Everything You Need To Know To Find The Best Video Measuring

04 Feb.,2024

 

With more than 2 billion active users (yes, that’s “billion” with a “b”), YouTube is as relevant as ever. Whether you use it to market your business or establish yourself as a food influencer, it’s the social media platform for creating and sharing videos.

But viewers aren’t going to waste their time watching low-quality footage — there are too many professional-grade YouTube videos for them to choose from instead. If you want to find success on the platform, you need to master YouTube video sizes. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll review everything you need to know about YouTube video dimensions, resolution, and more, including: 


Let’s get started! 

What’s the best YouTube video size?

To launch a successful YouTube channel, follow YouTube's sizing guidelines. Via Unsplash.

It’s not like you can measure videos with a ruler — so what do we mean when we refer to "video size"? There are a few different metrics to consider, starting with resolution and dimensions. 

YouTube video resolution

The resolution of a video refers to the number of pixels that make up the image. The higher the resolution, the greater the number of pixels it contains — and the crisper and more detailed your video will appear. YouTube supports a range of resolutions from 240p to 2160p. 

YouTube video dimensions 

The dimensions of a video are its width and height in pixels. The smallest video dimensions supported by YouTube are 426x240 pixels and the largest are 3840×2160 pixels.

Below is a complete look at the range of video sizes that work on YouTube — and when you might opt for each. 

 

What’s the best YouTube video aspect ratio? 

The best aspect ratio for YouTube is not the same as it is for Instagram or TikTok. Via Unsplash. 

The aspect ratio of a video refers to the ratio of a video’s width to its height. The go-to aspect ratio for YouTube is 16:9. 

YouTube supports other aspect ratios as well, such as 1:1 (a square) and 9:16, but videos shot in those alternative aspect ratios will display with black borders, which may distract viewers or give the impression you’re an amateur.

To achieve the 16:9 aspect ratio on your phone, shoot horizontally (or in “landscape” mode) rather than vertically. While you’re at it, check out your camera settings to see the maximum resolution in which you can shoot videos — a good rule of thumb is to shoot in 720p or 1080p.

Other essential YouTube video guidelines 

By now you might be thinking: More guidelines? Seriously? We get it. But hear us out, because there are just a few more requirements to review — and we promise they’re straightforward.

File size

The maximum file size for YouTube is 256 GB. It's worth noting that while you can upload a file of that size, it  doesn’t mean you should. Without high-speed internet and a powerful computer, the process will take eons (are you sensing a pattern?). 

Video length 

The max video length is 12 hours for verified accounts and 15 minutes for unverified accounts.

To check whether you have a verified account, go to Settings > Account and click Channel status and features. If your account is verified, you’ll see Enabled in green next to Features that require phone verification.

Video format

If you get an “invalid file format" error message when you're uploading, you may be using a file format that YouTube doesn’t allow. The accepted video formats are: 

  • .MOV
  • .MPEG-1
  • .MPEG-2
  • .MPEG-4
  • .MP4
  • .MPG
  • .AVI
  • .WMV
  • .MPEGPS
  • .FLV
  • 3GPP
  • WebM
  • DNxHR
  • ProRes
  • CineForm
  • HEVC (h265)

How to change the size of a YouTube video 

When you play a video on YouTube, the social media platform will automatically select the video’s resolution based on the strength of your internet connection. That’s convenient, but not always welcome. You might choose to manually lower your video resolution if you’re, say, traveling and expect to encounter spotty internet service. Or you might opt to raise it if you’re watching a highly anticipated movie-trailer and want to see a filmmaker’s work in detail. 

You can override the default setting and adjust the size of your video with just a few clicks. Here’s how:

On desktop

  • Click the gear icon that appears on the bottom of your video
  • Select “quality” from the menu
  • Choose your preferred video resolution 

Via YouTube.

On mobile 

  • Click the three buttons near the top-right corner of your video
  • Select “quality” from the menu
  • Choose your preferred video resolution 

What are the correct YouTube image sizes?

A bad image upload can sink your channel. Via Unsplash. 

YouTube is a video-first social media platform, so it’s easy to forget about the still images that accompany your channel — but that would be foolish. No matter how awesome your videos are, one poorly cropped asset can undermine your entire page. With that in mind, let’s review the standard YouTube image sizes, shall we? 

YouTube banner image 

Your YouTube banner image (also known as your “channel header”) appears across the top of your channel page. It should be 2560x1440p, with key elements like text or logo falling inside the “safe area” of the design (1235x338p).

