How Many Views Does a YouTube Video Get? Average Views by Category

How Many Views Does a YouTube Video Get? Average Views by Category

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If there is one question we’re asked more than any other at ReelSEO it’s “how many views does the average video really get on YouTube?” Who asks? Content creators who want to know how well they are doing, brands who are contemplating a paid campaign to boost visibility, and marketers who want to set a realistic KPI for their campaigns.

Although views aren’t always the best kind of metric to measure performance, with over 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s handy to have a benchmark to ascertain how well your video content is doing against others in the same vertical.

In this post, using in-depth data from Tubular, we are going to confirm the average view count across a list of YouTube categories. We’re also going to take a deeper-dive into each category to show you some surprising trends that may help you when it comes to creating compelling content, and optimizing that content to be found in YouTube – and beyond.

Please Note: Tubular’s data currently analyzes the way over 100 million viewers interact with hundreds of millions of videos on YouTube. Keep in mind that the viewing data covers all public video uploads and does not differentiate between organic and paid views.

While views are important and are a good indication of the interest generated by your content and they way you have optimized your metadata, it is absolutely critical that you also pay very close attention to your watch-time metric, your subscriber growth, and other performance indicators.

What’s the Average # Views per Video by YouTube Category?

We took a look at 9 YouTube categories and the average view count for videos within each of them. As you can see, based on the data analyzed, ‘Entertainment’ gets the most average views with 9,816, whilst People and Blogs gets the lowest average amount of views per video at 2,354. You can skip to the individual category data by clicking on the links below:

How-To and Style: Average YouTube Views per Video = 8,332

The How-to and Style category of YouTube covers a range of content from beauty haul videos, make-up tutorials, and toy reviews to keep-fit advice, recipe demonstrations, and everything in-between. It’s where the majority of informational, but non-educational, videos live and if you are creating that type of content, then the How-to category is the one you should be uploading to.

Most Popular Video in the How-to and Style Category: The most popular video of all time (in terms of views) in the How to and Style vertical is ‘thigh massage video‘ which has generated over 270 million views since being uploaded 7 years ago. Despite its potentially frisky content, the video is actually quite a badly lit, badly shot, straightforward clip of, er, a thigh being massaged. The reason it attracted so many views isn’t the video itself, but because the comments section blew up with an incendiary debate over religious freedom.

Keyword Observations: We know that videos in this category get around an average of 8,332 views, but is there anything that creators, brands, and marketers can do to increase this amount? Why, yes there is. Apart from creating engaging, entertaining, and informative content which is a given, there are certain title and YouTube video description keywords you can use that tend to fare better in terms of average views. We can’t go into every one (otherwise this post would be 50,000 words long), but here is a small selection to get you thinking. So, ‘How To’ videos with:

  • ‘How To’ in the title generate an average of 14K views
  • ‘How To’ in the title and description generate an average of 15K views
  • ‘Tutorial’ in the title and description generate an average of 16K views
  • ‘Review’ or ‘reviews’ in the title and description generate an average of 16K views
  • ‘Beauty’ and ‘tutorial’ in the title and description generate an average of of 20K views
  • ‘How to fix’ in the title and description generate an average of 17K views
  • ‘How to do’ in the title and description generate an average of 24K views

Can you see what a difference optimizing your title and description makes? As long as you are accurate and not trying to mislead the viewer any way in terms of the actual content of your video, then please make sure you are describing the video as fully as possible. If it’s a tutorial, then make sure you use that keyword in the title and the description – viewers are looking to watch those kind of videos and they won’t be able to find you if you don’t optimize for those keywords.

One of the most engaging types of content in this category is the toy review. DisneyCollectorBR is one of the most popular creators in this vertical, and their uploads generate around 5 million views. This pushes the average for How To videos with “toy review” in the title and description to a staggering 195K views. If your video is about reviewing a toy and you are not including these keywords in your metadata then revise that now. Your views may not skyrocket, but they could increase because you are optimizing for the right terms.

People and Blogs: Average YouTube Views per Video = 2,354

people and blogs on youtubeThe People and Blogs category on YouTube is a complete hotchpotch of all kinds of content – some super helpful, some very surreal. This category attracts content from big-name YouTube superstars, independent vloggers, one-off videos that have gone viral, and non-branded content. It’s the most popular category on YouTube with around twice as many uploads as the next most popular, gaming. There have been over 33 million videos uploaded to this section alone in the past 30 days.

