12 Days of Data, Day 5: YouTube Engagement Statistics for Videos With More Than 100 Views


Welcome to the 12 Days of Data, our look back at the data that made marketing in 2019. We’re looking at the year that was from an analytics perspective to see what insights we can take into the next year and decade. Sit up, get your coffee ready, and let’s celebrate some data.

YouTube Engagement Statistics for Videos With More Than 100 Views

On Day 5, we leave behind the Zuckerverse and venture into Google’s premier video platform, YouTube. YouTube, founded in 2005 and acquired by Google in 2006, is the world’s largest video repository, second-largest search engine, and a social network in its own right. With more than 500 hours of video content loaded to YouTube every minute of every day according to TubeFilter, measuring anything on YouTube can be a gargantuan task. Nonetheless, what can we glean from even a sampling of top content?

Before we go further, we define engagement as the number of interactions (likes, dislikes, and comments) that occurred on a YouTube video, divided by the number of views of that video. For all the computations that follow, we use the median as the measure of centrality, rather than the mean (average) because medians deal better with outliers, especially in large social media datasets.

In 2019, 200,250 YouTube channels posted 51,4402 videos with at least 100 views:

12 Days of Data, Day 5: YouTube Engagement Statistics for Videos With More Than 100 Views

The headline statistic? YouTube’s engagement rate on a per-video basis is 3.7% – which is higher than anything on Facebook or Instagram. Once a video reaches over 100 views, engagement comes along with eyeballs. If you work to build a reliable audience, expect engagement to follow suit.

Other statistics:

  • The median number of engagements per video was 42 likes, 4 dislikes, and 8 comments
  • The median number of views per video was 1,554 views
  • The median number of posts per YouTube channel for the year was 2.57 per year

The latter point is one which is worth highlighting as well: on a per-channel basis, the majority of YouTube channels rarely post new content.

Let’s look at median engagement rate over the calendar year:

12 Days of Data, Day 5: YouTube Engagement Statistics for Videos With More Than 100 Views

We see engagement begin at roughly 6% per video at the beginning of the year and bottom out around 3.38% in early October – then start to rise again to roughly 4% as of the time of this study. This is an interesting trend – unlike other social networks examined thus far, YouTube’s engagement appears to have bottomed out and is now on the increase. Time will tell if engagement rates continue to rise.

Key Takeaways

YouTube’s performance at 3.7% engagement per video is stellar. As cited in previous editions of this series, the average clickthrough rate on email in 2019 according to MailChimp is 2.62%, so on a per-video basis, YouTube videos encourage 41% more interaction than an email. Granted, the content format and type of interaction is very different, but compared to other social networks previously examined, YouTube is the first network where performance exceeds email’s basic benchmark number.

When we combine high levels of engagement on a per video basis with the fact that YouTube channels publish so few videos per year (median), this highlights an exciting opportunity for marketers. Despite the perception that “everyone’s creating video”, the reality is that most channels aren’t creating a ton of video. That leaves an opportunity, a white space for your company to create valuable, rich video content that stands a chance of being seen, as long as your audience uses YouTube. With effective cross-promotion on other platforms (especially your email newsletter list), YouTube can be a powerful force for creating engagement with your audience.

The reason for that low publishing rate? Unlike photos or text, minimally commercially viable videos require more effort, tools, and time to create. Yes, anyone can simply turn on their camera on their smartphone and start recording, but the level of quality of such a publication tends to be slightly lower, and that in turn concerns marketers who fear for brand damage. Thus, an enterprising marketer with a small budget but the right gear can create a sizable advantage on YouTube by cornering a niche, especially in lagging industries which have neither interest nor capability in creating video content.

If video is on your roadmap of content for the coming year, make sure YouTube is one of the central locations you post and promote it.


Trust Insights used Talkwalker’s software to identify all videos with the words “the”, “and”, or “or” in the title or description for calendar year 2019. A sampling of the top 50,000 viewed videos each day was taken, sorted in descending order by number of views, then consolidated and de-duped by video URL. Talkwalker does not provide data about paid versus unpaid videos. Due to the selection method, there is a bias towards videos published in the English language. No location was specified, so videos and channels from around the world are included, but some bias towards English-language locations such as India, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the United States of America is implicit based on the selection criteria. Video data was filtered to only include videos with a cumulative number of views exceeding 100. Engagement on YouTube is defined as (likes + dislikes + comments) / views. The timeframe of the study is January 1, 2019 to December 11, 2019. The date of extraction is December 12, 2019. Trust Insights is the sole sponsor of the study and neither gave nor received compensation for data used, beyond applicable service fees to software vendors.


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