Profile pic

Make sure your image or logo is displayed correctly by sticking with YouTube’s approved dimensions: 800x800p. 

YouTube thumbnail 

YouTube thumbnail images can entice viewers — or drive them away — so you want to get their size just right. The recommended dimensions for thumbnail images is 1280x720, with an aspect ratio of 16:9. (Tip: Once your thumbnail designs are set, test them on multiple devices to make sure they look good across screen types.)

Keep in mind that YouTube has restrictions on what you can feature in video thumbnails; there should be no misleading or clickbait content, graphic violence, or excessive use of text. Check out YouTube's community guidelines for more guidance.

5 ways WeVideo can help create stellar YouTube videos

Whether you're making a tutorial, an unboxing video, or a YouTube short, WeVideo can help. Via Unsplash.

Starting a YouTube channel can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have much video-editing experience. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 ways our YouTube video maker can help you lighten the load — and win you subscribers.

1. It’s easy-to-use

With its drag-and-drop features and no-brainer video editor tools for trimming, splitting, merging, and flipping, WeVideo is as suitable for beginners as it is for pros. Start your video from scratch or use one of our attention-grabbing YouTube video templates to kick off your creative process.

2. It’s loaded with features

Use our green screen video editor to change your video background; choose from our menu of filters and overlays to add pizzazz to your content; select from our 1M+ royalty-free assets (including audio tracks) to elevate your finished product. In other words, make your channel pop!

3. It’s designed for collaboration

Our business plan allows multiple people to edit the same project from their own workstations. And if you build a brand kit — which you should! — everyone on your team will have access to the same logos, watermarks, fonts, colors, and branded templates.

4. It’s mobile-friendly

Because WeVideo is a cloud-based video editor, you can edit from anywhere, including your phone (just download the mobile app for iOS and Android).

That means you can shoot a customer testimonial at 4 o’clock and edit it on your commute home (as long as you’re not, you know, driving) without ever returning to your desk.

5. It lets you publish directly to YouTube

Save yourself a few steps by linking your WeVideo account to your YouTube channel and publishing your videos directly to the social media platform. It’s simple: When you’re ready to export, select the “YouTube” icon under “Destinations.”

Find out more about why WeVideo is a YouTuber’s dream.

Final thoughts

YouTube is a critical platform for businesses and influencers, but it’s also a competitive one. If you want to create a successful channel and grow a loyal subscriber base, you need to deliver high-quality content that stands out in a crowd.

With this handy sizing guide — and a little help from WeVideo — you’ll have viewers smashing those “like” and “subscribe” buttons in no time.

Some marketers have an unhealthy obsession with YouTube analytics — we track too many of them. Maybe we think we can prove any video marketing campaign is producing results if there’s an eye-catching percentage by its name. But, deep down, we all know that some metrics are more revealing than others.

There are a ton of KPIs we can look at that provide minimal insights. Fortunately, we created this guide to help you navigate YouTube Analytics and measure the metrics that matter. It’ll save you from drowning in the sea of analytics, helping you stay afloat and swim safely to land.

Read on to learn about the YouTube metrics that actually matter, and how they’ll enhance your video strategy.

Table of Contents

How to Access YouTube Analytics

According to HubSpot’s 2023 Video Marketing Trends Report, 77% of marketers use YouTube to host their company’s marketing videos.

Video marketing is an expensive endeavor, so it’s essential that you can access data to keep track of performance.

YouTube Analytics can be accessed through the desktop website and a specific mobile app. Here are some instructions on how to access both.

On desktop, open the YouTube website in your browser. Make sure you’re logged in to the Google account through which you manage your YouTube channel.

In the top right-hand corner, you’ll see your circular profile picture. Click here and select “YouTube Studio” from the dropdown menu (you might first have to select “Switch Account” and choose your channel name).

In YouTube Studio, you’ll see a panel on the left-hand side where you can manage your content and channel. In this list, you’ll see “Analytics.” Click on Analytics to open the dashboard.

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Free YouTube for Business Kit

18 templates to help you manage and monetize your YouTube channel

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  • 1 Roadmap & Strategy Template
  • 5 Banner Templates
  • 5 Thumbnail Templates

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Across the top of the Analytics dashboard, you’ll see a toolbar where you can access all the metrics that matter.

Switch between the main overview and the other options (Content, Audience, and Research) to assess your YouTube performance.

In the top right-hand corner, you’ll see a date selector. You can use this to assess metrics within specific periods.

One of the most powerful ways to access YouTube analytics is to select “Advanced Mode” in the top right corner above the date selector.

