Will My Watch Time Decrease If I Delete A Video On YouTube?

Will My Watch Time Decrease If I Delete A Video On YouTube?

  • 29 Aug, 2023

The decision to delete or keep old videos can be puzzling, especially for creators looking to optimize their channel’s performance. Let’s dive into whether deleting a video affects your watch time and what factors you should consider.

What really happens when you delete a video on YouTube?

Deleting a YouTube video indeed has consequences on your watch time and overall channel performance. When you delete a video, you lose not only the views the video had but also the watch time minutes it accrued. This is a crucial point to consider before making the decision to remove a video from your channel.


In the context of the YouTube Partner Program Monetization Goals:

Will you lose watch time if you delete videos on YouTube? YES

Will you lose watch time if you make a video private on YouTube? YES

Will you lose watch time if you make a video unlisted on YouTube? YES

Deleting videos or changing them from public to private/unlisted can actually throw a curveball at your watch time and monetization goals.

It’s like those views never happened in the eyes of YouTube. So, before you hit that delete button or switch things up, think about how it might affect your monetization journey and overall channel growth. Don’t let those watch time minutes slip away unless you have a really good reason to do so.

It won’t necessarily be reflected immediatly on your Analytics, but eventually YouTube will catch up on updating their database and the watch time associated to the video you deleted will be purged from your monetization goals.

@YouTubeCreators confirms this in the following tweet.

New YouTube Monetization Tracker coming soon to YT Tracker for iOS.

In which scenario should you delete a video?

The rule of thumb is to exercise caution when deleting videos with substantial view counts or those that are consistently receiving views. Removing such videos can hinder your channel’s growth potential, as the watch time associated with these videos will vanish along with their potential for future views.

Deciding whether to delete old YouTube videos boils down to a case-by-case evaluation.

Niche change

When you change niche, your viewer will expect a certain type of content. If you decide to keep the same channel instead of creating a new one, it would be wise to consider deleting former videos as long as they aren’t getting a regular flow of views. If you have content that’s still reaching people and want to change niche, I would advice against deleting the content and starting a new channel instead.

Videos with Policy Violations

YouTube has strict community guidelines, and if any of your videos violate these guidelines or contain inappropriate content, it’s best to delete them. Violations can lead to penalties such as demonetization or even channel termination, so removing them is crucial to maintain a healthy channel.

Personal feeling towards particular videos

Deleting videos that you’re no longer proud of or that evoke discomfort upon viewing is a valid decision for content creators. Your journey on YouTube involves growth and evolution, and there may be instances where past content no longer aligns with your values or creative direction. By removing such videos, you can curate a channel that accurately reflects your vision and voice, that your audience will resonate with.

So, there you have it! Deleting videos on YouTube is a strategic move that should be carefully considered. Whether it’s to enhance your channel’s focus, improve its quality, or align with your evolving content strategy, making the right choice can impact your overall growth. Remember, maintaining a healthy watch time and engagement rate is key to unlocking YouTube’s monetization potential. So, before deleting content you worked hard to create (I hope you did), weigh the pros and cons to ensure your channel continues on its journey to success.

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