Have you heard of YouTube 360º Video Heat Map reports?

Youtube 360 heat Maps

Have you heard of YouTube 360º Video Heat Map reports?

In today’s fast moving technological world, new ideas are introduced unannounced all the time and Google are a serial offender of this. So we thought we’d share a nugget that we  discovered this week in the back office of YouTube (in the Analytics section) that we think could be significant for all producers of 360° videos; Heat Map Reports for YouTube 360° Videos.  

It’s interesting to see how people react in an interactive 360° video; which we could see on our original 360°video made from the still images of a Google Maps virtual tour of Freedom Works – Creative Hub, a co-working place in Hove (East Sussex, UK).

Our 360° video 


YouTube Heat Map Report what is it?

The heat map report records exactly what does or doesn’t catch the viewers’ attention in a 360º video by showing where users have interacted with the video during playback. YouTube records the touches and aggregates the touches together as users view the 360º video and touch the screen to rotate it. The heat map report gives you precise information as to what has caught the eye of the viewer.  

Users who then have access to YouTube’s analytics section, can view and interpret the Heat Map Report easily as it is overlaid on the original video to highlight where touches have occurred, frame by frame.

Heat map reports are currently available in YouTube Analytics on your computer for public 360º videos. Supported devices include: Android app, iOS app, Desktop, Google Cardboard and Google Daydream

Our video of our 360º video Heat Map Report

Google (which owns YouTube) states: ‘The heat map report is generated daily. Note: There can be a 2–3 day delay between when the video is viewed and the report is available.’  The Heat Map Report covers the lifetime of the video since it’s been in the public domain.

To view Heat Map reports

On your computer, sign in to YouTube.

  1. In the top-right corner, click your account icon > Creator Studio.
  2. On the left under “Video Manager”, click Analytics.
  3. Select 360º Heat maps.
  4. Choose the video that you want to view data for.
  5. Choose your platform: You can choose to see data for two platforms you can select either Desktop or All Devices, which means mobile and headsets.

Screen shot of YouTube location of Heat Map Reports

Interestingly, Google states that you will need at least 1,000 views of the video for the Heat Map Report to work.  Which again is interesting as our video which has been live since 15 June 2018 has been viewed 48 times, so either we’ve been lucky to see this or Google has decided to relax the rules, which is really nice of them!  You are able to download the Heat Map Report in a mp4 video. Although when we did this, only the video downloaded without the heat spots, so we are guessing maybe you have to have the 1,000 views for this functionality to work.


So what does this actually mean?

Good question!  It shows where people viewing the 360º video have interacted with with it.  It it quite noticeable near the end of our 360º video Heat Map Report video shows the interaction tailed off, so it would appear that interest wained or people just left the video to roll on.  With 360º video, auto rotate occurs, so if you are watching the video on a mobile device and move the device around the image/video will reorientate to that direction.  So this helps the 360º film maker get a better understanding of the level of interest occurring in the video.   Which in turn guides them into capturing and making videos that creates interesting and immersive content that people will want to interact with throughout the whole 360º video.


If you are reading this and have a business premises and would be interested in having a 360º virtual tour please contact Martin at Seaside Creative. We’d also love it if you would sign up to our newsletter so we can let you know when we publish more useful info like this on our blog.


Source information from YouTube can be found here https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/7407544?hl=en-GB


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