Timing Your YouTube Videos for Maximum Engagement: Uncovering the Best Time to Hit ‘Publish’

You’ve spent hours creating the perfect YouTube video, pouring your heart and soul into every detail. So, when should you hit ‘Publish’ to ensure the maximum number of views and engagement?

Fear not, fellow YouTuber, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll dive into the factors that affect the ideal publishing time, such as audience, geographic impact, seasonality, and more.

However, generally, it’s recommended to upload videos during peak viewing hours to maximize engagement. Based on research and trends, weekdays, particularly Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, between 2 PM and 4 PM (Eastern Standard Time) are considered optimal times for publishing videos.

We’ll also provide examples and stats to help illustrate our points. Let’s dive in!

Know Your Audience

Understanding who your target audience is and when they’re most likely to be online can significantly impact your video’s performance. Consider the demographics of your audience, such as their age, interests, and routines.

For instance, if your target audience is young adults, posting in the late afternoon or evening might yield better results, as they’re more likely to be online after school or work.

Suggested publishing times based on audience type

Audience Type Suggested Publishing Time
Teens 3 PM – 7 PM
Young Adults 5 PM – 11 PM
Professionals 6 PM – 9 PM
Retirees 10 AM – 2 PM

Geographic Impact

Your viewers’ location can significantly impact when you should publish your videos. If your primary audience is located in a different time zone, take that into consideration when scheduling your uploads.

For example, if you’re in the United States and have a significant European following, you might want to post in the late morning or early afternoon (EST) to catch the European audience in the evening.


Keep in mind that people’s routines change throughout the year, and your publishing schedule should adapt accordingly. For example, you might see more viewership during the summer months when people have more leisure time.

Conversely, the holiday season might result in fewer views, as people are busy with celebrations and other activities.

Weekdays vs. Weekends

In general, weekdays tend to see higher engagement on YouTube, as people are more likely to be online during work breaks or after office hours.

Weekends can still be an excellent time to post, but engagement might be more unpredictable. Some studies have found that the best days to post are Wednesday and Thursday.

  • Weekdays: 2 PM – 4 PM
  • Weekends: 9 AM – 11 AM

Suggested publishing days

Day of the Week Engagement Level
Monday Moderate
Tuesday Moderate
Wednesday High
Thursday High
Friday Moderate
Saturday Low
Sunday Low

Consistency and Frequency

Being consistent with your posting schedule helps viewers know when to expect new content, which can lead to increased engagement. If you publish videos regularly, your audience is more likely to subscribe and return for future videos.

Optimal Posting Times by Time Zone

Time Zone Weekdays Weekends
Eastern (EST) 2 PM – 4 PM 9 AM – 11 AM
Central (CST) 1 PM – 3 PM 8 AM – 10 AM
Mountain (MST) 12 PM – 2 PM 7 AM – 9 AM
Pacific (PST) 11 AM – 1 PM 6 AM – 8 AM

The best time to upload and publish videos on YouTube depends on factors such as your target audience, time zones, and your content’s nature.

However, generally, it’s recommended to upload videos during peak viewing hours to maximize engagement. Based on research and trends, weekdays, particularly Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, between 2 PM and 4 PM (Eastern Standard Time) are considered optimal times for publishing videos.

This allows your content to gain traction as viewership increases during the evening hours, both in the US and internationally.

Keep in mind that these are guidelines, and experimenting with different posting times may help you find the best schedule for your specific audience.


How Many Videos Should I Upload a Week?

Upload frequency is one of those thing that it can be easy to get turned around on, since you can easily find opposing advice… sometimes from the same sources! In this post, we’re going to do our best to not only give you the information you need to answer this question yourself, but also explain why there are so many conflicting opinions on the matter.

And we’ll start by saying this; there is no definitive answer to the question of “how many videos should I upload a week?”. Like many aspects of success on the platform, it all comes down to your specific circumstances. Let’s dig a little deeper.

