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Your Video Second-by-Second

By The YouTube Team

YouTube Insight has helped you learn more about your YouTube videos, enabling you to establish when and where your videos prove popular. But what if you could learn not just which of your videos are hot on the site, but which specific parts of those videos are hotter than others? What if you could know exactly when viewers tend to leave your videos, or which scenes within a video they watch again and again?

Happily, this information is now available to all YouTube video uploaders via an innovative new feature for Insight called "Hot Spots." The Hot Spots tab in Insight plays your video alongside a graph that shows the ups-and-downs of viewership at different moments within the video. We determine "hot" and "cold" spots by comparing your video's abandonment rate at that moment to other videos on YouTube of the same length, and incorporating data about rewinds and fast-forwards. So what does that mean? Well, when the graph goes up, your video is hot: few viewers are leaving, and people may be rewinding on the control bar to see that sequence again. When the graph goes down, your content's gone cold: viewers are moving to another part of the video or leaving the video entirely.

Here's an example of Hot Spots in action, based on a video of YouTube employee Michael Rucker making like Soulja Boy.

You can see that many viewers are not initially impressed with Rucker's efforts; they're leaving the video at a faster than average rate almost immediately after the video begins. But the longer the video plays, the more people tend to stay, generating a hot spot at the end of the video. Better late than never.

We think you'll find Hot Spots useful in several ways. For example, you can figure out which scenes in your videos are the "hottest" and edit them accordingly, or insert annotations at key moments to keep your audience more engaged. Now that Insight shows what parts of videos viewers are watching and skipping, you'll no longer have to guess why people watch your work – you'll know. You can find this new feature under the "Hot Spots" tab within the Insight dashboard (you must be logged in to your YouTube account).

As with all of Insight's features, we learn about the most creative examples from you. Are you using Insight in a new and interesting way? Upload a video to YouTube and let us know.

Have fun,

The YouTube Team