May 26, 2022
Where to Find Video Engagement Data in Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 is capable of tracking additional events, not just page views. This is all possible thanks to Enhanced Measurement. But finding that data in GA4 reports is trickier than you might think. In this article, I will explain where to find video engagement data in Google Analytics 4.
Note: if you have configured GA4 video tracking with GTM (instead of Enhanced Measurement), this blog post will still apply to you.
Check if you have video engagement tracking enabled
First, go to the admin panel of your Google Analytics 4 property. Then (in the Property column) click Data Streams. Select web data stream.
This will open the settings of your web data stream. Check if Enhanced Measurement is enabled. If yes, check if Video Engagement is enabled.
If not, then click the gear icon and enable Video Engagement tracking.
If you have just enabled that, you will need to wait for ~24 hours to start seeing that data in standard and custom reports.
In standard reports, it’s easy to find outbound click events. They are called video_start, video_progress, video_complete and you will see them if you have enabled Enhanced Measurement.
You can find them by going to Reports > Engagement > Events.
But the problem with this is the granularity of the data. If you click any video event, it will open a report where you won’t see what kind of videos were watched. At least, that’s how things work now when I am writing this blog post.
If you want to see what links were clicked and how many times that occurred, you will need to create a custom report in the Explore section.
Custom Reports (Explorations)
On the left sidebar of your GA4 interface, click Explore. Then select Blank.
We’ll need to import several dimensions into that report. Click the Plus icon.
Then select Event name, Video title, Video URL dimensions, and click Import.
In the metrics section, click the Plus icon and add the metrics that you want to use, for example, Event count and Total Users.
If you want to see a list of video titles, then double-click the Video Title dimension and also all metrics that you have imported to the exploration. Or just drag-and-drop them.
Now you will see the list of all videos that website visitors engaged with. But it’s very likely, that the first row in the table will be empty. Why?
That’s because your current report shows the data of ALL events in your property, not just video engagement events. Thus you need to narrow it down. Let’s say that we want to see all videos that users started to play.
In the Filters section, click Drop or select dimension or metric and then choose Event name. Enter the following condition:
- Event name exactly matches video_start
Save the filter.
Now you will see the report only of video_start events and the first column of the table will show the list of videos that visitors started to play.
The event count metric, in this case, shows how many times the video_start event occurred for each video.
If you also want to see the video percentage
One of the events that Google Analytics 4 tracks automatically is called video_progress. It happens when a video is watched by more than 10%, 25%, 50%, and 75%. When I am writing this guide, those percentages are not available in GA4 by default.
They are tracked but they are not displayed in the interface. To fix this issue, you have to create an event scoped custom dimension. Go to Configure > Custom Definitions > Create Custom Dimensions and enter the following settings:
Make sure that the scope is Event and the Event parameter is video_percent.
And this must be done as soon as you install GA4 on a website or enable video engagement tracking. 24 hours after you create the dimension, you will start seeing its data in explorations.
Please note that this change applies only to new data. The Video Percent dimension will not display your historic data.
Let’s build a report of a particular video and see how many people watched it for more than 10%, 25%, etc.
In the same exploration, click the Plus to add a new tab.
Then import a Video percent dimension (in a similar way as you did in the previous chapter with Video title).
- Add the Video Percent dimension into the Rows section of the exploration
- Make sure that no other dimension is there
- In the Metrics section, add Event Count, Total Users, and maybe some other metric if it makes sense to you
- Create two filters with conditions:
- Event name matches regex video_progress|video_start
- Video title contains [enter the title of the video you wish to analyze]
And then you will see a report of different percentages for that particular video.
Please note that you might also see other percentages like (5, 11, etc.). This happens because a Youtube player remembers where a visitor stopped watching a video.
So if I watch the first 15% of a video today and then tomorrow I come back to the same page and start watching the video again, a new video_start event will occur (but its video_percent parameter will be 15% because that’s where Youtube player continues playing the video).
Don’t see any data?
There are several possible reasons for that:
- You don’t have any video events at all in GA4. Go to Reports > Engagement > Events and check if you have events like video_start, video_progress, video_complete. If not, maybe GA4’s video tracking does not work on your website. In that case, try to build a custom solution with Google Tag Manager. If that also causes problems, read this troubleshooting guide (after you have implemented Youtube tracking with GTM).
- Not enough time has passed. After you start tracking videos, their data will appear in standard reports only within the next 24 hours. Usually, at least 12 hours are needed. Explorations need up to 48 hours to start displaying data. So if you have just started tracking videos, you will need to wait more.
- Check if you have selected the correct date range. Maybe you are looking at some older period where video events were not tracked?
- An incorrect regular expression in a filter. In one of the examples, I mentioned a regular expression: video_progress|video_start. You must enter it *exactly* like this. For some reason (which is a poor choice if you ask me), GA4 filters are looking for exact matches in regular expressions. So if you enter something like video_pr|video_st, it will not work. Maybe in the future, they will change how regular expressions work there.
Find Video Engagement Data in Google Analytics 4: Final words
That’s it! You have now configured a video engagement report in GA4 (where you see videos that users started to play. By default, the report will show the top 10 rows. But if you want to see more, change the number here:
If you want to learn much more about GA4, how to use it and how to benefit from it, take a look at my in-depth Google Analytics 4 course.