YouTube transparency report: The beginning

This year I have decided to focus on my YouTube channel.

As a part of this effort, I want to create transparency reports, giving you an idea of what I have done and how it changed my channel’s performance. This will include the different measures I took, as well as how they changed my channels performance when it comes to views, revenue, CTR, and so on. This report will be released monthly.

Until now

My YouTube channel is called Japanese Journey. I have uploaded my first video on September 14th, 2016. Since then I have been uploading more or less frequently. However I have only been consistently uploading on a weekly schedule for the first 6 months or so months, which was also about the time it took me to reach my first 1,000 subscribers.

In the 3.5 months after starting my channel in 2016, I released 11 videos. In 2017 25, in 2018 only 6 and in 2019 25 as well, for a total of 67 videos up until the end of last year.

This is where the channel is today:

14,768 subscribers

2,797,785 views

127,217.3 hours of watch time

¥359,945 ($3,329.90) of ad revenue

 

Of those views, 1.693 million have been generated by just three videos:

How to use a Japanese Love Hotel (761.1k),

How to survive in Japanese toilets (480.7), this is also the first video I ever published, and

Japanese House Tour (451.4k)

None of these videos had been immediate successes, but rather continued  to bring views since they had been published.

Upload frequency

2018 has been the year with the least uploads for me, and I feel it had a clear negative impact on my channel in the longer run. In the beginning of the year saw very promising growth, fueled by one successful video I had launched that year and the 36 videos I had produced in 2016 and 2017.

Not many videos released in 2018.

I wasn’t able to support this pace with the releases of new videos and in the second half of the year, the interest in my channel slowed down a lot, and it hasn’t been able to recover since.

 

In the second half of 2018, views went down and stayed there.

Monetization

As far as monetization is concerned, I have only used Adsense on my channel until now. No Patreon, no affiliate links, no guides, no courses.

Revenue growth is not my primary goal for this year, but if I happen to find something that seems to work well, I will let you know in this report.

Last month

To give you a more accurate idea of where we are right now, here are last month’s numbers:

Generally the direction is pointing downwards, the challenge is on!

Going forward

You can expect a report similar to this one, but focused on the last month, in the first week of every month during this year (2020). Just as in this report, I will share the overall numbers of my channel. I will also highlight different KPIs that were particularly interesting that month, like click trough rate (CTR), subscriber engagement, etc.

My main focus on YouTube this year will be consistency. I want to release one video every week, even though that might be challenging.

Lately a large part of my subscribers has been inactive, with my latest videos only getting about 500 or so views in the first couple of days after their release (about 3.5% of my subscribers). I will try to (re)activate them more with a regular upload schedule (every Thursday evening, JST).

 

This report might be delayed every now and then. Like I said, my personal focus this year will be YouTube, and publishing this report should function as a means to keep me responsible towards my YouTube schedule, not the other way around.

I hope you will get something out of it anyway.

 

Lastly, credit were credit is due: This report was inspired by my friend Ken’s twitter reports, the last of which you can find here. He has a YouTube channel about mostly console games, all with a very high production value. If you are into that, please take a look at his work here.

2 comments

  • Great to see new posts here again. What’s up with your android app business? Are you still developing apps?

    • Thanks for the comment Sven!
      I’m leading a mobile dev team in Japan now, but an not developing my own apps anymore.
      After moving to Japan, we had 3 founders on 3 continents and put the company in hibernation mode for a couple if years. But even that is pretty expensive in Germany, so we decided to shut it down last year.

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