Most Popular Video in the People and Blogs Category: The most viewed ever video in this category is the very bizarre (yet boring) “An Experiment” featuring a girl, a toilet, a bottle of coke, and some mentos type candy. That riveting video has generated over 274 million views, but it’s the video at #6 which should be of most interest to brands and marketers, “First Kiss”. This video has not only generated over 98 million views, but also provided a very real and impressive R.O.I for the brand behind it:

“First Kiss” gained success via outreach and viral buzz rather than optimizing for certain keywords, but let’s take a look at some tactics you could use to increase the average view count. We know “how to” is a very popular search term, so how does it fare in this category? People & Blogs videos with ‘How To’ in the title and description generate an average of 2,225 views, which is slightly less than the average #views in this category = 2354 views. So, there’s no real value in optimizing for those key words in this category (but use them if that’s the topic of your video – although if it is, it should be in the ‘How To category!).

Keyword Observations: Let’s have a look at how some other keywords fare. People and Blog videos with:

  • ‘Baby’ or ‘babies’ in the title and description generate an average of 27K views
  • ‘Boyfriend’ in the title and description generate an average of 8,382 views
  • ‘Girlfriend’ in the title and description generate an average of 14K views
  • ‘Dating’ in the title and description generate an average of 6,191 views
  • ‘Pregnant’ in the title and description generate an average of 11K views
  • ‘Surprise’ in the title and description generate an average of 8,849 views
  • ‘Best’ in the title and description generate an average of 4,039 views
  • ‘Weight loss’ in the title and description generate an average of 5,081 views

Top Tip: If your video features a baby, or a multiple of babies, then make sure those keywords appear somewhere in your title and description!

Entertainment: Average YouTube Views per Video = 9,816

average view on youtube entertainment videosThe Entertainment category on YouTube is the 4th most active one, with an average view count of 9,816 per video upload. Now, this category is a real mish-mash of content, with creators uploading all sorts of videos that they consider entertaining. The most popular brand channel in the Entertainment category (after YouTube itself) is The Ellen Show. The Warner Bros owned Channel has 10.3 million subscribers, and generated 3.5 billion views from over 5,000 uploads

Most Popular Video in the Entertainment Category: #1 all time most viewed in this category is a music video called ‘What Does the Fox Say‘, and I guess uploading it to ‘Entertainment’ makes sense as the creators are TV based-people. (Fun Fact: at 487 million views, the video would have been the 38th most popular of all time if uploaded to the ‘Music’ category. Psy’s Gangnam Style, of course takes the #1 spot).

Keyword Observations: Talkative foxes aside, what kind of sub-categories get the most views? Entertainment videos with:

  • ‘Parody’ in the title and description generate an average of 47K views
  • ‘Music’ in the title and description generate an average of 26K views
  • ‘Unboxing’ in the title and description generate an average of 10K views
  • ‘Movies’ in the title and description generate an average of 21K views
  • ‘Comedy’ in the title and description generate an average of 16K views
  • ‘Funny’ in the title and description generate an average of 14K views
  • ‘TV’ in the title and description generate an average of 10K views

Gaming Videos: Average YouTube Views per Video = 3,050

minecraft most searched keyword on youtubeWe know that gaming videos account for around 15% of all YouTube uploads, but how does that actually break down in terms of average views per video? It’s the 2nd most popular category on YouTube, ahead of Music and Entertainment, with over 1 billion views in the last 7 days alone.

Most Popular Video in the Gaming Category: The top video in this category is Cars 2 HD Gameplay Compilation uploaded by DarkZeroTV which has attracted 112.5 million views.

Keyword Observations: Let’s see what searching on a few choice keywords returns for gaming video content. Gaming videos with:

  • ‘Video game cheats’ in the title and description generate an average of 77K views
  • ‘Walk-through’ or ‘walkthrough’ in the title and description generate an average of 32K views
  • ‘Minecraft’ in the title and description generate an average of 5,591 views
  • ‘Call of Duty’ in the title and description generate an average of 2,818 views
  • ‘Review’ in the title and description generate an average of 4,511 views
  • ‘Gameplay’ in the title and description generate an average of 5,724K views
  • ‘Video games’ in the title and description generate an average of 13K views

Gaming videos with ‘PewDiePie’ in the title and description generate an average of 232K views! But before you go adding Felix’s keyword to your title or description PLEASE NOTE that top 20 videos for this keyword in the Gaming category all belong to PewdiePie. That very strongly suggests that Maker 2 (the YouTube multi-channel network that PewDiePie belongs to) are clamping down/taking action against creators who try to capitalize on the name. So, don’t do that.

