To become a successful YouTuber, you need to post high-quality content multiple times per week. YouTube’s algorithm rewards channels that publish new content frequently and regularly.
But does it matter when that content goes online? Does the algorithm care if you publish your videos at 1 am or 3 pm?
The short answer is: Yes, upload time matters.
In fact, statistics show that posting your video at an optimized time can get you 2 to 5 times as many views!
Here’s everything you need to know about finding the best time to post on YouTube, and why it matters.
Why Does it Matter What Time You Post on YouTube?
The reason it matters when you post on YouTube is that it affects audience engagement.
If you post a new piece of content when the majority of your audience is working or asleep, initial engagement rates will be lower. And that means your video is less likely to be pushed by YouTube’s algorithm in the following hours and days.
However, if you time your video releases so that the majority of your audience is online at the time, they can watch it right away, leave comments and likes, and help you go viral.
That’s why it’s a good idea to finish the upload process early and schedule the video to go public instead of posting it whenever it’s done.
Ultimately, the best time to post on YouTube depends on who and where your target audience is. Say you’re a YouTuber based in Japan, like PewDiePie, but your audience is US-based. You’ll still want to schedule your content so that it’s released when your US viewers are online, even if it’s the middle of the night for you.
PewDiePie moved to Japan, but his main audience is in the US – so that’s what he adjusts the upload time for.
That said, what are the best days and times of the day to post on YouTube, generally speaking?
What’s the Best Day to Post on YouTube?
According to research by HubSpot, based on a survey among video marketers, the best day to post on YouTube is Saturday, closely followed by Friday and Sunday.
It’s easy to see why.
On the weekend, people have time to kick back and relax – and spend a lot of time watching their favorite YouTube content.
By publishing videos on these days, you’ll have the best chance that your viewers will immediately watch them and drive up your engagement rates. (Without their boss breathing down their neck 😉).
What’s the Best Time of the Day to Post on YouTube?
What about the time of the day, though?
According to HubSpot’s results, the best times are between 6 pm and 9 pm (31%). The next-best slots are between 3 pm and 6 pm (23%) and 12 pm to 3 pm (19%).
This varies depending on what day of the week you post. If it’s on a weekday, you want to aim for later time slots, so between 6 pm and 9 pm, to engage your audience when they come off work.
In contrast, time slots between 12 pm and 6 pm also work well on weekends. Think of people just crawling out of bed after partying the night before, or going online after a wonderful lazy lie-in.
However, there are a few caveats to this. The first one is that it takes some time for YouTube to properly index and process your video.
Especially if your channel is just starting out, your content will not have priority in YouTube’s system, and it can take some time until it appears in searches.
According to a survey by SocialPilot, that means that the best time to upload your content to the platform so that it actually shows up in the search results during those peak times is a few hours earlier.
That means that the best time to actually upload your videos is around 2 pm to 4 pm on weekdays, and 9 am to 11 am on the weekend.
Optimize Posting Time for Your Channel
While these times are the best to post on YouTube in general, you can and should optimize your own timing for your audience.
YouTube Studio’s analytics tab allows you to see the times when your subscribers are most active.
To access this information, go to YouTube Studio, navigate to the Analytics tab, click on “Audience”, and scroll down until you hit “When your viewers are on YouTube”. Careful – all information is displayed in your local timezone.
However, this information is only available for channels with a sufficient number of subscribers. If you don’t see this, you can make some guesses by checking out the “Realtime” chart of views on the Overview Tab – but it only goes back 48h.
A new YouTube statistic shows when your viewers are most active each day, here is my graph based on the past like week of daily videos pic.twitter.com/qYNPlWkh1Z— iFireMonkey (@iFireMonkey) May 7, 2020
Here’s an example for what the Studio Analytics looks like for
“When your viewers are on YouTube”.
Conclusion: These Are the Best Times to Post on YouTube
Timing matters when it comes to posting on YouTube.
Either stick with the optimized times identified in surveys by giants like HubSpot or SocialPilot. Or pinpoint the times when your audience is online using YouTube Studio.
Whichever option you go with, optimizing your posting times will help you boost your YouTube views and grow your channel.
Yes. Posting at the right time, when your audience is online and ready to consume your content, can increase your views 2 to 5 times.
During the week, the best time to upload content to YouTube is between 2 pm and 4 pm, so that it’s indexed and ready to appear in searches when audiences come online between 6 pm and 9 pm. On the weekends, the best time to upload is 9 am to 11 am, with peak watch times starting at 12 pm.
The best days to post on YouTube are Saturday, Friday, and Sunday, in that order. On these days, viewers typically have more free time to spend watching your content.