How Does YouTube Count Views? – A Helpful Guide To Measuring YouTube View Counts

by Tracy Jackson

how does YouTube count views

Today, let’s address the question on every new YouTuber’s mind – How does YouTube count views?

When you upload a YouTube video, it is important to understand what counts as a view. It can sometimes be confusing to see your view count on YouTube analytics.

In a nutshell, YouTube counts video views where the viewer initiated the watching of a YouTube video.

Let’s dive into this in more detail so that you’ll get a clearer picture of what counts as a view for a YouTube video.

Disclaimer: If you buy something using the links in this article, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Know that I only promote stuff that I use and trust for the sake of my readers and the reputation of this site.

How Does YouTube Count Views?

YouTube video views – how do you know whether the video you uploaded on YouTube is successful?

Try to understand YouTube analytics like this – YouTube tries to ensure that the view count reflects actual viewers who watch a YouTube video.

There are two main criteria by which YouTube views are counted:

1. A user intentionally initiates the playing of a video on your YouTube channel.

2. The user watches the same video for at least 30 seconds.

how does YouTube count views - User watches at least 30 seconds of a YouTube video

You can watch this video to get a better understanding of how YouTube counts views:

For YouTube videos shorter than 30 seconds, it most probably is not monetizable, so it doesn’t matter how many times people watch your videos.

Why Are The Views Different In YouTube Analytics?

If you check the view count in YouTube’s interface, you’ll see that the view count is tallied differently in different places. For example, the view count across the YouTube watch page, YouTube search, the new creator studio, and YouTube Analytics will be inconsistent.

It is hard to pinpoint the number of people who watch videos on your YouTube channel. No matter whether they are organic views or social media shares, the view counter is pretty unpredictable.

Here’s a basic idea of how YouTube counts views:

YouTube caches its view data across different YouTube servers around the world. This helps quicken response times. That way, every time someone requests a video, the closest server provides the video and adds the view count in its local log.

YouTube thus does not provide real-time view counts.

How Do Repeat Views Factor Into View Totals?

Repeated video views for YouTube videos do count to a certain point, after which YouTube stops counting them. That means you cannot inflate your video’s view count number just by asking your friends and family to watch the same video over and over again.

What If A Viewer Skips Through And Watches 30 Seconds?

That means that even if a user skips through the video and watches parts of it if the total watch time adds up to 30 seconds, it will be added to your YouTube views.

Total watch time should be 30 seconds

Does YouTube Count Your Own Views?

Another question that you may have about how are YouTube views calculated may be this:

Does YouTube count your own views?

The answer is yes!

However, YouTube does have a problem with people trying to artificially increase their engagement metrics by repeatedly watching their own videos, so be careful.

YouTube has a fake engagement policy and can differentiate between legitimate YouTube views and a fake view on YouTube.

So don’t try to inflate views of your uploaded videos on the YouTube homepage by trying to watch them over and over again. YouTUbe will stop counting those views.

How Does YouTube Count Paid Video Ads?

As a YouTube creator, there are two types of paid ads you can use to monetize your YouTube channel.

  • TrueView in-stream ads – for these ads, the user needs to watch your video for more than 30 seconds to be counted as paid advertising views
  • TrueView video discovery ads – for such videos, users need to click on your ad and watch for it to be counted

If your video is shorter than 30 seconds, the user needs to watch the complete ad for it to be counted.

Should You Buy Legitimate YouTube Video Views?

There are many companies that sell legitimate YouTube views for your YouTube videos. But is this practice frowned on by YouTube?

And do these views help you grow your YouTube channel or generate more sales for your business?

The answer is that although it is possible to buy legitimate YouTube video views, you probably shouldn’t. Even if the views are not bots, you won’t gain much apart from an inflated view count.

What Is The Harm In Fraudulent Views?

To ensure fair and positive experiences on its platform, YouTube detects artificially popular videos and sometimes penalizes them by adjusting engagement events.

