YouTube’s new Creator Studio has left beta and is now set the default studio for all users. It’s laid out much differently and has a lot more features and analytics for you to peruse.
The dashboard isn’t too useful in its current state. Right now, it just shows how well your latest video is doing, as well as an overview of your channel is doing. There are more cards for YouTube news and its Creator Insider newsletter, which feels like it’s just taking up space.
Hopefully, YouTube will add more cards and the ability to customize the dashboard in the future. Until then, you’ll likely want to move further down the sidebar to find anything useful.
The New Analytics Page
Perhaps the biggest and best change in the new studio, the Analytics page is a significant upgrade from the awful analytics YouTube used to have. The old analytics were not very detailed and took a day or two to update. The new analytics update mostly in real time, faster than the video’s view count. Anything that isn’t real-time updates by the hour, except for revenue which usually takes a day to figure itself out.
The overview page is the first thing you’ll see. This shows basic stats about your channel in a graph over time. The default period is “Last 28 Days,” but you can change the timeframe from the menu in the top right corner.
The graph itself is split into four tabs, which you can switch between as you choose. All of the other analytics pages are laid out the same way, with multiple graphs about each topic. You can also hover over the graph to view the specific stats for that day.
Next up is the “Reach Viewers” tab which includes statistics about impressions and click-through rate, but is summarized very nicely by this chart under the main graph.
This pyramid of impressions, views, and watch time is essentially how the YouTube algorithm works. Maximize your click-through rate and average view duration, and YouTube will give you more impressions, which gives you more views, which gives you more watch time. Watch time is all that matters, not views; after all, if someone is staying on YouTube longer, they’re exposed to more ads.
The next tab is “Interest Viewers,” which tracks the average view duration.
There’s a card at the bottom that shows which end screen videos perform best, but other than that, it’s not the most useful of pages.
The “Build an Audience” tab shows stats about your viewers and tracks subscribers. It’s nice to look at the demographics of your viewers, but this page is mostly static.
The Revenue tab might be what you’re clicking most often. It shows various stats about the monetization of your channel, how many viewers see ads on your videos, and how much you make per thousand playbacks (CPM).
It’s important to note here that your CPM is not your real CPM. It’s based on how many monetized playbacks YouTube gives you, which is only a small percentage of your views. So, the math doesn’t make sense if you’re just multiplying CPM by views.
The default timeframe for this tab is still “Last 28 Days,” which isn’t what you might want. Since Adsense only pays out once a month for everything you made that month, you’ll want to switch it to the current month to view how much you’ve made since your last paycheck.
The New Videos List
Click the “Videos” button in the sidebar to navigate to the videos list. This page shows an overview of all your videos, including the views, number of comments and likes, and other information.
One change from the old studio is that uploads are separated from live streams. You’ll need to click the “Live” tab to find your past live videos, which are laid out in the same way your uploads are.
To view more information about a video, click on the thumbnail or title in the list.
The new video details page is quite different. The sidebar will change, and you will see your video’s thumbnail on top of it. You’ll find familiar options for changing the title and description, and farther down you’ll find options for changing the thumbnail, tags, visibility, and end screens of your video.
In the sidebar, you’ll see three main pages, the first of which is video-specific analytics.
This page is similar to the main analytics page but has a few video-specific options. A useful addition is the audience retention graph—you can see where people stop watching or skip through, which is useful to find what your viewers like.
Further down is the editor page, which contains a very basic video editor. You can’t really edit videos after they’ve been uploaded, so this editor just contains options for cutting or blurring out content that’s already in the video or to add music (or bleeps).
Next is the Comments tab, which replaces the Community tab from the old studio. This shows video-specific comments and lets you reply to people from the studio.
To view new comments, click the sort button in the top right and sort by “New Comments.” You can also search for comments with the filter box, or view comments YouTube deems as spam (which sometimes includes innocent people who post links, so it’s worth looking through once in a while).
Besides videos and analytics, you’ll find options for monetization, channel settings, copyright settings, and settings for your community moderators. The studio is quite expansive, so poke around for yourself to get a sense of where everything is.
Most of the other various settings and pages from the old creator dashboard have been merged into the new studio. Anything that’s still missing, you’ll find under the “Other Features” tab in the main sidebar, and you can use the classic studio until YouTube gets around to building new versions of them.
If You Don’t Like it, You Can Switch Back
If you’re completely opposed to change, you can switch back to the “Classic” studio. Just click the “Creator Studio Classic” button at the bottom of the new studio’s sidebar. This will set the Classic studio as the default, though you can always use the new one by selecting “Studio Beta” from the account menu.