Education: Average YouTube Views per Video = 4,872

average views fo education videos on youtubeThe Education category on YouTube does what it says on the tin – educates and informs the viewer via a range of video content. It’s a little more focused than the ‘How To’ category and offers some solid-gold informational content for all ages and demographics. There’s literally nothing you can’t learn via the medium of YouTube if you research hard enough.

Most Popular Video in the Education Category: The most viewed video in this category is the delightfully quirky animation of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ which has generated over 440 million views for the Super Simple Songs channel. This isn’t a one-off, the channel has built up a very loyal and engaged following and offers a range of content for babies and young children:

Keyword Observations: We looked at a range of short-tail keywords to see how their inclusion in the title and video description affects the average view count. Education videos with:

  • ‘Nursery rhyme’ in the title and description generate an average of 192K views
  • ‘Sing’ in the title and description generate an average of 114K views
  • ‘Baby’ or ‘babies’ in the title and description generate an average of 89K views
  • ‘Teaching’ in the title and description generate an average of 13K views
  • ‘Children’ in the title and description generate an average of 51K views
  • ‘How to’ in the title and description generate an average of 7,824 views
  • ‘Tutorial’ in the title and description generate an average of 8,721 views
  • ‘Music’ in the title and description generate an average of 20K views
  • ‘Infant’ in the title and description generate an average of 59K views

Videos uploaded to the Education category that are optimized for the key words “nursery rhyme” generated an AVERAGE of 192K views, That’s higher than the average 120K views for videos optimized for those terms across all categories. That’s why it’s VITAL to upload to the right category on YouTube!

Autos: Average YouTube Views per Video = 5,676

auto category youtube averge viewsThe Autos and Vehicles category isn’t the biggest on YouTube, but has still garnered just under 6 trillion views for all the videos uploaded to it. Content includes branded advertising videos which have gone super-viral (see example below), car reviews, videos about cars, driving, and other general transport topics, and just about anything you can think of that has to do with vehicles, vehicle parts, and opinions about different types of vehicles.

Most Popular Video in the Autos and Vehicles Category: It’s no wonder that this masterclass in video marketing is the number one most viewed video in the Auto category. Jean-Claude Van Damme helped generate 77 million views for Volvo Trucks, and the brand attracted a ton of earned-media via a number of parody videos that also went viral. The video continues to be incredibly popular, generating around 445K views in January 2015 alone:

Keyword Observations: We took a look at how optimizing for certain brands, and other intent-type keywords would affect the average view count for the category. When it comes to popularity, the viewer is definitely attracted to videos that have that entertainment factor because Auto videos with:

  • ‘Top Gear’ in the title and description generate an average of 25K views
  • ‘Car chase’ in the title and description generate an average of 21K views
  • ‘Lamborghini’ in the title and description generate an average of 19K views
  • ‘Wheeler dealers’ in the title and description generate an average of 15K views
  • ‘Porsche’ in the title and description generate an average of 10K views
  • ‘BMW’ in the title and description generate an average of 6,373 views
  • ‘Car review’ in the title and description generate an average of 7,965 views

Travel and Events: Average YouTube Views per Video = 3,070

travel videos on youtube average views per videoYouTube is the ideal platform for travel content, because according to Google, two out of three U.S. consumers watch online travel videos when they’re planning, or thinking about taking a trip. So, it’s no wonder that creators love to upload all sorts of travel and events content to this category, and viewers love to watch it.

