uploaded to the site. Google's hope is that offering better analytics data will result in higher-quality videos as content producers mine more viewer information for feedback.

Of course, Google's interest in better YouTube videos isn't aesthetic (or at least not merely aesthetic): Higher quality ultimately should mean more advertising revenue.

In a post on the YouTube blog, project manager Ted Hamilton explained that the video site's current analytics program, called Insight, would be replaced by YouTube Analytics.

Among the new product's features:

* A Quick Overview: A new overview provides all of the information that you care about quickly, while also enabling you to easily access more detailed information.

* More Detailed Reports: Analytics now includes more detailed statistics so that you can have a more precise understanding of your content and audiences.

* Audience Builders: Discover which videos are driving the most views and subscriptions.

That's all a bit general (sorry, Ted), but there's plenty of detail in this YouTube Analytics Help Section.

A particularly interesting metric measures, in two different ways, a video's ability to retain its audience. "Absolute audience retention" shows total views for every moment of a video as a percentage of the total views at the beginning of the video, while "relative audience retention" shows content creators that video's ability to retain viewers "relative to all YouTube videos of similar length," according to Google.

(Free Google tip to video producers: "Pay close attention to the first 15 seconds of every video. That is when your viewers are most likely to drop-off.")

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