A Late Video is Better Than no Video

The first thing to note is that, whatever upload frequency you have been told is the key to success, it will not work if you can’t stick to it. Many YouTubers set themselves lofty goals that they can’t stick to at the start, with declarations like “I will upload a new video five times a week!”

This is especially difficult for new YouTubers, who are often balancing work, family, and school around their channel, so committing to making a lot of video content several times a week is a non-starter.

Unfortunately, it is very easy to get from not being able to stick to your arbitrary schedule to not uploading videos at all!

Whatever your chosen system for creating YouTube content, it should be one that you can stick to, and without burning yourself out. Now, don’t mistake this for “easy”. We’re not saying succeeding on YouTube won’t be hard work, but there is a difference between working hard and running yourself so hard into the ground that you never want to make another YouTube video again!

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The Content You Make is a Factor

Many new YouTubers make the mistake of deciding what their upload schedule should be and then trying to make their content creation fit that schedule.

This is the wrong way round, folks.

You need to take a good hard look at your content before deciding on your upload schedule. How long do your videos take to make? What are the upload schedules of competing YouTubers in the same niche?

To give a couple of examples, someone like Philip DeFranco uploads daily videos because he creates news-style content that needs to be up-to-the-minute. He also has the advantage of his style of video not being too intensive to make, as it essentially just consists of recording his video vlog-style and then editing bits of it.

In contrast, someone like Colin Furze makes content around his projects, building various strange contraptions. Sometimes a project can take months to complete—even longer—so it wouldn’t be realistic to expect to put out a video every day.

As far as competition goes, you shouldn’t have to worry about being “undercut” by someone uploading more frequently. Using the Colin Furze example, other inventor YouTubers can’t really upload more frequently than Colin without taking less time to make the videos. At some point, they would cease being direct competition.

Quality Shouldn’t Suffer For Your Schedule

One thing that often happens with YouTubers who find themselves struggling to maintain their pre-decided upload schedule is a dip in quality as they cut corners to get the video out quicker. A common example of this is skimping on the editing—one of the most time-consuming parts of being a YouTubers—and leaving mistakes and awkward pauses in.

The problem is, your content doesn’t just appear and then disappear (unless you delete it). Once uploaded, your content is there for all to see, and someone might stumble across a video that you uploaded months ago as their first introduction to you.

For them, it won’t matter that you have uploaded a new video every single day for the past two year; all they will see is the video they are watching, which you cut corners making and is not your best as a result.

With almost no exceptions, you will find more success uploaded better videos than you will by uploading more videos. If you have to take an extra week to make the video you’re making, do it. It will pay off in the long run.

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YouTube Prefers Consistency Over Frequency

And here we come to the most important point; YouTube isn’t all that bothered about how quickly you get your videos uploaded, but they are bothered that you do it consistently.

Being able to count on regular and reliable uploads is something YouTube likes, because they know if they promote a reliable channel, the viewers of that channel will always have a reason to come back. On the other hand, a channel that uploads once a day for two months and then doesn’t upload for an entire year can leave a sour taste in subscriber’s mouths, and YouTube doesn’t want that.

Of course, we’re not saying that you should settle for just getting a new video out every year and leave it at that—there are limits to the “consistency over frequency” theory—but if you have a choice between putting out weekly videos but not always hitting your target, or putting videos out every two weeks and never missing an upload, you should probably go for the latter.

Final Thoughts

YouTube’s algorithm factors a lot of things in when it decides whether to promote a video or channel or not, and, in all honesty, it would appear that watch time and click-through rates are more important to YouTube than any of the aspects related to the upload schedule.

As ever, this should not be taken as an excuse to abandon any notion of a proper upload schedule, but it’s worth noting that it is far from the end of the world if you can’t seem to nail that schedule.

And if we can leave you with one piece of advice; some videos are better than none. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from making YouTube content, even if it means not uploading as often as you’d have liked.

Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube

Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.

1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search

I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.

Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!

2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos

I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.

When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.

Big mistake!

I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.

That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.

Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.

3. helps people read my videos

You can’t always listen to a video.

Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.

This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video. can help you translate your videos, transcribe your videos, add subtitles and even convert those subtitles into other languages – all from just $1.50 per minute.

A GREAT way to find an audience and keep them hooked no matter where they are watching your content.

4. PlaceIT can help you STAND OUT on YouTube

I SUCK at making anything flashy or arty.

I have every intention in the world to make something that looks cool but im about as artistic as a dropped ice-cream cone on the web windy day.

That is why I could not live on YouTube without someone like PlaceIT. They offer custom YouTube Banners, Avatars, YouTube Video Intros and YouTube End Screen Templates that are easy to edit with simple click, upload wizard to help you make amazing professional graphics in minutes.

Best of all, some of their templates are FREE! or you can pay a small fee if you want to go for their slightly more premium designs (pst – I always used the free ones).

5. StoryBlocks helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways

I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.

And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.

I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.

I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the StoryBlocks website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.

They have a wide library of videos, graphics, images and even a video maker tool and it wont break the bank with plans starting from as little as £8.25 ($9) per month.


Best Time to Upload Videos To YouTube for MORE VIEWS

YouTube has been around long enough now and made enough people quite wealthy that succeeding on the platform has become something of a science.

People analyse the way the algorithm behaves to try and glean what it considers to be recommendable content. They test different thumbnails styles for better click-through-rates and experiment with alternative titles.

They even consider the placement of their “don’t forget to subscribe” pop-up down to the second. And, yes, they put a great deal of thought into when the best time to upload a video is.

The truth is, all of these things can have a surprisingly large impact on the success of any given video.

In this post, we’re taking a look at those upload times specifically. We’re going to take a deep dive into what factors are at play when you upload in the morning versus when you upload in the evening, and whether the middle of the week is better than a weekend.

Unfortunately, there is no single YouTube best time to upload that we can throw out there as a one-size-fits-all solution. But when people ask “When is the best time to upload videos to YouTube?” I tell them – An upload schedule is unique to each channel. Look at your audience location and age range then match your uploads to their live patterns. For example school kids before and after school, adults more evenings and weekends. Overtime your audience will show you what they like and when.

However, this a complex topic with a lot of moving parts, so make yourself comfortable, and let’s dive in!

YouTube Best Time to Upload 1

Why Are Upload Times Significant?

The first part of this question is simple enough—YouTube places a lot of stock in popularity. If a video is getting lots of views, YouTube is more likely to see it as something worth pushing out to recommendation feeds.

The fleeting nature of viral videos and trends leads to a “strike while the iron is hot” mentality in which YouTube will want to capitalise on the popularity of a video while it is hot so as to avoid missing the window since they don’t know if the interest will still be there in a few days.

So, it pays to get a lot of attention to your video in a short space of time, even if you are making evergreen content that will still be relevant months or years down the line. And the easiest time to get a lot of viewers at once is when you first upload.

YouTube users are typically very liberal with their subscribing finger. For most of the people reading this post, the chances are that if you look in your subscriber list, there are far more subscribers than you actively keep up with.

There’s nothing wrong with this behaviour—most of us do it—but it does mean that notifying you about new videos can be problematic. If you have a hundred channels you are subscribed to (not uncommon) and at least fifty of them upload on a weekly basis, there’s a good chance that some of those videos are going to clash.

The next problem is that we are not looking at our YouTube notifications all day every day, so we don’t always see notifications in real-time.

The problem here is that YouTube does not like bombarding users with notifications. It isn’t very pleasant, and a surefire way to push people to turn their notifications off entirely, and YouTube certainly doesn’t want that.

So, if you open up your YouTube app and there have been eight new videos from channels you are subscribed since the last time you looked, YouTube won’t always show you notifications for all of those videos. Indeed, they might only show you one!

