What’s the Best Time to Post on YouTube?
There is a best time to post on YouTube. Likewise, there is a best day to post on YouTube. The catch is, the best day and time vary, and the type of content you’re creating is a clear factor.
We tasked BENlabs AI to determine the best times to post on YouTube across a few popular content verticals and uncovered some interesting trends.
Why Post Timing is Important on YouTube
In content as in life, you only get one chance to make a first impression; the first 24 hours are the critical break-out period for new content uploaded to YouTube.
When new content is posted, YouTube algorithms need to know what to make of it. There’s a small window in which YouTube’s algorithms are more likely to present new content to viewers to see how they respond.
When content releases are timed to hit periods when more viewers are looking for something to watch, new content has better odds of being presented to more viewers.
Timing release to when viewers are more likely to drop a like or otherwise engage with the content is also important; early engagement is key to long tail content success.
Best Time to Post on YouTube - Methodology
We did the research — or more accurately we asked BENlabs AI to do the research — and discovered some interesting facts. Facts like:
- The time you post matters
- The day(s) on which you post matters
- The best day, and to an extent time, to post varies between content types
Before we dive deeper, a note on methodology. Rather than look at content in aggregate, we asked BENlabs AI to look for patterns across a more refined dataset by only considering content from active creators in the following verticals:
BENlabs AI looked at 1,288 videos posted over a three-month period. These videos were posted by 543 creators with an approximate distribution of 1:1:2 across family, food, and gaming respectively. Gaming is over-represented because, as the most competitive niche, it has a largest sample size of creators and therefore content.
Best Time/Day to Post on YouTube for Gaming Creators
The best days to post gaming content on YouTube are early in the week. All else being equal, videos posted on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays fare better. Mondays and Tuesdays in particular show a 3% increase in viewership relative to any other day.
3% is not a huge number but it can have a noticeable impact when you consider how YouTube and content algorithms in general work: they present content to people, gauge their reaction (whether they click, how long they watch, how else they engage) to determine if the content should be shared more broadly.
Gaming videos on YouTube in general enjoy a higher ratio of likes to views relative to other content categories, reflecting the passion and support within the gaming community. With that in mind, 3% is a significant difference.
By volume, most gaming content creators upload on Friday at 19:00 UTC (that’s Noon PST, 3pm EST). Analysis reveals that posting between 4pm and 8pm tends to result in higher likes and views for creators across various verticals.
So, extrapolating and looking at likes relative to views, try posting gaming content at 6pm on Monday and keep an eye on the data to see if you see an impact.
Best Time/Day to Post on YouTube for Recipe Creators
BENlabs AI analysis showed that over the three month period, cooking and recipe channels received the highest average viewership on Saturdays and Wednesdays with the average number of likes peaking on Sundays and Wednesdays.
Over the weekend, this could mean audiences are meal prepping, building the week’s meal plan, or perhaps planning a weekly grocery shopping trip. Likewise, looking at the bump in views and the spike in likes on Wednesdays suggests viewers might be looking for a little mid-week inspiration. These are trends creators can jump on when building their content calendars.
Unlike gaming channels, which are more sensitive to specific hours of the day, viewership for cooking and recipe content remains fairly steady throughout the day. However, timing does influence the engagement level. By our analysis, people viewing recipe content in the late morning or early afternoon on Sunday are also more likely to drop a like.
Whatever the case, Saturday afternoon looks like the best time for creators to share their culinary inspiration. This way, they can take advantage of the higher average viewership on Saturday, riding the wave to higher average likes on Sunday. But don’t discount Wednesday, which BENlabs AI identifies as another clear opportunity for recipe and cooking content creators.
Best Time/Day to Post on YouTube for Family Content Creators
During the weekends, as work and school wind down, and families get more quality time together, parenting and family-related content see the highest average views and likes — 5% higher between Friday and Sunday than the rest of the week.
Notably, family-focused content posted between 3pm and 7pm garners the highest engagement, aligning perfectly with the peak hours when families come together to enjoy shared experiences and entertainment.
As a family content creator, prioritize the weekend, and consider the family-friendly Saturday afternoon as your “golden hour” when scheduling content releases and uploads.
Does The Day/Time You Post Really Matter?
All things being equal, the time and day you post on YouTube really can make a difference. Considering your audience as well as how the YouTube algorithm promotes videos can give your content an edge.
That said, timing content is not a silver bullet; your audience may respond differently. Use the above analysis to guide your upload schedule and then use your own data to hone in on the ideal days and times to post your content for your audience.
Test theories and review the data. Regardless of their content niche, creators should adapt and refine their own unique content posting strategy based on the insights gained from analytics and community interactions.
Where Creators Get Paid
Take the guesswork out of influencer partnerships. The BENlabs AI matching program analyzes your content and audience, and suggests your profile to brands looking for the right creators to promote their products and stories.