This will open a far more detailed version of YouTube analytics where you can create comparisons across all your metrics and create customized charts.

In Advanced Mode, you can even export your analytics and data for more customization and deeper analysis.

Unfortunately, accessing your analytics through the YouTube app is impossible. If you’d like to view your analytics via a mobile device, download the YouTube Studio app separately.

YouTube Analytics: The 15 Metrics That Actually Matter

1. Watch Time

Watch time is the total amount of minutes viewers have spent watching your videos.

It’s a key metric because YouTube’s algorithm presumes that a higher watch time indicates an engaging video, so it elevates videos and channels with higher watch times in the search results and recommendations section.

In the Watch time report, you can see the amount of watch time your videos have accumulated.

You can also rank each of your videos by watch time and group your videos by themes, styles, and lengths to determine your most engaging types of videos.

How to find Watch time in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Overview > Watch Time

2. Average Percentage Viewed

Average percentage viewed is the percent of each video the average viewer watched. It measures your video’s ability to hold viewers’ attention for its entirety.

And when YouTube realizes your videos can hold people’s attention, they’ll reward it with higher search and recommendation rankings. You can find this metric in your watch time report.

How to find Average Percentage Viewed in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Overview > Watch time > See More > Content > Watch time > More Metrics > Overview > Average percentage viewed

3. Average View Duration

Average view duration is the total watch time of your video divided by the total number of video plays, including replays. This metric measures your video’s ability to engage viewers.

If your video can’t engage viewers, they’ll bounce from your video quickly, leaving you with an unimpressive average view duration. You can also find this metric in your watch time report.

How to find Average View Duration in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > See More > Watch time > More Metrics > Overview > Average view duration

4. Audience Retention

Audience retention shows you the percentage of viewers who watch and leave your video at every single moment of the video.

YouTube elevates videos with high audience retention in their search rankings and suggestions because these videos can effectively capture viewers' attention.

Audience retention can also inform your future video strategy. The most engaging parts of your video could be your next best video topics.

And watching your video during steep dips of engagement will tell you what might be boring your viewers, allowing you to scrap those elements from current and future videos.

When you have enough data to generate YouTube’s audience retention report, there will be two graphs: the absolute retention curve and the relative retention curve. The absolute retention curve shows you how well your videos retain viewers.

And the relative retention shows you how well one of your videos retains viewers compared to all other YouTube videos of similar length.

Image Source

How to find Audience Retention in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Engagement > Audience retention

5. Re-watches

Re-watches are the number of times viewers re-watch certain parts of your video.

If a lot of people are re-watching a specific part of your video, then they’re probably interested in the topic your video is covering at that moment.

You can find this data in the absolute audience retention graph. Re-watches are usually indicated by rising curves in the graph.

Image Source

How to find Rewatches in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Engagement > Audience retention > Absolute audience retention

6. Engagement

Comments, shares, likes, and dislikes provide marketers with a lot of valuable qualitative data.

Comments can paint a clear picture of your video’s emotional effect on viewers.

Shares can gauge how much viewers value your content and brand — since people share content that confirms their ideal self-persona, people who share your video are publicly displaying that they trust and support your brand.

Likes and dislikes can help you determine what video topics work best with your particular audience. You can find your videos’ engagement metrics in YouTube’s Interactions Report.

How to find Engagement in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Engagement > Likes (vs. dislikes) > See More

7. Impressions Click-Through Rate

Impressions click-through rate measures your video’s ability to prompt people to watch your video after seeing it on their homepage, recommendation section, or trending section.

A high click-through rate means your title was compelling, and your video’s topic resonates with a lot of relevant audiences on YouTube.

A common trend for impression click-through rates is that they usually spike immediately after you release your video — your subscribers will see the video at the top of their home page and probably click on it.

But once your video spreads beyond your core audience, your click-through rate will decline and then stay at a stable rate.

You can also couple this metric with the average percentage viewed and average view duration to see if people actually watch your video after they click on it.

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18 templates to help you manage and monetize your YouTube channel

  • 7 YouTube Video Description Templates
  • 1 Roadmap & Strategy Template
  • 5 Banner Templates
  • 5 Thumbnail Templates

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A high click-through rate is great, but if people are leaving right at the beginning of your video, your title or thumbnail could be misleading.

Preparing viewers for what’s to come is crucial because if your title or thumbnail is inaccurate, they’ll feel deceived and lose trust in your brand.

A low click-through rate but high engagement could mean that the video has a small yet specific audience that is highly engaged with the content.

