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When’s the Best Time to Upload?

YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts” authors Alan Lastufka and Michael W. Dean are doing a five-day blog post series on “How to create and promote more effectively on YouTube.” Here’s part two of five:

Having a lot of subscribers is nice, but it isn’t everything. Knowing your subscribers, no matter how many or how few you have, goes a long way to getting those coveted views. The time that you upload, the titles you choose – it all comes in to play.

I’m involved with a year-long project called fiveawesomeguys, whose audience is largely based in the UK. Many of the viewers from that project have also subscribed to my personal channel, so about 40% of my total subscribers are from the United Kingdom.

Knowing this, it would be harmful to my views to upload a video any later than 7pm Eastern, at which time it’s midnight in the UK. Most people aren’t up and surfing YouTube at midnight on a school night. Oh right, it’s a school night too, I forgot to mention, more than half of my viewers are in high school or college according to their age demographics.

Every registered user on YouTube can see the age and location demographics, along with other stats, for their viewers by accessing YouTube’s Insight feature. The Insight button can be found under your Account tab, in the My Uploaded Videos section.

Knowing that a large portion of my audience is younger, and about five or six hours ahead of my time zone, I plan my uploads accordingly and try to upload by two or three in the afternoon. This time slot hits well in the States, where I am, while people are still at their desks at work, and bored, emailing YouTube links around to each other. This time slot also hits well across the big pond where kids are just finishing up dinner and heading to their computers and bedrooms to IM with their friends for the night.

My co-author Michael Dean tends to upload around three in the morning California time, a slot tailored to that all-important “insomniac/stoner/unemployed slacker” demographic. (It’s a smaller group, but someone has to entertain them, or we’d all be in trouble!)

Each video on YouTube is given 48 hours during which it can place on the Top 100 lists for the day. You want to maximize these 48 hours the best you can. By uploading at a time your audience is most likely to be on YouTube, you can get the video off to a strong start.

I posed the “When’s the best time to upload?” question to my followers on twitter and more than half who replied said they don’t even think about it.

Sure, you can upload your video whenever you happen to finish it, but if someone I’m subscribed to routinely uploads at one or two a.m. while I’m in bed, they aren’t going to get many views from me, or anyone else in my timezone with a regular sleep schedule. Please share your thoughts and experiences on all this.

If you enjoyed part two, please subscribe to read part three tomorrow, Wednesday December 10th. And tell two friends!


19 Responses to “When’s the Best Time to Upload?”

  1. JohnnyDurham19 Says:

    I fully agree with you alan. I try to upload my videos between 7-9pm UK time to get all the UK viewers watching that night before they go to bed. Then once the UK viewers have drifted off to sleep, I get the wave of american viewers watching. If I were to upload a video at 3am UK time, I feel like I’d lose a lot of views/comments from UK youtubers, as by the time they see the video in their subscription box, it could be 7pm the next night, and people are much less likely to watch/comment a video which is almost 24 hours old, compared to a video which has only just been posted.

  2. Chelsea Says:

    Awesome, Alan! :)

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  3. Meaghan Says:

    I’ve never given any thought before to when in the day (or night) I should upload videos, and I didn’t know that a video had 48 hours to have the chance to gain some Top 100 status. While that doesn’t concern me at the moment, it’s definitely something to keep in mind, should I have a larger number of subscribers.

    This was really helpful, thanks! :]

  4. Michael W. Dean Says:

    I dunno, it’s 6 PM, I just woke up. I’ll post again when I’m awake, at 2 AM!

    Michael W. Dean

  5. Julian Says:

    Agreed. This is something I am asking myself a lot. And although I like to upload my videos as soon as I finish editing them, if it’s too late, then I just wait until the next day when I come back from school. Which is about 3pm EST. I just uploaded a video about 20 minutes ago of your book, btw. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCcA_SKjHKM

  6. Gabbie Says:

    Very informative. When is the best day of the week to upload?

  7. Andrew Says:

    I upload at 11pm but i’m thinking about changing that. It’s hard to compare between videos because there’s so many other variables such as video title, what day it is etc. If i change it i think i may make it earlier, perhaps 8-9pm. My viewers are mostly in the uk and aged 13-17 so i try not to make it too late. I uploaded my last one at 12.30am gmt time and i didn’t get as many comments that night as i usually do when uploading so i don’t think i’ll go that late again.

  8. Channei Says:

    What about the exit strategy?

    That final segment of time in the 48 hours is the period in which the most are generated when you are lucky enough to make it the honors pages. In my experience tens of thousands of views will come in that final four hours. Do you think that any consideration should be given to point in time when the video will go off the 48 hour charts when uploading a video?

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  10. lilchez1 Says:

    I wish there was a clear cut answer. I make hair and beauty videos and I see many competitors make the honors over and over again. I followed some advice I found on google and it was clearly wrong. Thursday vid got me few views. I wonder if it is all in the title. I’m gonna need more subbies. Dammit or get all the heavy hitters talking mentioning me in their vids. That seems to have worked for everyone. I hear 2 is a good time but I don’t know what time zone that was supposed to be. Lol. Such is life.

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Viral Video Wannabe...

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…is written by Alan “fallofautumndistro” Lastufka, co-author of the book, “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide
to Climbing the Charts“. This site offers resources
for readers of my book and new tips and techniques expanding upon what is in my book. Visit the Purchase page above to order your own copy today!