YouTube rolls out usage analytics

YouTube is giving members data about viewership of the clips they upload to the site

YouTube account holders will now be able to access usage statistics for the videos they upload, such as where viewers are geographically located and how they found the clips.

The feature, called YouTube Insight, had been in high demand from partners that use the video-sharing site to market their products and services and, as such, want detailed metrics to determine the efficacy of their YouTube campaigns.

The announcement, made early Thursday, wasn't a complete surprise. Earlier this month, YouTube sales team manager Brian Cusack said that the Google unit was planning to provide its members with more data about video viewership.

"YouTube has enormous amounts of data, but not great reporting on that data yet," Cusack said during a keynote speech at the eRetailer Summit in Miami.

Now, marketers will have a better understanding of clips' reach and effectiveness at boosting brand awareness and sales, according to YouTube.

"With YouTube Insight, we've turned YouTube into one of the world's largest focus groups. Insight will help advertisers optimize their marketing efforts, determine how successful they were, and discover previously unknown marketing opportunities," an official YouTube blog posting reads.

The metrics will also give a better understanding of clips' popularity and viewership to people who upload videos for fun without commercial or marketing purposes.

YouTube Insight doesn't collect or display personally identifiable information on viewers, but rather provides uploaders with aggregated data on viewers' geographic location and on the time and day when clips were viewed, a Google spokesman said via e-mail. Google will "soon" turn a feature to let uploaders discover how viewers found a clip, such as via a Google search, browsing YouTube's "related videos" suggestions or clicking on an e-mail or Web site link, he said.

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