Embedded video tracking

Most embedded video players have an API available to listen for specific events (e.g. Play, Pause), which can be used to trigger the necessary Google Analytics Event tracking code.

Tracking strategy

It is not recommended to trigger a Google Analytics Event upon each second of a video watched, as doing so will lead to inflated hit volumes and what is most likely unnecessarily messy data. Instead, please consider the following best practices based on which questions are most relevant to your analysis:

  • Are people interacting with video content (and which videos)?
    • Events for start (play) and/or completion are usually enough.
    • Include the title or ID of the video interacted with in the Label field.
  • How much time people spend watching videos?
    • Event tracking is generally the right way to go about this reporting, but we also make available User Timing APIs, which can potentially be used to capture milliseconds into a video to be reported on in a timing-specific report.
    • For aggregate level reporting (e.g. how many seconds or minutes of video have been seen in total), use the value parameter of an Event. However, for bucketed reporting (e.g. how many people watched 30 seconds of video), use the Label parameter.
  • How far into videos users get?
    • If you don't care about video length or who have both short- and long-form video content, measuring percentage of total play time can also (or alternatively) be effective.
    • Call an event at certain percentages watched (e.g. start, 50%, 100%).
    • Don't call events any percentage intervals more granular than 25% watched
    • Don't call an event at granular intervals (e.g. every 1-5 seconds). This will drastically increase hit volume, and potentially exceed hit limits.

Resource: Common Player APIs

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