YouTube tonight launches an analytics feature called Insight for its video uploaders and advertisers. Users will be able to see the relative popularity of their videos versus other videos in a certain time period, as well as drill down on the geographic regions where their viewers are located.
The geographic information is only as specific as the country a user came from, except for in the U.S., where it’s narrowed down to the state. All video producers will get access to stats dating back to Nov. 1, 2007.
According to a YouTube spokesperson, personally identifiable information will not be transmitted, and only the person who uploads a video will be able to see data collected about it.
Insight was already available via an “about this video” button within the account management tools when I checked this afternoon. YouTube also provided some screenshots for the video in which founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen tell their community they’ve been bought by Google. Click on the thumbnails above to see those.
In a packet of emailed information, YouTube pointed out that its partners (which include established users and media companies) can utilize the Insight stats to increase their revenue. But to truly offer useful analytics YouTube needs to show the relations between videos, track search engine keywords, and measure the portion of a video a viewer watches before clicking away, among other things. YouTube did say it will soon add in referrer logs to show how viewers discovered a video.
Even the incremental level of detail offered by Insight should help a startup like TubeMogul, which helps video producers manage and analyze their uploads across various video-sharing sites. However, the launch of an (as far as we know) home-grown product also diminishes the chances Google will need to acquire a video analytics upstart.