Even getting your subscribers to “ring that bell” is not a guaranteed way of ensuring they are notified since your video could hit the same bottleneck if a subscriber has multiple videos vying for notification attention at the same time.

YouTube Best Time to Upload

TV is not a Good Model

In the early days of YouTube, as the platform started to settle into more than just short videos of people visiting the zoo, many YouTubers took a cue from broadcast television when deciding their upload schedule.

TV show schedules have been carefully honed over years of experience, and typically involve saving your best content for the evening. This is when the most people are going to be sat watching their TV.

For the younger members of our audience, it might be worth pointing out that this kind of system was worked out long before video-on-demand services like Netflix, and even before DVR capabilities. There was a time, not too distant, where shows were broadcast live and if you wanted to watch a show, you had to be in front of your TV during that live broadcast, or hope for a rerun in the future.

That may have worked for those early YouTubers, but the paradigm has well and truly shifted since the late 00s. People have come to know YouTube as a new medium that isn’t beholden to the restrictions of TV, rather than a mere extension of it.

And, with YouTube views increasingly coming from mobile devices, the watching habits of users is further skewing away from those traditional TV schedules.

Timing for Noobs

Before we get into any specific talk about when you should post your videos, it’s worth pointing out that none of this really applies to new channels.

If you are just starting out, you almost certainly don’t have an audience you are trying to please, so there is no sense in trying to work out when the best upload times for that audience are.

In the beginning, you should focus on establishing a routine that works for you. Until you have built up an audience, the important thing is consistency, rather maximising your potential.

Pick a time that works for you and try to stick to it so that the viewers you attract can get used to your schedule. As you grow as a channel, you can begin experiment more with the things we are going to go into below.

YouTube Best Time to Upload 2

Knowing Your Audience: Timezone Edition

Before you can determine when the best time to upload for your channel is, you need to establish the timezones of your core audience. Unfortunately, this will be trickier for some channels than it will be for others.

On the plus side of things, this part being trickier is usually a sign that you are doing well as a YouTuber.

If your channel has a very clear audience geographically speaking, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

For example, if your audience is almost entirely UK-based, you can just mark it down as GMT (or BST depending on the time of the year) and move on to working out what the best time of day to upload is.

Unfortunately, if your audience is a little more widespread, things won’t be so simple. For example, English-speaking content that is not geared towards a specific region (people in America probably don’t care about local news in the UK, for example) could theoretically appeal to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand—countries that cover a whole gamut of timezones.

Depending on the exact part of each country we are talking, it could be the middle of the night in the US and Canada, early morning in the UK, late afternoon in Australia, and early evening in New Zealand. All at the same time.

Needless to say, working out the best time to upload in this situation is a little more complicated.

The best bet here is to try and determine if you have a primary market. For most YouTubers, it will likely be the region they live in, but if you have one region that consumes your content noticeably more than other areas, it might be worth focussing on that.

And, if you don’t have that one region you can zero in on, you can just pick the one you prefer, or go back to uploading at a time that suits you first and foremost. As we will explore shortly, the exact upload time isn’t the be-all and end-all of YouTube success.

YouTube Best Time to Upload 3

Knowing Your Audience: Age and Habits Edition

We talked a little above about how YouTube has well and truly moved away from those viewing schedules set out by broadcast television, but how does that help you establish your own upload schedule?

Before we get into this, we should clarify that none of these are hard rules—there are always exceptions. Also, we’re leaving out Generation Alpha, which consists of people born between the early 2010s and the mid-2020s.

Given that, at the time of writing, the oldest example of Gen Alpha will be around eight years old, there’s no sense talking about when the best upload times are for them, as there are a whole other set of rules to factor in when making content for children.


Firstly, let’s talk about the Zoomers, also known as Gen Z, which covers people born between the mid-to-late 1990s to the early 2010s. These are children and young adults who have always had the Internet—and mostly had YouTube—their whole lives.

