Best Time to Post to YouTube
You may have noticed that YouTube juggernauts often post videos on a somewhat predictable schedule. LinusTechTips often posts at 4AM EST, for instance, and a lot of livestream content occurs between the hours of 7PM and 11PM EST. There’s a reason for this.
Depending on your geo target and audience, the “best” time to post videos to YouTube will vary – generally, though, the only hard and fast rule is to be consistent. If you’re abiding by embargoes for new game launches, then your only target is to hit that launch time or embargo lift. Otherwise, posting videos consistently at an hour when your audience will see the content is critical. If your audience is primarily comprised of 24-44 gamers (see our previous guide on writing a sponsorship request and learning demographics), then posting during working hours may result in fewer views. Anecdotally, we’ve seen that posting just before work hours begin – e.g. 8AM EST (allows early exposure to pre-work east coasters, and west coasters will awaken to find the content) – or around the east coast’s lunch (12PM-2PM, which will be just as work is beginning on the west coast) works well. Anyone on their lunch break will take a moment to watch videos, and folks on the west coast may be just getting started with the day.
But that doesn’t mean those times are the “best” for everyone – it depends on the audience. Late hours can work.
Publication time only matters because you’re competing with everyone else in the sub box, which may include other content creators within your niche. Larger channels have an inherent advantage of increased exposure (by nature of being larger), so publication time doesn’t matter quite as much. For smaller channels, you want to post when there’s not too much competition, but viewers are still available to receive posting notifications.
We’d suggest taking a look at your viewing analytics. Learn about the demographic and age range, geographic split, and try to pay attention (by trial and error) to peak viewing hours. You can easily do this by navigating to Creator Studio > Analytics > Real-time. With the real-time viewer open, check the 48-hour graph view of view count. Hover over each bar to see what time what was (listed in your local time zone), then take note of popular viewing times. Try to account for bias generated by new content being published – that’ll cause a spike almost no matter what.
Run a few sustained tests – A & B runs. Publish videos consistently at time A for a full week or two, then do the same for time B. See if there is any difference in viewer totals or new viewer discovery.
But, again, the single most important aspect of publication times is to be consistent. Whether that’s every day, twice a week, or once a week (ideally not slower than this), make sure there is a fixed time when viewers can expect new content.
We will be publishing a similar series for Twitch.tv streamers, so stay tuned for that if you’re not a YouTuber by trade!