YouTube has announced that their updated YouTube Studio channel management tool – previously called ‘Creator Studio’ – will now become the default for all creators, after being in beta testing mode for the last 8 months.
As explained by YouTube:
“Hundreds of thousands of creators have been using the beta and providing invaluable feedback, which we've been implementing to make YouTube Studio a more efficient, empowering and enjoyable tool for you. Over the coming weeks, we’ll begin to make YouTube Studio the default experience for many creators (but will still give you the option to go back to Creator Studio Classic if you want to).”
As you can see in the above screenshot, YouTube Studio is designed to be your one-stop shop for all your channel management needs – including organizing your channel, analytics, managing your videos and interacting with fans.
The upgraded YouTube Studio merges more functionality into one tool, with a particular focus on streamlining communication between fans and other creators. And as part of the expanded roll-out, YouTube has also announced a set of new metrics to help creators better understand their channel performance.
First off, YouTube will now include data on impressions, which, as YouTube explains:
“…[are] counted when a viewer on YouTube sees one of your video thumbnails. Impressions tell you the potential reach of your content on YouTube, since each impression is an opportunity to earn a view.”
YouTube also clarifies that impressions only relate to views of your video thumbnails, and will only count when the thumbnail is in view
The data will help creators understand how their thumbnails are performing, and how they’re inviting viewers through to full views of their content, helping to optimize performance.
To further clarify this, YouTube will also now show creators their ‘impressions click-through rate’ (the second chart on the lower left of the above screenshot), which shows you the percentage of your impressions on YouTube that turned into actual video views.
“Different factors affect your click-through rate - for example, effective thumbnails and titles that attract your target audience may drive this rate up. This metric can help you make more informed decisions on how to optimize your titles and thumbnails, especially when you look at how this metric changes between past videos.”
Essentially, the data will help users optimize their YouTube performance based on search impressions – and with YouTube considered the second largest search engine, with many people coming to the platform everyday via search queries (often re-directed from Google), that can be hugely valuable information. If your videos are not performing in YouTube search, this data will provide you with additional insights to refine and improve your approach.
And the last new data addition in the updated YouTube Studio dashboard is Unique Viewers.
“Unique viewers shows the estimated number of different people who watch your videos over a period of time. Whether they watch on desktop, mobile phone or watched more than one of your videos, that person will count as one unique viewer.”
YouTube suggests that this data can be used to showcase your channel’s true reach, while it can also be used as an indicator of performance when compared against your overall subscriber stats.
In overall terms, the new metrics don’t add a heap, but they do give you more data points for comparison, and as noted, they can help measure performance based on search impressions versus actual views. How helpful those insights are will vary by channel, but the impression data, in particular, should only used as supplementary information, and not as an aim within itself.
That’s always the risk with advanced metrics - that once they’re available and present, they can become an aim within themselves, which can cause some to lose sight of the main goal in favor of bigger numbers, which often mean less in the broader scheme. That’s not to say YouTube users will fall into this trap, but the impressions stats will be alluring, while the click-throughs and actual views are no doubt much more important.
But the new data points are only one part of the new dashboard, which looks good, and does provide a more streamlined, all-in-one experience. If you’re a YouTube creator, it’s definitely worth having a look around the new layout and data points when you get a chance.
The new version of YouTube Studio will roll out to all channels ‘over the next couple of weeks’.