If you want to succeed on social media, you need to run your accounts/channels tactically. You want to ensure that as many of your target audience as possible manage to see your posts/images/videos. We have previously looked at the best times to post on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. In this post, we will examine the best time to publish your YouTube videos.
Unlike some of the other social platforms, there is no precise best posting time on YouTube. This possibly reflects the lack of a feed on YouTube, compared to most other social networks. However, we have scoured the online literature and collated the times that a range of people believe make the most sense if you want high YouTube video engagement.
Allowing for the above factors, Frederator Networks found the best times to post on YouTube to be:
Best Times to Publish on Youtube:
- Friday: 6 PM, 7 PM, 8 PM, 9 PM
- Saturday: 3 PM, 4 PM, 5 PM, 6 PM
- Sunday: 12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM
Calculate your best publish to post YouTube videos based on your location and audience:
Best Times to Publish YouTube Videos in 2023:
According to a Hubspot Social Media Marketing report, 54% of youtube users consider the network is assisting them in their purchase decision. Hubspot compiled data across their network of over 300 marketers sharing their opinions on their 2022 marketing strategy.
Their research points out to the other apparent question marketers need to ask themselves: What's the worst time to publish videos on Youtube? It seems like Monday's the worst day to work on Youtube, following Tuesday and Wednesday as the second and third worst posting day, respectively.
The best days to post, according to Hubspot, are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
These times line up with what various organizations have discovered are a few hours before peak viewing times on YouTube. Most people watch YouTube at a similar time to when they watch television, and by uploading your videos a little ahead of peak viewing times, you will be well placed for people to view your videos.
Boosted recognizes that most YouTube users are in the US. However, Brazil, Russia, China, India, and the UK are significant markets as well. Like Frederator Networks, Boosted recognizes that if you want a video posted at a specific time and want it easily searchable, you need to post a few hours early. It takes a little while for YouTube to index your video and populate search results.
They have found that the highest level of engagement on YouTube occurs on Friday through Saturday and Wednesday.
On most days, the best time to post is at 5 pm, although you are still likely to succeed with any video posted before 9 pm.
Surprisingly, Boosted found that the ultimate best times to post are both on Sunday, either at 11 am or 5 pm.
If you target Americans, then another possible option is to post on a weekday morning (at about 8 am EST). This helps you reach both east coasters traveling to work and west coasters on their lunch break.
Social Pilot Views
Social Pilot advises people to upload their videos to YouTube during weekdays between 2 and 4 pm CST or EST (the most densely populated, internet-active time zones).
Again, they stress the importance of giving Google and YouTube time to index your videos. “Posting your video a few hours earlier will allow your video to be indexed. That way, they’ll show up in search results.”
They observe, however, that people act differently at weekends. People are far more likely to be active on YouTube during the afternoon during the weekends (at the times they would typically be working on weekdays). Therefore, you should do any weekend video posting a few hours earlier to account for this different behavior pattern. Edgy suggests that your weekend posting would be best scheduled for 9 – 11 am EST or CST (depending on where your target audience is based).
HowSociable makes it clear that “Social Media is all about timing. Posting a video at a poor time can be a real waste and provide a little reward. But sharing at the right time can be far different and yield massive rewards.”
They observe that for most people, the best time to upload a video is late afternoon when most users are online.
However, they notice that posting content becomes most effective as the weekend approaches, as users become more active online, and more likely to watch videos. In their view, a Thursday or Friday is likely the best day to upload a video.
Conversely, the early weekdays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are generally the worst day to post content for most people.
Advertising rates change on different days too. There appears to be evidence that the cost per mille (CPM) is lowest from Wednesday to Saturday. The most expensive days are usually Sunday to Monday. However, holidays can affect this. The days just before Christmas are some of the costliest periods, as are those just after New Year. Prices are lowest in May and June, and again from September to November.
LYFE observes that publishing a video on YouTube at the best time can get you as much as 2 to 5 times more views. It is essential that you post your videos intelligently, rather than at any old random time.
They suggest that you use your channel’s analytics to determine the best time for you. Ideally, you should post on YouTube on the day most of your viewers are there, 2 hours before your channel’s prime time.
So how do you know your channel’s prime time? Begin by going to YouTube Studio>Analytics>Audience. Look for your “When your viewers are on YouTube” report. Your most popular day is the one with the most dark purple bars. Take note of when those bars start and post your videos two hours before that time.
Note that this report shows when your viewers are on YouTube – not when they are necessarily watching your videos.
If you just post one video per week, choose the day with the most dark purple bars. If you have more than one such day, choose the one with the most slightly lighter purple bars.
