New YouTube Analytics Update Rewards Creators’ Watch Time (Bye, Reply Girls!)

How does a video on YouTube increase its chances of getting searched by other users? Does it have to be a featured post or is there the perfect timing for a video?

Well, for those who need to know how their video is doing right now, YouTube will roll out enhanced watch time information as part of its YouTube Analytics update “in the next few weeks.”

With the company upgrading its analytics system, the YouTube Creator Blog recently tried to answer the question of why YouTube focuses on watch time in its debut blog series “YouTube Now,” where they will explain the ever-evolving site and why things on YouTube are the way they are.

YouTube’s Head of Creator Marketing and Communications Eric Myerson wrote that YouTube has updated the way users see suggested videos and what comes up in a video search. YouTube is more focused on videos that will get viewers to spend more time on YouTube rather than those that garner a certain number of clicks. Say goodbye to the Reply Girls!

But what does it mean to drive watch time? It means that YouTube is focused on how long viewers stay and whether they comment on a video. Your videos are rewarded for keeping your viewers hooked and not just for getting clicks to gain publicity.

The quest for clicks has riled original creators for a long time because users who game the system get rewarded more than content creators who produce engaging and relevant videos. Now that YouTube has corrected the problem, if a creator can make videos that entertain, inform or just attract more viewers, then it will make them more likely to gain viewership and a spot in the suggested videos corner. It benefits the YouTube community and the company as a whole if creators place interesting and engaging content as their top priority, with more views for everyone as a plus.

Focusing on videos that drive watch time to enhance their suggested videos page positively impacts the YouTube community in the long run not only because it lets creators make content the way they feel works for them and boosts their chances for success, but will also prompt users to stay on the site longer. YouTube is making headway in becoming the alternative for television through their promotion of online superstars to their pushing of original channels, so quality videos, no matter the length, have a priority in the search engine or the featured space.

Keeping viewers engaged and interested on YouTube must always be a high priority for creators, as it benefits the entire community; when you’re making YouTube videos just to get clicks, the company will make sure you don’t win. But when content creators make videos that fulfill viewers’ expectations, everybody will win.