About video ad metrics and reporting

This article describes the different metrics used to analyze the performance of your video ads. You can see metrics such as impressions, views, engagement, and clicks, as well as the type of audience you’re reaching. 

Key performance metrics

To create a video ad, your video content must be hosted on YouTube. This means views of your video ads will increase your video's view counts on YouTube (on the video's Watch page and within your Google account reporting).

Some key metrics for your video campaigns include:

  • Core performance:
    • Views show you the number of times people watched or engaged with your video ad. Note: TrueView video ads views will also count towards your video's public YouTube view count only if a video is longer than 11 seconds.
    • View rate shows you the number of views or engagements your video ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown (video and thumbnail impressions).
    • Avg. CPV is the average amount you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it's shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with your video, whichever comes first. Note that your average CPV may not be the same as your maximum CPV. Your maximum CPV is the most you’re willing to pay for an ad view.
    • Watch time measures the total amount of time people watched your video ads, shown in seconds.
    • Avg. watch time / impr. measures the average number of seconds someone watched your video ad per impression of the ad.
  • Click performance:
    • Clicks show you the number of times people clicked on your video. Clicks can help you understand how well your ad is appealing to people who see it.
    • Clickthrough rate (CTR) is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown.
  • Engagement performance:
    • Engagements show you the number of clicks on interactive elements, such as on teasers or icons to expand any cards on your video. (These clicks don't take people to a website or other external destination).
    • Engagement rate is the number of engagements that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown.
  • Reach and frequency:
    • Unique users shows the total number of people who saw an ad over a given time period.
    • Unique cookies is the number of cookies (which store preferences and other information that’s used on webpages that they visit) specific to an individual browser on people's computers.
    • Unique viewers (cookies) is the number of times your video ad was viewed by a unique cookie over a given time period.
    • Avg. impr. freq./user is the average number of times a unique person is shown your ad over a given time period.
    • Avg. impr. freq./cookie is the average number of times your video ad is shown to a unique cookie over a given time period.
    • Avg. view freq./cookie is the average number of times that a unique cookie viewed your video over a given time period.
  • Video viewership (also known as "quartile reporting")
    • Video played to: 25% shows how often a video is played to 25% of its length.
    • Video played to: 50% shows how often a video is played until the middle of its view length.
    • Video played to: 75% shows how often a video is played to 75% of its length.
    • Video played to: 100% shows how often a video is played to its completion.
  • YouTube engagement: Earned actions happen when a viewer watches a video ad and then takes a related action on YouTube. The following are different types of earned actions:
    • Earned views increment if a YouTube viewer watches subsequent videos on your YouTube channel or Watch pages. This type of earned action increments whether or not someone chooses to watch the same video again or any other video on your channel.
    • Earned subscribers happen when a viewer subscribes to your channel. This type of earned action provides unique value because the content from these YouTube channels and the channel avatars themselves may be viewed on the YouTube home page.
    • Earned playlist additions happen when a viewer adds the video to a playlist.
    • Earned likes happen when a viewer likes the video.
    • Earned shares happen when a viewer shares the video.
  • Active View

Reporting features

  • Custom tables and downloadable reports  - You can find specific performance data about your video campaigns that interest you by customizing the tables of your  Google Ads account using columns, segments, and filters. For instance, you can choose to see columns on “Max. CPV,” “Clicks,” or “YouTube earned actions.” Once the tables look exactly how you want, you can download them as reports in a variety of formats and save them. You can also set up reports to run at specific intervals, and schedule them to be emailed to you or other people who have access to your account. Learn how to modify,  segment, or filter columns.
  • Automated reporting - You can find specific performance data about your video campaigns that interest you, by customizing the statistics tables of your Google Ads account using columns, segments, and filters. Once the tables look exactly how you want, you can download them as reports in a variety of formats and save them. You can also set up reports to run at specific intervals, and schedule them to be emailed to you or other people who have access to your account.
  • Change History - The "Change history" page lists the changes you've made to your account. It shows each change within a timeline, mapped to your account data. You can view all changes for a particular time period, filter the results by the type of change (such as budget adjustments or ad group edits), or see changes for a particular video campaign. By comparing your changes with the timeline of performance data, you can find out which changes may have contributed to changes in your performance.
  • Advanced reporting tools and visual charts let you view, customize, and analyze detailed data on video ad performance.
  • Targeting - You can also see how your video performed for certain keywords, audience types, and demographics. These metrics can be seen by clicking on the Keywords, Audiences, or Demographics pages.

Note

To create a video ad, your video content must be hosted on YouTube. This means views of your video ads will increase your video's view counts on YouTube (on the video's Watch page and within your YouTube account reporting).

Fix issues with your data

Differences between view statistics in YouTube vs. Google Ads

We can't guarantee that the views you're billed for and your YouTube view count will be equal. One common cause when looking at periodic view counts is that YouTube aggregates period statistics based on Pacific Time whereas Google Ads aggregates period statistics based on the advertiser-defined time zone. However, discrepancies do arise, and we attempt to keep the cumulative numbers approximately equal. While you may be billed for an appropriate amount of engaged views, some of those views were not eligible for YouTube view counts.

Since YouTube Analytics includes video data for all videos, and Google Ads provides data for a portion of those views (your paid views), there will be differences in video view totals.


Differences in video percentage views and call-to-action clicks in YouTube Insights vs. Google Ads

Presently, video percentage views (quartile data) in Google Ads is only for views on paid Google Ads advertisements. This means Google Ads cannot present this information for your video if it is accessed via a free search result listing on Google or YouTube search.

Example

A video you host on YouTube may be found in Google or YouTube search results. If viewers click on this video through organic search results and interact with the video, you won't be charged for a video ad view or the viewer's interactions. These interactions will not be included in the video's performance metrics in Google Ads.

View the results of your video ad groups

Use the "Ad groups" page to see the overall results of your video ad groups within a specific date range for metrics like impressions, clicks, viewthrough rate (VTR), cost-per-view (CPV), etc. For specific definitions of each metric, click the ? tooltip icon in each column header.

  1. Select Video campaigns from the navigation panel.
  2. Choose Ad groups from the page menu.

Keep in mind

  • An ad group contains video ads with common targeting criteria and bids.
  • An ad group is defined by a specific video ad format and can contain only video ads of that format. However, in your video campaigns, you can run multiple ad groups--some with in-stream ads and some with video discovery ads. That is, a single ad group can contain only in-stream ads or only video discovery ads, but it can't contain both ad formats.

View a summary of your videos' performance

  1. Select Video campaigns from the navigation panel.
  2. Choose Videos from the page menu.

The "Videos" section shows your video performance in aggregate across all ads. 

View video metrics and insights

  1. Select Video campaigns from the navigation panel.
  2. Choose Videos from the page menu.
  3. Click Analytics at the top of the page. 

Related links

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