How would you measure the success of YouTube?
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in Metrics by (49 points) | 1.4k views

3 Answers

+3 votes

Youtube comes in two flavors, the ad-supported version and the premium version at ~$12/month subscription cost. It is also a 2 sided marketplace. Hence it's success not only depends on the number of people watching the content, but also on those uploading content. I will try to breakdown the metrics for success into the Activation, Acquisition, Retention, and Monetization for both viewers and uploaders, as well as for the ad-supported and premium versions.


Acquisition# of new customers uploading content
Retention# of Videos uploaded per consumer. Daily, Weekly, and Monthly active usage numbers for content uploads. Views per video. Channels created per uploader. Subscribers per channel
MonetizationAdvertisement revenue per video


Viewers - Ad supported

Acquisition# of new customers logging in; Daily Traffic
Activation# of logged in users accessing service; 
RetentionAverage time spent on site; Daily, Weekly, Monthly # of Videos watched; Time spent on site
MonetizationAdvertisement revenue per customer; Eyeballs per advertisement; Click through rate; LTV


Viewers - Premium

Acquisiton# of customers signing up for trial
Activation# of customers renewing subscription
RetentionDAU, WAU, and MAU; Subscription renewal  after 2nd month of service; Churn rate
MonetizationMonthly revenue generated from subscribers


Feedback is highly appreciated.


I think it’s grate the way you splitter the answer for different type of users. However for the viewers it seems you neglected users who did not sign in, where do you handle in you metrics these users ?
0 votes
YouTube is the defacto destination for people to find and watch videos of different kinds, mostly user generated content as well as paid content. Lately, YouTube has added the ability to watch cable and broadcast tv as a premium member. The primary way YouTube makes money is through video ads and iirc users make a cut of the video ads money for their video uploads.

YouTube was intended to be the one stop shop for all kinds of video for all kinds of content for all types of people world. From that perspective, we need to see how widely is YouTube available, how the audience values YouTube and whether YouTube as a business is successful or not. Given the above, we should look at reach across the world, we should look at user engagement and finally we should look at earnings.

1. Reach - most widely used video service in the world, as measured by the number of users on the service every month, by the number of users uploading content monthly.

2. Engagement - YouTube users use YouTube for a variety of reasons mostly for entertainment and also for education. Entertainment is a daily need of human beings thus, daily usage is a valid measure of engaged users - DAU, we can also see whether YouTube has depth engagement so we only count users with more that 1 video watched or minutes of video watched. People also use YouTube for education so a daily habit is a valid metric.

3. Revenue - YouTube is costly from an operational cost perspective. Therefore, at its current state of the business, it is expected to earn enough to drive net positive contribution to google overall business. As costs are tight ly related to video being watched, revenue per hour of video streamed may be an interesting metric.

4. Brand impact - YouTube carries risk of legal and brand damage due to pirated and offensive content. Net positive contribution to Google brand needs to be measured. One way to measure brand impact would be monitor piracy takedowns per thousand videos for e g

5. Further, YouTube has impact on society in different countries in different ways with access to free lectures from the best teachers and authors. YouTube has also allows for harmful content. It would also be important to measure offensive content notifications per 1000 videos
by (73 points)
0 votes

Product description


A platform for users to consume and share video content - mainly entertainment & educational content

User types

  1. Video content consumers 

  2. Uploader users - users/brands/singers/schools/teachers who upload their video content


  1. Increase the adoption of the product, create large base of relevant video content by publishers which being consumed by individuals.

  2. High retention - make sure users & publishers return to consume and update video content

If the product will have large user base of publishers who share content on the one hand and high user base who consume the content, the advertisers would like to come and monetize their ads in this platform and the platform can charge for premium membership in case user wouldn’t want to see ads



  • Publisher adoption = # of daily video content being uploaded with more then 100 views in the first week.

  • User adoption = # of daily new users who consume at least 1 video content 

  • User retention 1 = average # of video content being viewed (full view) / total users base for a given week

  • User retention 2 - relevancy = # click & full view content / # of queries per day. (*Note that here the entity is not a user rather then a query phrase)

  • User retention 3 -  popularity= % of video content being consumed out of the total searches through google search engine

  • CTR of ads = # of click on ads / total number of video views (impressions)

by (13 points)
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