Have you ever wondered how much time you spend watching YouTube on a given week or month? If you are not careful it could easily add up to hundreds of hours per year.
What are people’s averages?
“In March 2021, users worldwide spent an average of 1777 seconds (29 minutes and 37 seconds) per user per visit on YouTube.com“ (source).
It seems to be about 30 minutes per single visit. What if you visit YouTube multiple times a day on your computer and on your phone?
The thing is that this is for an average user and that includes all sorts of people, some that don’t watch YouTube much at all. This is why it’s important to look at your own stats.
This article will give you two best methods to find how much time you spend on YouTube:
- using YouTube mobile app
- using chrome extension watch limits
and discuss what are advantages and disadvantages of both methods.
Time watched in the mobile app
You can find the time watched deep in the settings in the YouTube mobile apps. Here is a infographic how to find it:
The steps are as follows:
- open the YouTube app on your phone
- click on your picture in the top right corner to open a menu
- choose “Time watched” in a menu
The time watched is based on your watch history and should be collected across both your mobile and desktop viewing (it doesn’t include YouTube music).
Since it’s based on history if you remove something from your history it will be discounted so the stats won’t be accurate.
If you listen to music or podcasts when the video is not visible it will also count against your time spent watching.
It also shows you only the last 7 days, so it might not be enough to look at trends or to learn how much time you have been watching over longer periods. It does show change compared to a previous week though.
Watch stats in watch limits extension
There are several extensions available for tracking your time on different websites, but then that would count all the time on all websites, not just time watching video. It can be interesting in its own right though, but if you are interested in time spent on watching video, you might want to try out a free extension watch limits that provides detailed stats on time spent watching YouTube or other video sites such as netflix.
Watch limits can currently show you your watching statistics from the last 30 days.
It only shows the time watched and not time spent playing music or podcasts when the video is not visible, it also doesn’t count watch time if the video is not playing.
The biggest downside of watch limits stats is that it only records the time spent watching in the browser so the time spent on mobile won’t be counted. This is not a huge problem as mobile devices automatically track time by app already.
The same extension can help you set limits for watching so you don’t fall into a YouTube hole.
What to do next?
I hope you managed to figure out the time you spend watching YouTube thanks to this article! If the number you got shocked you, you are not alone. It all start with awareness.
If you decide to make changes in your watching habits, check out the r/nosurf subreddit that has lots of tips how to limit and break digital addictions. You can also try watch limits that was designed to help you limit excessive watching, but still be able to enjoy your favorite content.