How video views are counted

30 JANUARY 2018
We’re rolling out an update to improve system accuracy and validation of views across YouTube. You may see view fluctuations on your channel from 29 January 2018, as more or fewer views may be marked as invalid than before.

YouTube video views reflect how many times a video has been watched. Views can be an important measure of a video's overall popularity.

We want to make sure that videos are viewed by actual humans and not computer programs. It takes our systems some time to determine which views are legitimate views, and which aren't. During the first few hours that your video is published, we may not show all legitimate views while our system works. 

After legitimate views are counted, your view count should update more frequently. The amount of time that this takes varies depending on a video's popularity and viewership. Bear in mind that we're constantly validating views, so view count can always be adjusted.

Frozen view count

On some videos, the view count might seem frozen or not show all of the views that you expect. Video views are algorithmically validated to maintain fair and positive experiences for content creators, advertisers and viewers. To verify that views are real and accurate, YouTube may temporarily slow down, freeze or change the view count, as well as discard low-quality playbacks.

Paid advertising views

If your video is used as an ad on YouTube, we may count views of your ad as views on your video. These paid advertising views are counted as views because they indicate that a viewer engaged with the video.

  • TrueView in-stream video ads: Paid advertising views will be counted as views when:
    • Someone watches a complete ad that's 11–30 seconds long
    • Someone watches at least 30 seconds of an ad that's more than 30 seconds long
    • Someone interacts with the ad
  • TrueView video discovery ads: Paid advertising views will be counted as views when someone clicks the ad and the video starts to play

Check views with YouTube Analytics

If you're looking at a video that you uploaded, you can monitor your views more closely using YouTube Analytics. Bear in mind that the Real-time report only shows estimates of potential view activity. It might not match the number that you see on the watch page.

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