Most Popular Video in the Travel and Events Category: The most viewed video in this category is the super-viral ‘Kobe vs. Messi: The Selfie Shootout’, uploaded by Turkish Airlines in December 2013. It has generated 139+ million views. It became one of the most popular videos ads ever on YouTube, with 77 million views in its first week:

Keyword Observations: ‘Travel and Events’ covers a huge variety of topics so we played around with some keywords to see how this affected the average views per video in this category. Travel and Events videos with:

  • ‘Best Rollercoaster’ in the title and description generate an average of 30K views
  • ‘Disneyland’ in the title and description generate an average of 18K views
  • ‘How to Pack’ in the title and description generate an average of 18K views
  • ‘Disney’ in the title and description generate an average of 18K views
  • ‘Cruise ship’ in the title and description generate an average 8,879 of views
  • ‘Best beach’ in the title and description generate an average of 10K views
  • ‘Amusement park’ in the title and description generate an average of 13K views

Pets and Animals: Average YouTube Views per Video = 6,542

pets and animals category on youtube average video viewsYay, it’s the cat video category! We joke of course, because although there are 2 million cat videos on YouTube, there’s also content regarding every other conceivable mammal, amphibian, insect, bird, and reptile you can think of.

Most Popular Video in the Pets and Animals Category: The most viewed video is the 42 second long ‘Girl and Horse – Great Bond‘ which has generated over 124 million views since it’s upload in July 2007.

Cat videos get more average views than dog videos on YouTube (Click to Tweet)

Keyword Observations: The most popular pet videos on YouTube are the ones where the pet or animal in question is doing something us mere humans find funny. So, we took a look at some of the keywords that viewers may be searching on to find that kind of content, and found that videos with:

  • ‘Compilation’ in the title and description generate an average of 27K views
  • ‘Funny cats’ in the title and description generate an average of 24K views
  • ‘Funny’ in the title and description generate an average of 21K views
  • ‘Cats’ in the title and description generate an average of 17K views
  • ‘Dogs’ in the title and description generate an average of 14K views
  • ‘How to’ in the title and description generate an average of 13K views
  • ‘Fail’ in the title and description generate an average of 11K views

Gardea23 is the one of the top branded channels on YouTube in the Pets and Animals vertical with 649K subscribers, and over 436 million views. This video of Husky dog Mishka talking is the second most viewed in the category:

Science and Tech: Average YouTube Views per Video = 6,638

science and technology average video views on youtubeScience and Tech is one of the most innovative, and exciting categories on YouTube with channels like Vsauce, asapscience, and Origami768 pushing the boundaries of education and entertainment. There are millions of videos on YouTube that show you mind-blowing experiments, teach you something you didn’t know, or show you a part of the world, or your body, that you didn’t even know existed.

Most Popular Video in the Science and Tech Category: The most viewed video in this category is some kind of fat-burning device called Cavitacion. Uploaded in the Spanish language, so far it has generated over 150 million views which we’re sure has absolutely nothing to do with the soft-porn style (and totally misleading) custom thumbnail it uses.

Keyword Observations: The average science and tech video attracts 6,638 views but there are so many different types of video content in this group that we played around with some keywords to see what kind of difference it made to the average view count. Videos with:

  • ‘Mobile phone’ in the title and description generate an average of 26K views
  • ‘Apple’ or ‘iPhone’ in the title and description generate an average of 13K views
  • ‘Unboxing’ in the title and description generate an average of 7,615 views
  • ‘Tech’ in the title and description generate an average of 9,359 views
  • ‘Samsung’ in the title and description generate an average of 14K views
  • ‘Science’ in the title and description generate an average of 17K views
  • ‘Space’ in the title and description generate an average of 12K views
  • ‘Cell phone’ or ‘Smartphone’ in the title and description generate an average of 14K views
  • ‘Robot’ in the title and description generate an average of 13K views 

Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic free fall from 128,000 feet is the most viewed ‘Space’ video in the science and Tech category. It has generated over 37 million views for the Red Bull YouTube channel, and is the most watched video on YouTube for the drinks brand.

How to Increase Average Video Views YouTube: TODAY!

The view count is a much-maligned metric, but it can be a great indicator of how well your video content is performing. Make sure you are doing the following basics to ensure as many viewers get access to your content as possible:

  • Build your subscriber base! There’s no question that a loyal fan base will watch pretty much anything you upload. DisneyCollectorBR has over 3.5 million subscribers which is why each of their videos attracts so many views.
  • Revise your titles and description. Test what works, and then test again. Test the ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘which’, ‘who’, and ‘how’ keywords to see what effect they have. Test your custom thumbnail for the same reasons.
  • Make sure you upload your videos to the right category. You can change the setting even after you have uploaded.
  • Pay for them via an advertising campaign.
  • Collaborate with other creators/brands to expand your audience reach

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