They will usually be in some form of education (unless you’re reading this in ten years) which will put a limit on their viewing time. If your primary audience falls into this bracket, you probably want to focus on early mornings and late afternoons.

This age range is not particularly suited for late-night, as younger Zoomers will likely be in bed, and older ones will be busy being teenagers and young adults.

YouTube Best Time to Upload 4


This generation covers people born between the early 1980s and late 1990s and is notable from a YouTube perspective as being the generation that YouTube’s success was built on.

Gen Z may be surpassing them in terms of user numbers, but it was millennials like PewDiePie, Philip DeFranco, TomSka, Jenna Marbles, iJustine, and countless others of that age group that ushered YouTube into the age of success it currently enjoys.

Millennials are mostly out in the world now, meaning they tend to have jobs, and not many jobs allow you to sit and watch YouTube while you’re working.

But, while this generation may remember a time before smartphones and broadband, they have nonetheless grown up with it, and are very comfortable using the technologies that are built around these things. In other words, you may lose your millennial audience during the mornings and afternoons, but you could still catch them on their lunch breaks thanks to the ease with which YouTube can be watched on the phone these days.

Evenings can be a bit hit and miss, however.

The millennial age range is both young enough to still be out socialising on an average night, but also old enough to have slowed down a little, and nights in more than nights out.

Generation X

Generation X, also known as the MTV Generation, the Latchkey Generation, and the Lost Generation, is a generation of people born between 1965 and 1980.

This generation had mostly hit adulthood by the time the Internet started changing the world, and so tend to be less embracing of technology than their younger counterparts.

This generation doesn’t tend to be accessible from a YouTube perspective outside of their downtime, which means you’re far less likely to catch them before early evenings.

You may get some traction in the mornings, but you are unlikely to get a significant amount of Gen X watching YouTube on their phones at lunch breaks.

Baby Boomers, Silent Generation, and Greatest Generation

Though some Baby Boomers are still young enough to be in the regular workforce, we’re lumping these generations together because they are all more or less in the same situation, which is retirement.

For older YouTube viewers, the upload times are far more flexible, Generally speaking, you want to aim for before early evening, but other than that you should be good to go.

YouTube Best Time to Upload 5


Where possible, try experimenting with different upload times. Bear in mind that the videos will need to have a similar level of expectation for the experimenting to be effective.

There is no sense comparing a video that you expect to do really well with a video you hope will at least be average.

Ultimately, the congestion caused by multiple video uploads and the unpredictable schedules of individual users will always make the ideal upload time something of a guessing game, so experimenting may be your only surefire way to know.


Best Time To Upload To YouTube? (4 Tips)

Best Time To Upload To YouTube? (4 Tips) // When is the best time to upload on YouTube 2018. YouTube Upload Times for YouTube Video Uploads can always been confusing. The Best time to upload videos to YouTube can be pin pointed by how you wish to engage your audience.

When Should I Upload Videos To YouTube — Best Time To Upload on YouTube

1 — UPLOAD TO YOUTUBE WHEN YOU CAN — When you first start YouTube, the best time for YOU to upload to YouTube is when YOU can do so. Pick a day and a set time that suits you and stick to it.

2 — UPLOAD ON YOUTUBE CONSISTENTLY — If you pick a day and time and you stick to it, your audience will get used to you uploading on those days and grow with you.

3 — PEAK YOUTUBE VIDEO UPLOAD TIMES — YouTube gets the most traffic Mon-Wed between 2–5pm, Thurs/Friday around 12–5pm.

4 — THE BEST TIME TO UPLOAD TO YOUTUBE FOR SUBSCRIBERS — You can always check your own traffic stats. Goto the YouTube Studio Analytics and click on demograhics. In that page you can see the age of your audience and the male/female break down this will give you a guide on who your subscribers are and what you need to tailor your upload times to.

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