Generating views on your videos on YouTube is one of your most important goals as a YouTube creator. They are the key to everything, from helping your video go viral to helping you get monetized and start earning money on the platform.
The most popular YouTubers have accumulated billions of views on their channel. And they make more than decent money from them. Mr. Beast, a creator with 162 million subscribers, made $54 million in 2021 – an unprecedented amount of earnings!
But views are also tricky. It’s not enough for a YouTube user to click on your video. There are other requirements that YouTube set up for a view to count as a measurable engagement metric.
When you know those requirements, you’ll be able to adapt your YouTube marketing plan and use strategies to get more views that matter.
In this article, we’ll cover exactly how YouTube counts views in 2023. Plus, we’ll also share tips for getting more views on your videos and closer to meeting your goals for your channel.
Why Do YouTube Views Matter?
You may be wondering why we nitpick over what counts as a view and what doesn’t.
Here are three great reasons that will help you understand why YouTube views matter so much to creators and social media marketers.
1. They Help Your Video Reach More People
YouTube views are a form of engagement. Engagement is when a user on YouTube interacts with your content in some way, i.e., with a view, like, comment, or share.
The YouTube content algorithm assesses a video’s engagement level when it’s deciding which videos to rank the highest for a query in the YouTube search bar. Engagement is just one factor that the algorithm uses to rank search results. But it’s still a factor, and it’s a critical one.
Basically, the more views (and other types of engagement) that your video has, the higher the YouTube algorithm will rank it in the search results for relevant keywords. The higher it ranks, the more likely users are to click on it first rather than keep scrolling down the page.
The result? Your video reaches more people. From there, you may generate more engagement, and you may even be able to convert new subscribers to your channel.
2. They Help You Earn Money
If you want to get monetized and start earning money on your YouTube channel, you must become eligible for monetization. To do that, you must meet one of the two following requirements.
- Have 1000 subscribers and 4000 valid public watch hours accumulated over the last 12 months.
- Have 1000 subscribers and 10 million valid public Shorts views accumulated over the last 90 days.
In case you’re wondering what “valid public watch hours” refers to, it means watch hours generated from public long-form videos on your channel. The views you received on your private, deleted, or unlisted videos; ad campaigns; YouTube Shorts; or unlisted, deleted, or non-video on demand (VOD) livestreams don’t apply here.
The same definition applies to “valid public Shorts views.” Only the views on your public Shorts will contribute to the 10 million you need to get monetized.
Once your channel becomes monetized, views help you generate ad revenue from companies who pay to run ads on your videos. This is just one of the many methods that the top-earning creators use to make their millions.
Now you can see why having views – especially valid, public ones – is absolutely essential if you want to make money as a YouTube creator!
3. They Help Your Channel Grow
Having a lot of YouTube views is game-changing for the growth of your channel. That’s because the more people who watch your content, the more opportunities you’ll have to convert new subscribers and build a large, loyal audience.
Plus, if you get several thousands or millions of views on a single video, it will reach viral status and could even help you get famous. That doesn’t happen to every creator, but it could happen to you!
How YouTube Counts Views in 2023
Here’s how YouTube counts views in 2023.
First – and critically – to register a view, someone must play your video and watch it for at least 30 seconds. That someone can be you or another person.
Secondly, repeat watches count as YouTube views. That means that someone who enjoys your video can watch it multiple times, and each time will count as a unique view – just as long as they watch it for the first 30 seconds.
Pro Tip: Don’t try to refresh your video and rewatch it multiple times in a bid to rack up views on your own. YouTube is always vigilant for that sort of behavior, and if you’re found out, you could lose all those views.
Third, your YouTube video can be played anywhere and it will still count as a view. For example, if you embed it on your website or share it to Facebook, and a reader clicks on it and watches it, you gain a view.
Finally, and for all the gamers out there: if you have a live stream going, any user who watches it for more than 30 seconds will generate a view for you. Just remember to convert the live stream to VOD when it’s over; otherwise, the views won’t count as valid or public.
By far, though, your top takeaway should be this: as long as you or someone else watches at least 30 seconds of your video, Short, or VOD live stream, it will count as a view.
Tips for Getting More Authentic Views on YouTube
Now that you know what constitutes a real, authentic view that counts toward engagement, you can begin developing a plan for getting more views for your YouTube content.
More specifically, you need to ensure that people who click on your video watch it for 30 seconds, at minimum.
Here are three tips to help you achieve that goal.
1. Create an Exciting Intro for All Your Videos
Having an exciting and professional-looking intro for all your videos will help you keep viewers watching for those first 5-15 seconds. Use animations, clips compiled from previous videos, your logo, and other eye-catching elements to draw your audience in and grab their attention.
2. Have an Irresistible Hook
Start each video off strong with an irresistible hook. To do that, ask a thought-provoking question, like, “What would happen if I stacked all the books in my library to make a book castle?” Alternatively, make a dramatic statement such as, “The sinking of the Titanic was one of the biggest tragedies of the 20th century – but not for the reasons you think.”
You don’t need to use those exact ideas, but you get the gist. The bottom line is you need to give your viewers something to chew on, something to pique their interest or curiosity so intensely that they just have to watch more.
3. Timestamp Your Videos
Did you know that you can generate views throughout your entire video, not just in the first 30 seconds? Let’s explain how that works.
Sometimes, when viewers are searching for videos that convey specific information – like a certain step in a tutorial – rather than watch the video from the beginning, they fast forward through most of it to the part they’re looking for.
To help viewers navigate your video and find the information they’re seeking, divide your video up into sections with timestamps.
Timestamps are links to specific times throughout your video. A user can click on a timestamp and instantly go to the part of your video that they want to watch.
30 seconds later, you’ve got a view, despite the fact that this particular user skipped past your video’s amazing beginning. It’s a win-win for you and the viewer!
Views are one of the most important engagement metrics you can acquire as a YouTube creator. Knowing how views are counted, you can structure your videos and market them with the aim of boosting your engagement metrics to grow your channel.