Let us learn "What is Public Watch Hours in YouTube".

YouTube has revolutionized the way we consume video content, and for creators, it has become a platform of immense opportunity. But what exactly are public watch hours on YouTube?

If you've ever wondered about the significance of those numerical figures displayed on channels, this article will shed light on the concept. 


Public watch hours are the cumulative measure of time viewers spend engrossed in a channel's videos. Understanding the importance of public watch hours is crucial for creators aspiring to monetize their content and gauge their influence.

So, let's dive into the world of YouTube analytics and unravel the significance of public watch hours.

What are Public Watch Hours on YouTube?

Public watch hours on YouTube refer to the amount of time people spend watching your videos over a period of 12 months. In order to monetize your YouTube channel, you must have at least 4,000 valid public watch hours in the last 12 months.

Additionally, you must have at least 1,000 subscribers and follow all of YouTube's monetization policies, such as avoiding copyrighted content and following community guidelines.

Once you meet these requirements, you can apply for the YouTube Partner Program and start earning money through ads, sponsorships, and merchandise sales.

This means that the total amount of time people spend watching your videos must equal 4,000 hours or more, and it must be from valid sources, such as views from actual people and not bots. Additionally, the videos people watch must be at least a minute long. 

The public watch hours on YouTube are an important metric because they determine whether or not you are eligible to monetize your channel, which can have significant financial benefits.

However, it's important to note that public watch hours aren't the only requirement for monetization - you must also have at least 1,000 subscribers and follow YouTube's community guidelines.

Additionally, your content must be advertiser-friendly, which means it cannot include any inappropriate or controversial topics, language, or visuals.

Once you meet all these requirements, you can apply for monetization through Google AdSense and start earning money from your videos.

However, even after meeting the requirements, your channel may still be subject to review by YouTube for compliance with their policies and guidelines.

Therefore, if you're looking to monetize your channel, it's important to create engaging and high-quality videos that people will want to watch, and promote your channel to attract more subscribers and viewers.

How does YouTube calculate the number of hours watched?

YouTube calculates the number of hours watched by tallying up the total amount of watch time that each video on the platform has accumulated from its viewers. This means that if a video is watched for 5 minutes, that 5 minutes is added to the total number of hours watched.

The more videos are watched and the longer they are watched for, the higher the total number of hours watched on YouTube becomes.

This metric is important for YouTube to track as it helps them gauge overall engagement on the platform and the popularity of certain content creators and topics.

The number of hours watched can also be used to inform advertising and monetization strategies for both YouTube and content creators. This means that every time someone clicks on a video and watches it, the hours of watch time increase.

In order for a channel to get monetized, it needs to have at least 4000 hours watched in the past year.

The number of hours is crucial to getting monetized, as it shows that a channel is receiving a significant amount of attention, and therefore has the potential to make money through advertisements.

Both public watch time and private watch time are counted towards this total, meaning that all views, whether they come from the channel owner or from outside sources, contribute to the overall number of hours watched.

It's important to note that not all views are equal in terms of monetization potential, as ads may not run on certain types of content. However, overall watch time is still a key metric for measuring a channel's success on the platform and its ability to generate income.

Therefore, it's not just about how many people watch a channel, but how long they watch for that ultimately determines whether a channel can get 4000 hours and get monetized.

How To Get More Public Watch Hours On YouTube?

To get more public watch hours on YouTube, creators need to consistently produce high-quality content that appeals to their target audience.

  • Consistently produce high-quality content that caters to the interests of your target audience.
  • Engage with your viewers by responding to comments, hosting live streams, and collaborating with other popular YouTubers.
  • Promote your videos through various social media platforms to attract more viewers and increase watch hours.
  • Optimize your video titles, descriptions, and tags to improve visibility and reach a wider audience.
  • Analyze the provided YouTube analytics to understand your content's performance and the demographics of your audience.
  • Implement a consistent posting schedule to keep your viewers engaged and coming back for more.
  • Utilize YouTube's Community tab to create a sense of community among your subscribers by sharing updates, photos, and polls.
  • Regularly study and incorporate feedback from your viewers to improve your content and increase watch time.
  • Collaborate with other creators in your niche to tap into their audience and expand your reach.
  • Experiment with different types of content, formats, and styles to find what resonates best with your target audience.
  • Stay up to date with current trends and topics to create relevant and timely content that attracts more viewers.
  • Continuously learn and adapt your content strategy based on the changing preferences and demands of your audience.
  • Utilize YouTube's promotional features such as end screens, cards, and featured playlists to maximize engagement and watch time.

When does it not count as public watch time on YouTube?

Public watch time on YouTube is an essential metric that creators use to measure the success of their channel. It is the total amount of time that viewers spend watching a creator's videos or live streams.

However, there are certain instances when it does not count as public watch time on YouTube. Firstly, when a live stream is not replayed and the viewer did not watch it live, it does not count towards watch time.

This is because public watch time only includes minutes long after the video ends. Secondly, when a viewer watches a video for less than thirty seconds, it also does not count towards public watch time.

This means that creators need to create compelling content to keep their viewers engaged. Thirdly, when a creator watches their own videos, it also does not count towards public watch time as they cannot inflate the statistics artificially.

Lastly, if a viewer watches the same video repeatedly, YouTube only counts the first view as public watch time as it can be seen as spamming the video on demand.

In summary, to increase public watch time, creators need to create engaging content that is capable of keeping their viewers interested for more than thirty seconds, and viewers need to watch videos to completion without replaying it multiple times.


Public watch hours on YouTube play a crucial role in determining a channel's eligibility for monetization and other benefits. They represent the total cumulative time that viewers spend watching a channel's content.

Achieving the required threshold of public watch hours is a significant milestone for creators, as it opens up opportunities for revenue generation through ads, memberships, and other monetization features.

Moreover, it signifies an engaged and loyal audience, reflecting the success and popularity of a channel. Public watch hours serve as a valuable metric for YouTube's algorithm to assess a channel's performance and recommend content to viewers.

Ultimately, they serve as a vital measure of a creator's influence and impact within the YouTube community.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1. How many public watch hours do I need for monetization on YouTube?

As of September 2021, channels need to accumulate 4,000 public watch hours within the past 12 months to be eligible for monetization on YouTube.

Q2. Can I buy public watch hours or views to reach the monetization threshold?

No, buying public watch hours or views is against YouTube's policies. Such artificial engagement can result in penalties, including the removal of monetization privileges or even channel termination.

Q3. What strategies can I employ to increase my public watch hours?

To increase public watch hours, focus on creating high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Consistency, promoting your videos through social media, collaborating with other creators, and optimizing video titles, descriptions, and thumbnails can also help boost watch time.

Q4. Are public watch hours the only factor considered for YouTube's algorithm? 

No, public watch hours are just one of the many factors considered by YouTube's algorithm. Other factors include audience engagement, video retention, click-through rates, and overall channel performance.

Q5. Do public watch hours reset or carry over from one year to another?

Public watch hours accumulate over a rolling 365-day period. Each day, the watch time from the corresponding day of the previous year drops off the total, while the watch time from the current day is added. This rolling calculation ensures that watch time is continuously evaluated.

About the author 


With a passion for empowering budding YouTubers, we offers a comprehensive free course that lays down the blueprint for becoming a successful and profitable YouTuber. My insights, derived from years of experience, have guided many to transform their passion for content creation into a thriving online venture. Join him on "ProfitableCreator" and embark on your journey to YouTube success.

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