YouTube Transparency report: January

YouTube performance January

This year I’m trying to grow my YouTube channel and will keep a monthly progress journal on this webpage.

The channel in question is Japanese Journey, which I started in September 2016.

One month and a bit has passed since the first report and, as promised last month, here are my YouTube numbers for January.


Here’s last month’s summary upfront for you, further down I will highlight some details.

January’s numbers:

YouTube performance January
YouTube performance for January

Comparison to last month

0 -> 7 uploads

43.8K -> 66.3K views

1.7K -> 2.7K hours of watch time

163 -> 216 subscribers

¥13,314 (~¥121) -> ¥14,282 (~$130) of revenue

Personally I’m satisfied I was able to hold a consistent upload pace of one video per week. Also the view growth of more than 50% is not too bad.

Best performing videos overall

As you can see below, all but one of my top 10 performing videos for the last month was one year of age or older.

Top Videos January
Top Videos January

This shows the importance of searchable content that will continue to drive traffic long after it’s been released. To highlight this point, here are the lifetime views of my How to use chopsticks like a pro video:

How to use chopsticks like a pro lifetime views

As you can see, after its release, the video was buried in the depths of YouTube for more than 10 months. Then, out of nowhere, it was picked up and gained more traction, with somewhat between 150 and 250 views/day now. If you now search for “How to use chopsticks” on YouTube, which I assume many people are, it will rank in the upper part of the search result page, currently number 3 when searching in Japan.

Another thing this goes to show is that, even with a rather mediocre video like this one (just look at that color grading!), you can get a decent view count if your video is providing value.

Last month’s videos

When looking at the videos I’ve created last month, let’s look at CTR and views.


The best 100 Yen Store Items: 3.5% CTR, 805 views

New Year in Japan: 3.3% CTR, 620 views

3 Ways to move to Japan without a Visa: 4.9% CTR, 490 views

History of Kyoto: 3.0% CTR, 3.4k views

Japanese City vs. Countryside: 4.0% CTR, 552 views

Quick Kyoto Travel Guide: 3.4% CTR, 207 views

Leaving Japan…?: 8.9% CTR, 516 views


Overall the CTR wasn’t too great. Two exceptions I want to highlight though: 3 Ways to move to Japan without a Visa received 4.9%, even though it is a Q&A video. For the previous 2 Q&As I’ve done up to this point, I had received a meager 1.1% and 1.8%. Focusing on a topic I know many of my viewers might be interested in for the title and literally suiting up for the thumbnail helped it stand out.

The second exception is my video called Leaving Japan…?, which is obviously totally clickbait. The CTR was accordingly high with 8.9%, but at the same time the video lost me 8 subscribers, so I’m not too sure it actually will do any good for the channel in the long run.

In total the new videos accounted for 6,590 views, or roughly 10% of last month’s total.

Subscriber engagement

As I had mentioned last month, I want to increase my subscriber’s engagement, and for January, there has been a nice increase:


Up from 1.8% in December to 6% last month. That’s not surprising however, given I didn’t upload any new videos in December, but 7 in January.


My focus for February will be to create more searchable content and have a regular upload schedule. We’ll see if the views keep increasing or not.

The next report should be out in the middle of March. For all reports up to this point, click here.

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