Google on Wednesday launched an analytics tool for YouTube, the better to convince “premium” content creators to host their material on the massively popular online streaming video site still somewhat dogged by a reputation of being primarily a source for clips of piano-playing cats and surfboard-riding squirrels.
It’s a bump up from Google’s previous YouTube analytics tool — dubbed “Insight” — offering users more granular information about viewers’ watching habits. That includes everything from finding out how much of your video users are watching to which users are commenting the most, as well as more general data like the demographics of your viewing audience.
Google is pitching the new service as a way for YouTube content creators to improve their videos, learning from the finely tuned data.
The biggest draw in beefing up the analytics product, however, most likely has to do with courting major content creators that go far beyond the everyman. Last month, Google inked a content deal with Disney to bring original content to its YouTube channel. It’s good for Disney, in that it could draw more of the growing YouTube crowd to the network’s other outlets. Granular data over audience viewing habits on YouTube is indispensable for any major content company.
More significantly, it’s a further push into beefing up major content channels for YouTube, an effort the company has stepped up as of recent. In October, YouTube announced it would launch over 100 online dedicated TV channels, all hosting original content from various celebrities and companies. A stronger analytics tool could serve to interest other companies skeptical of dealing with an online audience.
It also reminds of an earlier strategy in the company’s history, namely the launch of the Google Analytics product. Early Google employee Wesley Chan pitched the idea for Analytics, where website owners could use the service to monitor page views, traffic data and other pertinent stats. Smartly, Google offered it as a premium service, which users could access for a modest fee. The product was a success, and became a significant additional revenue source for the company.
Such could be the same for YouTube. The streaming video site has been a high traffic destination since its early days — long before Google acquired it in 2006 for a cool $1.65 in stock — offering anyone a chance to upload content.
YouTube analytics will gradually roll out to users over the course of the day.