Check your impressions and CTR

Use the Reach tab in YouTube Analytics to understand your video’s traffic. Find out the number of times your video thumbnails were shown on YouTube, and how those thumbnail impressions turned into views and watch time. Learn more tips for using impressions and click-through rate data.

Access impressions and CTR data

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. In the left menu, select Analytics.
  3. At the top of the page, select Reach.

The key metrics card at the top of the Reach tab gives you an overview of your impressions, CTR, views, and unique viewers over time. This data is available within a few hours of publishing your video.

Impressions and how they led to watch time

The “Impressions and how they led to watch time” report will give you a visual of how your thumbnail’s impressions led to views and watch time. You may also see what percentage of your impressions came from YouTube recommending your videos to viewers.

Impressions and how they led to watch time funnel

Note: You may see a difference in metrics between the key metrics card and the “Impressions and how they led to watch time” report. This is because the data in the key metrics card is updated more often, and offers more up-to-date data.

Learn about impressions and CTR

What are impressions?

An impression is counted when a video thumbnail is shown to someone on YouTube. Impressions are only counted if the thumbnail is shown for more than 1 second and at least 50% of the thumbnail is visible on the screen.

Additionally, impressions are only counted when your thumbnail is shown in certain places. For example, impressions are counted when your thumbnail appears in YouTube search results, but not when your thumbnail is shown on a different website. See details on where impressions are counted below.

Where are impressions counted?

Impressions are counted Impressions are not counted
  • Search results
  • YouTube homepage
  • YouTube feeds (subscriptions, trending, history, Watch Later)
  • "Up Next" recommendations on the right side of the video player (includes autoplay)
  • Videos in playlists
  • External websites and apps (i.e., links and embeds outside of
  • YouTube mobile website
  • Videos on YouTube TV,  YouTube Kids, YouTube Music, and YouTube Gaming apps
  • Content within the video player (i.e., in cards, or end screens)
  • Videos in email or push notifications
  • Videos that play in the background tab (no visible impression)
  • Videos whose thumbnails are less than 50% visible and/or visible for less than 1 second
  • TrueView video discovery ads

What is CTR?

Impressions click-through rate, or CTR, shows you what percentage of your impressions turned into views. This measures how often viewers watched your video after seeing its thumbnail.

Keep in mind that viewers discover your videos in many ways, and not all views come from impressions. Some views might come from other sources, such as views on other websites.

CTR is often highest right after your video is uploaded, as your most passionate fans and subscribers see the video on their homepage. It’s normal to see CTR decrease afterwards, as a wider audience sees your video thumbnail.

Tip: Half of all channels and videos on YouTube have a CTR between 2% and 10%. New channels and videos with fewer than 100 views can see an even wider range

Metrics to know

Impressions How many times your thumbnails were shown to viewers on YouTube through registered impressions.
Impressions click-through-rate How often viewers watched a video after seeing a thumbnail.
Unique viewers Estimated number of people that watched your content within the selected date range.
Views The number of legitimate views for your channels or videos.
Views from impressions Views that originated from impressions for the selected date range.
Watch time (minutes) The amount of time that a viewer has watched a video. This gives you a sense of what content viewers actually watch (as opposed to videos that they click on and then abandon).
Watch time from impressions Watch time that originated from impressions for the selected date range.
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