YouTube also said in one of their blog posts that buying video views could result in “disciplinary action against your account, including removing your video or suspending your account.”

How Is YouTube Live View Count Handled?

Apart from pre-recorded videos, YouTube also allows people to stream live videos on the platform. YouTube counts these live views as regular views.

YouTube’s live video feature lets users watch live videos in real-time. The only condition for these views to count is that the video uploaded follows the community guidelines.

YouTube reviews the total number of live views and adjusts them in 24 hours. That is why you will sometimes notice that the number of YouTube video views has slightly decreased within 24 hours of you streaming it online.

Here are some reasons why your live view count may be adjusted:

  • Multiple views have been detected from different devices on the same IP address
  • A viewer has opened many tabs on their browser and watched the same video on them
  • A viewer has refreshed the YouTube watch page after watching 30 seconds of the video
YouTube live video views

However, pre-recorded and edited videos are a better way to increase YouTube view count, and live videos are better off used for increasing interaction and community engagement.

How Do YouTube Videos Accumulate Views?

There are many ways in which a YouTube video gets viewed on the platform. Some of the ways are:

  • YouTube homepage
  • YouTube search
  • Recommended/ Suggested videos
  • Subscriber feed and notifications

YouTube studies each audience member and offers them videos according to their viewing preferences and subscriptions.

To get maximum exposure on YouTube, you need to study your audience, find out what topics/ videos interest them, and create content on those topics. Also, optimize your videos to be found by YouTube’s search engine when your target audience members type in certain keywords related to your niche.

The more relevant your videos are to your audience, the easier it is for you to accumulate views on YouTube.

What Role Do YouTube Views Play In Monetization?

You could use a tool like a YouTube view calculator to check the engagement metrics and the overall success of your videos.

If you are setting up a new creator studio, it can be overwhelming to figure out what you should focus on in the initial days of your YouTube career.

There are a lot of questions that will be on your mind when you want to monetize your YouTube channel.

How do you get your videos to appear in the YouTube search results?

Will repeated views be taken into account when YouTube counts your views?

YouTube cares more about the engagement you have with your audience than the number of views you gain with each new video. YouTube looks at the total watch time of your videos and whether your videos are actually helpful to your audience.

So be assured that as long as you focus on creating quality content and optimizing your videos to be found by your target audience, you do not have to worry much about every single view that adds up to your total view count.

Business Recognition Through YouTube

There are many ways businesses can use YouTube to increase brand recognition.

Here are some of them:

  • Use storytelling to build customer loyalty
  • Feature customer testimonials or customer interviews
  • Collaborate with YouTube influencers in your niche
  • Create video tutorials and how-to videos to help your audience solve problems in your niche
  • Create video podcasts and publish them on YouTube

FAQs

Why Do Video View Totals Appear Stuck?

Sometimes, your view count will appear to be stuck at a point for a long time. This is because YouTube may be trying to verify the authenticity of your video view count.

Once the people at YouTube verify the legitimate views of the video, the view count will automatically update.

Here is what YouTube says on its support page:

“It may take time for your metrics to appear in our system during the first few hours your video is published.”

This is done to check whether the video is actually YouTube famous, or if the view count is just made up of fake views by the uploader or by a bot.

Why Does The View Count Freeze — Often At 301?

YouTube has a “tipping point” when employees will take a look at a video and gauge whether it is real and okay to remain on the platform.

This tipping point is 301 views.

That is why most of the time you will notice that the view count of a newly uploaded video that has racked up 300+ views freezes at 301+ view counts.

YouTube view count freezes at 301 views

Conclusion

I hope this blog post answers your question “how does YouTube count views?”

The key to growing your YouTube channel and monetizing it effectively is to stop focusing on view counts.

Focus more on studying your target audience and finding out what they want to watch in terms of video content.

Create high-quality, relevant videos for your audience and build relationships with them. This will help you grow your YouTube channel and skyrocket your channel’s success.

Are there any more questions on your mind about YouTube metrics?

Leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you out!

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