What is a video view?
Looking for Brightcove alternatives? Start here
November 6, 2018
Video Ad Strategies: Desktop vs Mobile
November 15, 2018

What Are Video Views and How to Count Them

So, you’re working with online video and it’s time to formulate your own business strategy. As any publisher or self-respecting marketer will tell you, nothing matters more than analytics or to put it a bit more clearly, data that’s based on an actual audience interaction. Since we’re in the realm of videos, there’s only one thing that matters here and that’s video views.

[bctt tweet=”To understand video views, it might be pertinent to take a quick peek at how video stats work in general and how video analytics impact on your own #digitalmarketing strategy.” username=”BridTv”]
Views are classified differently according to each video platform. Nowadays, one video view isn’t necessarily the top priority for your videos. Quite a lot depends on how much time the user has spent watching it, and in most cases, there are a few universal rules that apply to every single video service on the web. Apart from video views, one of the most essential video stats these days is watch time. The watch time shows how much time a user was engaged with the video. Longer watch time, of course, can easily determine if a video has reached its preferable audience.

To understand video views, it might be pertinent to take a quick peek at how video stats work in general and how video analytics impact on your own digital marketing strategy.

Video Watch Time
To put it as blatantly as possible, video watch time represents how long a user watches the video in question.

Video Views
Users have to click on the ‘play button’ or the video can have autoplay. If a user watches a video anywhere between for 3 and 30 seconds, that usually counts as one video view.

Interaction Metrics
Interaction metrics are basically one of the crucial things to look out for when analyzing video data; it refers to clicks on the video itself, end screen interaction, shares, likes, dislikes, comments, subscription increase/decrease (if there is a subscription system in place) and similar facets.

Video Views Differ According to Video Platforms

It’s very true. Each video platform or video service on the web has a unique system of video metrics and video analysis. This depends on several factors such as traffic, monetization options, video features, and other crucial aspects. For starters, let’s have a gander at how video views work on major social network sites.

YouTube Video Views

The lowdown – It all starts here, doesn’t it? Of course, the single most popular video platform on the web is definitely With YouTube it is a widespread belief that when a viewer clicks on the play button and watches for at least 30 seconds, that will count as a view; although YouTube never officially confirmed this. YouTube employs a view counter that works as an algorithm that is able to tell the difference between human views and program-operated ones. At any rate, their system for determining legit (human) views is never fully disclosed, but they do have it in place.

YouTube Video Stats: Just to let you know how big YouTube has become as a video platform, the public video service currently has 500 million views per day.

Instagram Video Views

The lowdown – With Instagram the video needs to be played for at 3 seconds to be registered as one view. Mind you, the thing with Instagram is that the social network service autoplays videos and then loops them, which is why they count “unique users” as opposed to total views.

Instagram video stats: Even though Instagram is practically the only video platform where pictures have more engagement, video consumption continues to grow at an astounding rate and right now the Instagram video is up over 80%.

Facebook Video Views

The lowdown – The video must run on autoplay for at least 3 seconds. Even if the viewer doesn’t click to engage audio, it still counts as a view. However, you can also measure “Video views to 95%,” which reflects the number of viewers who watched at least 95% of your video (Facebook for business).

Facebook video stats: There are over 8 billion average daily video views on Facebook since 2016, while 85% of users watch Facebook videos on mute.

Twitch Video Views

The lowdown – Counting views on a service like Twitch is, naturally, somewhat different. Twitch recognizes the number of concurrent viewers. In other words, if a live video (or a live video channel) if watched, that’s going to count as a view (or rather, one viewer). As soon as this viewer stops watching, the Twitch “View Counter” goes down – it’s the red number displayed below the Twitch video player.

Twitch video stats: Twitch is a different “animal” altogether. In terms of video stats, well, it’s primarily about live streaming so, we do know that 1 million people have watched a single event, while 245,000 viewers watched one channel. Impressive to say the least. Also, back in June 2018, the most watched game, in this case, Fortnite, peaked at a staggering 1,460,297.

Snapchat Video Views

The lowdown – If a user/viewer plays the video view a direct snap or a snap story, that already counts as one view and the video doesn’t have to be watched all the way. Also, when a user looks at a snap several times, that will still be regarded as a single 1 view per user.

Snapchat video stats: It may be hard to believe, but Snapchat presumably gets 10 billion video views per day.


The lowdown – Unlike YouTube, Facebook video or Twitter video, the BridTV video player has a simplified and straightforward way of counting views. As soon as the video starts, this is going to count as one view, regardless of how long the viewer watches the remainder of the video in question.