Publer suggests that there may be merit in posting the day before you have the most viewers. The reason for this is that videos typically pick up their most views in their first two days. In particular, if your channel’s second-busiest day is the day before its busiest day, try posting on that day instead. That way, you benefit from having new content on the two most active days for your channel.
Biteable considers it essential to look at the demographics of your target audience. “The type of videos, your niche, and when you post are all essential variables to consider when you’re planning to release a video. If you’ve spent THAT much effort writing a video, filming it and editing it, it’s better if that piece of content reaches more people, right?”
For a start, you need to know which country you are targeting. Sure, most creators focus on YouTube users who come from the United States, but traffic could come from anywhere, such as Brazil, the UK, China, and India.
Overall, there is a nearly equal proportion of men and women on YouTube, although it will differ for specific channel types. YouTube users are a lot more diverse than they used to be.
Also, YouTube is the second largest search engine, beaten only by big brother, Google.
As a few other sites have observed, YouTube’s indexing algorithm isn’t instant. If you want a video to be searchable at a specific time, you need to upload that video a few hours earlier. YouTube needs a little time to figure out what your video is about.
Although YouTube is more watched than TV by the younger segment of the population, the watching habits are roughly the same. People tend to watch YouTube mostly in the evening and on the weekend, peaking on Sunday.
Therefore, you should be posting your videos a few hours before these peak hours so that your video can become searchable and can perform better. However, keep in mind that this does not affect your overall long-term performance of the video.
|Day||Best Times to Publish on Youtube|
|Friday||6 PM, 7 PM, 8 PM, 9 PM|
|Saturday||3 PM, 4 PM, 5 PM, 6 PM|
|Sunday||12 PM, 1 PM, 2 PM, 3 PM|
Social Video Plaza’s Best Times
Social Video Plaza strongly believes that your ideal posting time depends on your audience. Just because some time is right for one channel doesn’t mean that it will be best for your channel.
As author Dexxter Clark writes,
"I found multiple websites that contradict each other and contradict my statistics. The reason for those contradictions is that it depends on your audience. That audience is different than mine and vice versa. So there is no general advice that applies to everyone."
Dexxter observes that publishing at night is very unwise because the algorithm has nobody to test your videos with. “You want to publish at a moment that has some traction but is not too busy yet. This way, you can take advantage of the peak hours.”
Ideally, you should publish in the morning to give your video plenty of time to build traction, but this very much depends on the time zone of your primary audience.
Dexxter advises going to your analytics to determine when people actually view your videos. If you are new to YouTube, see what works best for your audience.
However, he does observe that most people publish on the hour, meaning that your video might get lost in mass notifications. Therefore, he recommends you post at 15 minutes past the hour, e.g., 6:15 rather than 6:00.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some tips for scheduling YouTube videos?
The majority of users watch YouTube at a similar time to when they watch television. That being said, your ideal posting time depends on your target audience. The time that works best for one channel will not necessarily work as well for another channel. Also, be sure to upload your video a little ahead of these peak viewing times. As it takes a little while for YouTube to index your video and populate its search results, you need to post a few hours earlier.
What is the best time to upload YouTube videos targeting Americans?
According to Boosted, the highest level of engagement on YouTube occurs on Friday through Saturday and on Wednesdays. On most days, the best time to post is at 5 p.m. Though, if you post your video before 9 p.m., you are still likely to enjoy success. Another option is to post on a weekday morning at about 8 a.m. EST. This way, you can reach both East Coasters who are traveling to work and West Coasters who are enjoying their lunch break.
What is the best time to upload videos to YouTube over the weekend?
During the weekends, users are far more likely to be active on YouTube during the afternoon (at the times that they would normally be working on weekdays). So, Edgy, recommends that you should schedule your YouTube posting during the weekend for a few hours earlier at 10 - 11 a.m. EST or CST (depending on where your target audience is located). This way, YouTube will still have time to index your videos and populate its search results.
What is the best time to upload YouTube videos that target mostly male audiences?
According to Frederator Networks, the best times to post on YouTube (especially if you target mostly male audiences) are:
On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2 till 4 p.m.
On Thursdays and Fridays from noon till 3 p.m.
On Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. till 11 a.m.
Does it really matter at which time you upload a video to YouTube?
Yes! According to HowSociable, social media is all about timing. If you post a video at a poor time, it can offer little reward. Though, if you share your video on YouTube at the right time, you can generate massive rewards. As a matter of fact, according to Misfit Hustler, publishing a video on YouTube at the best time can get you up to 2 to 5 times more views. So, it is important that you post your videos intelligently, instead of just randomly.