YouTube News: Manual Claims, Real-Time CTR & More

We’ve gotten a lot of content from YouTube this week, as Tom gave us a new update on Creator Insider on Thursday.

The video opened reminding creators that they ran an experiment forcing people over to the new Studio Beta to get more feedback from those who have stuck to Classic, and remind them that everything is switching over “later this year.” Just like it was switching over “sometime in 2018,” and then “first thing in January 2019”? Personally, I do not find it acceptable to force people to switch over until the Beta is feature-complete with the Classic dashboard, which it is definitely not, and I will do everything I can to keep my power-user tools from Classic available to me until they get rid of the old dashboard entirely.

Tom’s first announcement was that the development team has been working for “many quarters of the year” on a real-time Click-Through-Rate tool in Analytics, that will begin rolling out to a small random sample. 

Under Analytics -> Reach Viewers, you will have access (if you’re in the sample rollout) realtime Impressions and CTR data. This information helps creators decide if their titles and thumbnails are effective at converting people who might see their video in search or suggestions to actual viewers. Previously this data was not updated frequently and thus didn’t help right away for new videos, so this is a big boon for those who watch their new videos like a hawk - though Tom pointed out that this is not to be used to “change your title and thumbnail over and over and go crazy,” trying to maximize it multiple times, and that abusing or gaming your metadata will penalize your video and your entire channel. Creator Academy has a resource on how to avoid rule-breaking or misleading title and thumbnail practices.

If the tool usage goes well, the roll out will expand to more and more users over the next few months.

Tom also mentioned that they are soon rolling out an update to the manual Content ID claim tool that requires the claimant to specify timestamps in the video that claimed content is present, based on complaints from creators. This was… confusing to me, however - as from everything I’ve seen of the Content ID system, it already requires the claimant to specify whether the claim is on audio, video, both, or metadata, and input a timestamp. They even give creators a little handy “Play Matched Content” button to jump right to that part in the video preview player. In all of my years on YouTube or (formerly) working at a MCN dealing with this stuff, I’ve never seen a claim without that information. So I… am really not sure what changed here. But either way, more information to the creator is always a good thing, so hopefully it’s a change for the better.

Lastly, Tom shared that the Memberships team have found that the number one factor in creators making money with YouTube Channel Memberships is an announcement video. Letting viewers know that it’s an option. Funny, my Partner Manager just mentioned the same thing on Monday.

While he’s not wrong - announcing something to your viewers obviously has a significant impact on them being aware of it - it’s always a struggle to balance this kind of “hub” content in today’s YouTube where having your videos hit suggested and other recommendations is so important, and more widely-appealing content. It’s tough these days to upload content “just for your subscribers” where, inherently, that content will get promoted less by YouTube even to your own subscribers when you could just keep pushing content that reaches more broadly. Or perhaps I’m just making excuses for myself for not having done this.

Question for readers: How do you balance YouTube Channel Memberships versus other fan funding options? YouTube is introducing some pretty cool features for the program, but quite a few of them basically require exclusivity to Channel Members. (Example: A suggested idea by my Partner Manager was to create a playlist of Members-exclusive videos and host that on my channel page - but that requires the videos to be marked as Members-only, not Unlisted, which prevents my Patreon, Donorbox, Twitch, Ko-Fi, and direct contributors from viewing.) I’m unwilling to put all my eggs in one basket and cut off my other fan funding supporters, so actually utilizing some of these features would require some serious logistical juggling and multiple copies uploaded of some content, etc. Just curious how other creators handle this idea.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tech educator, '90s and '00s Nostalgia Nerd, Pixel and Framerate Junkie. 12 years on YouTube is a loooong time.

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