How to find Engagement in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Reach > Impressions click-through rate

Image Source

8. Card Clicks

Cards are slide-in panels that encourage people to take a desired action during a video, like watch another video, subscribe to a channel, or click through to a different website.

Each of your cards’ click-through rates tells you which action your viewers prefer to take while watching your videos.

This can help you place the most engaging card in each of your videos, potentially boosting your watch time, subscriber growth, or website traffic.

Analyzing card clicks can also help you uncover the optimal timing, placement, and duration of your cards in future videos.

How to find Card Clicks in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Reach > See More > Impressions by: Content > More Metrics > Cards > Card Clicks

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9. Playlist Engagement

Playlists are a great way to organize your videos in a digestible way. It helps your viewers easily consume videos about their favorite topics and prompts them to keep watching, which racks up watch time for your channel.

You can uncover your playlist engagement by analyzing two metrics in YouTube’s Playlist Report: views per playlist start and average time in playlist.

Views per playlist start is the average number of video views your playlists gather, and average time in playlist is the average amount of time that viewers viewed the videos in your playlist.

If these two metrics are underperforming, try starting your playlist with videos that have the highest retention rate.

How to find Playlist Engagement in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Engagement > See More > Watch Time > More Metrics > Playlists

10. Unique Viewers

Unique viewers are the estimated number of individuals who watch your videos over a certain period of time. This metric really helps you understand the actual size of your audience.

You can also use this metric to gauge your subscriber’s engagement with your videos. If your unique viewers are lower than your subscriber count, then your subscribers aren’t watching as many of your videos as they could be.

To increase subscriber activity, ask them to set up notifications for your new videos. You can find this metric under the Reach Views and Audience tab in YouTube Studio.

How to find Playlist Unique Viewers in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Audience > Unique viewers

11. Views Per Unique Viewers

Views per unique viewers is the amount of times the average viewer watches your video. This metric tells you if people can’t get enough of your video and keep rewatching it.

Video topics with a lot of views per unique viewers could also be your most popular content topics, and if you cover them more, you could generate more views, watch time, and subscribers.

How to find Playlist Unique Viewers in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Audience > Unique viewers > See More > Average views per viewer

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12. Who’s Watching Your Videos

In YouTube’s demographics report, you can see the different types of people who watch your videos, segmented by age, gender, and geography.

This data tells you who your most engaged audience is and who your target audience should actually be. You can take the opposite approach with this data too.

If you’re not reaching the audience you want, try pivoting your video strategy and cover topics that would attract them.

How to find Demographics in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Audience > Age and Gender

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13. Subscriber Growth

Subscribers are your most loyal fans. They’ve made a public commitment to your brand, content, and values.

Subscribers are also important because YouTube will send them notifications about your new videos and feature them on their homepage, helping generate more views.

Subscribers also watch twice as much video as non-subscribers, so the more subscribers you have, the more watch time your videos will collect.

YouTube’s Subscribers Report will show you which videos, locations, and time periods gain and lose subscribers. This data will tell you what video topics resonate with your subscribers and where to target new subscribers.

And by prioritizing your subscribers’ needs, you’ll create videos that they crave, increase your watch time, and boost your search rankings.

How to find Subscribers in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Audience > Subscribers

14. Traffic Sources

External referrals like social media or sites that embed your videos and YouTube referrals like search, the recommended section, and the homepage are all traffic sources.

The Traffic Sources report shows you how viewers found your videos and what sources rack up the most views and watch time. You can use this data to better optimize your video promotion strategy.

We're committed to your privacy. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy

Free YouTube for Business Kit

18 templates to help you manage and monetize your YouTube channel

  • 7 YouTube Video Description Templates
  • 1 Roadmap & Strategy Template
  • 5 Banner Templates
  • 5 Thumbnail Templates

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How to find Traffic Sources in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Audience > Subscribers > See More > Traffic Source

Image Source

15. Keywords

In YouTube’s Reach Report, which is under the Traffic Sources Report, you can see the most popular queries guiding viewers to your videos.

If these queries are slightly different from your video’s topic, consider updating your video to fill these content gaps and add the keywords to your metadata.

If there’s a stark difference, consider making a new video about these popular queries.

How to find Keywords in YouTube Studio:

Analytics > Reach > YouTube Search terms

Getting Started

YouTube analytics plays a crucial role in helping creators and businesses understand their content performance.

By providing valuable insights, YouTube analytics empower users to make data-driven decisions. With the ability to track trends, YouTube analytics serves as an essential tool to maximize your success on the platform.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Everything You Need To Know To Find The Best Video Measuring

YouTube Analytics: The 15 Metrics That Actually Matter