The 35-Days YouTube Algorithm: What 100+ Music Videos Teach Us

In studying over 100 advertised music videos with 300k+ impressions, we have uncovered some interesting trends about the YouTube algorithm.

Everything is about IMPRESSIONS, which correspond to the total number of times your video’s thumbnail was displayed to viewers since its publication. Simply put, it indicates the reach of YouTube’s algorithm.

YouTube considers three main features as impressions:

🔹Browse Features: The videos you see on YouTube’s homepage.

🔹Suggested Videos: Recommendations that appear alongside or after the video you’re watching.

🔹Playlists: Collections of videos, either curated by YouTube, you or users.

We identified a common pattern in ~80% of the analyzed music videos:

1️⃣INITIAL PUSH [48 first hours]: The first 48 hours gives a large amount of Browse Features (boosting recommendations to recent viewers and subscribers).

2️⃣SUGGESTION RESPONSE [Day 2 to Day 7]: Suggested Videos recommendations usually, lasting 2 to 4 days depending on the video’s CTR.

3️⃣ATTEMPTED PUSHES [Day 7 to Day 21]: From Day 7 to Day 21, there are several peaks in recommendations, symbolizing algorithmic efforts to reach new potential audiences.

After this, YouTube generally caps impressions/day for the next 10 to 15 days. If the previous recommendation cycle was successful, the new cycle may multiply views substantially. If your videos’ metrics are very promising, it’s not impossible to wake up with a massive volume increase overnight (like x50, x100…) 🤯

👀 The better your CTR and WATCH TIME in each phase, the higher your chances to increase your recommendation on the next phase.

YouTube’s goal is to extend the user’s session time. If your video contributes to this, it’s likely to gain more visibility. So, focus on increasing your CTR and VIEW RATE to increase the user’s Session Time. The key for this is to target the right audience and create a relevant tagging plan (read more info in our previous post about YouTube’s algorithm).

Have you observed a similar pattern on your side?