When is the Best Time to Upload on YouTube?

If you are looking to discover the best time to upload on YouTube, you’ve come to the right place! Founded in 2005, YouTube continues to be one of the biggest social media platforms today. Two billion people log in to YouTube every month, with each visitor watching an average of 11 minutes of content on it every day.

With 60% of people preferring online video platforms over live TV, having a YouTube channel is becoming a necessary marketing tactic for more and more businesses.  Latest estimates show that 62% of businesses now share content on YouTube.

But simply posting videos on YouTube does not mean you will reach more people. There are many things to consider to make sure that your YouTube videos are seen by the people that you want to reach. The time that you post your videos is one of those things.

So, you may be asking yourself: “when is the best time to upload to YouTube?” Let’s look at the different ways you can figure out the best time to upload on YouTube.

What Do YouTube Numbers Tell Us?

Reports show that there are specific hours of the day and days of the week where people are most active on YouTube. Here is a rundown:

The Most Popular Days

YouTube usage statistics show that the highest level of viewership happens during weekdays. Out of all the days of the week, Thursday and Friday are considered the best days to upload on YouTube. This lines up well with the end of the week, as most YouTube users are children, teenagers, or young adults. The end of the week usually means they have more time to be online.

Weekends are also a popular time on YouTube, with Fridays and Saturdays as the best days of the week for engagement, while Sunday is also an ideal day to upload a video.

The Most Popular Hours

On the weekends, mornings are usually the best time to upload to YouTube. If you post between 9 A.M. and 12 P.M. Eastern Time on Saturday and Sunday, you increase your chances of getting many views right away. On the weekdays, afternoons between 2 P.M. and 4 P.M. are the ideal times to post.

The Most Popular Months and Seasons in a Year

If you are not yet at a point where you can post videos weekly or multiple times per month, you can publish your videos during the busiest months or season of the year. Marketers generally agree that the holiday season is usually the best time to publish videos. People typically share video content during that time more than the other times of the year.

Some suggest avoiding the months of May to September when posting content. This is because this is the time when most people are outside enjoying the summer weather.

Knowing Your Viewers is Key

If your channel is still new, the statistics mentioned above can be a useful starting guide to help you find the best time to upload on YouTube. But these numbers mean nothing if you don’t understand your audience. Check out these video ideas to rank on YouTube.

For instance, if you plan on uploading news-type videos, then uploading them on weekday mornings before 8 A.M. instead of afternoons may get you more views because that’s when mobile users typically consume news.

Or maybe most of your audience do not even live in North America. This would mean the time zones suggested above may not reflect their typical watching behavior.

The key here is: know your audience! How do you know who your audience is? The next section should help.

Get to Know Your Audience Better Using YouTube Studio

Did you know that you can see the demographic profiles and analyze the behavior of your viewers through your own YouTube account? YouTube has a feature called YouTube Studio, which gives you important insights that can help you grow your channel. 

Follow the steps below to learn how to figure out the best time to upload on YouTube using the Analytics feature on your account:

  1.  Go to YouTube Studio

Type in studio.youtube.com and log in to your Youtube account.

On the right side of the page, you will see the menu options: Dashboard, Videos, Playlists, Analytics, Comments, Subtitles, Monetization, and Audio Library.

Preview(opens in a new tab)

Go to Analytics. You should see an overview of how many views you had within a certain timeframe, the number of new subscribers you have, and the average watch time of your videos.

Youtube channel analytics
best time to upload to youtube

If you click on the Audience tab at the top of the page, you can see more detailed statistics about your audience. 

  • Find your most popular day of the week

The first thing you will see on the Audience page is a chart that shows how your number of views have gone up or down over a period of time. You can specify the timeframe that you want to look at on the upper-right corner of the page.

YouTube audience analytics for a YouTube channel
best time to upload to youtube

From this chart, you can see the days on which you get most views. Simply hover over the high points of the purple line and you should see the most popular date and days for your videos. Take note of these days and see if there are days on which you consistently get more views than others.

  • Identify where your viewers are from

YouTube Studio also allows you to see where your videos are most popular. In the Audience tab, scroll down to the section where it says “Top Countries.” It should give you a list of the countries from which your videos get the most views. 

Top countries listed for YouTube analytics
best time to upload to youtube

If you click “see more,” it will give you a more detailed chart showing the changes in the number of views over time in each top country. You can use this information to know what time zone you should be following for your upload schedule.

  • Know the age of your viewers

Knowing the age of your viewers can also help you find the best time to upload on YouTube. Late night may be a good time to upload if your primary audience are teenagers and young adults, but not so much if most of your viewers are in the older end of the population. Use the age information provided by YouTube Studio to help you better predict the behavior of your viewers.

To do this, simply scroll down the Audience tab until you see a section that says “Age and Gender.” It will show you the percentage of your viewers that are from a certain age group.

Age and gender listed from YouTube analytics
best time to upload to youtube

Your Prime Time vs. The Best Time to Upload on YouTube

The statistics and metrics we’ve looked at so far should help you know when the general YouTube audience and your own viewers are typically active on YouTube. Use these numbers to determine the “prime time” for views in your channel.

But your YouTube prime time is NOT the same as the best time to upload a video on your channel. Your prime time is when you get the most views on your videos. If you upload during your prime time, you risk losing views because by the time your video is published, your viewers will likely have already been offline.

That’s why the best time to upload on YouTube is 2-3 hours earlier than your prime time. This ensures that your video has been indexed by YouTube by the time your viewers are online. Indexing is YouTube’s way of making your videos rank higher on the search results page.

How Should You Use YouTube Analytics?

While YouTube statistics and analytics are great, they do not tell the whole story. The key is to combine the YouTube Studio analytics with your own understanding of your channel, brand, and other contexts.

If the video is a part of a bigger social media campaign, for instance, then knowing the best time to upload on YouTube is not enough. You will also need to find the best time to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels. This will help you to coordinate the launch of your campaign.

Does It Really Matter When You Upload Your Videos?

The short answer: yes.

As mentioned, uploading your video a few hours before your viewers get on YouTube can help make it more visible in search results and in your subscribers’ home feed. The more people that see your YouTube video, the higher you will rank in the search results page. That’s why the number of views that you get within the first few hours of upload is crucial.

Time of upload can also help manage your subscribers’ expectations. Uploading consistently on a certain day each week or month will show your subscribers when to expect your video. Aside from increasing your views, having a consistent upload schedule has been proven to be an effective way to keep your viewers engaged

The long answer

Time of upload is only one way to get more views. There are other factors that can make your videos more visible to a wider audience. Your thumbnail, the keywords that you use, and the tags that you choose all affect the searchability of your videos. Closed captioning your videos or adding a transcript can also significantly help the SEO of your videos.

What’s the best time to upload a YouTube video?

The best time to upload on YouTube varies from channel to channel. The key is to rely both on quantitative and qualitative contexts to find the perfect time for your audience. When done right, it can widen your reach and, if you are monetizing your videos, your ad sense earnings. Check out this article for tips and tools to maximize your success on YouTube this year.

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Morgan is a recognized video marketing expert and content creator. She also runs a video production company and has a passion for teaching all things video.