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3/27/2008
01:23 PM
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YouTube Debuts Viewer Analytics Tool

The service is designed to help video makers understand more about where their viewers are and how those viewers found their videos.

Online video makers can now watch those watching their videos.

Google's YouTube on Thursday released YouTube Insight, a free video analytics tool designed to help video makers understand more about where their viewers are and how those viewers found their videos.

"For example, uploaders can see how often their videos are viewed in different geographic regions, as well as how popular they are relative to all videos in that market over a given period of time," a YouTube blog post explains. "You can also delve deeper into the lifecycle of your videos, like how long it takes for a video to become popular, and what happens to video views as popularity peaks."

The metrics YouTube is making available are likely to be appreciated by marketers and professional video makers, who can use the information to see where videos are popular and to correlate changing viewership with related promotions and events.

As an example, YouTube suggests that a video maker who discovers that he or she has attracted a sizable audience in Spain might wish to consider posting subsequent videos in Spanish to better serve viewers in that country.

The information YouTube is providing -- view count over time and views by country -- is considerably more limited than similar data Google offers Web site owners through Google Analytics, which in turn reveals less about site visitors than Web server logs.

Google may, over time, expand the breadth of information it exposes to video makers about YouTube viewers, but privacy concerns are likely to prevent it from revealing identifying information like viewer IP addresses. Video makers who find that information useful would be well advised to embed YouTube videos on their own sites, where they have full access to server logs.

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