The best days and times to publish YouTube videos

Attention YouTube content creators: If you want to maximize audiences, take a cue from primetime television.

Viewership tends to be at peak on the site during weekday evenings, according to a new study by New York-based multi-channel network Frederator.

To this end, posting on weekday afternoons gives YouTube ample time to index videos and deliver them to subscriber feeds.

Frederator advises post times between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. (All times are EST.)

On weekends, though, the early bird gets the worm. The study — which compiled data across Frederator’s 120 million monthly views from a total of 1,300 channels — concluded that, on Saturday and Sunday, a post-time between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. is optimal.

Of all the days of the week to post, however, Thursday and Friday are best. As most YouTube viewers are school-age children or young adults, viewership generally begins to ramp up on Thursday, peaks on Saturday and then tapers off on Sunday afternoon.

In this vein, the worst months of the year to post are May and September — “transitional months where the majority of YouTube’s users…are either finishing or starting school, sports seasons, vacations and/or doing lots of outdoor activities,” writes Frederator’s director of programming, Matt Gielen.

But audience size isn’t the only metric that YouTubers should take into account. Also of critical importance are fluctuating ad rates over the course of the calendar year. (YouTube partners receive a cut of ad sales according to a personally-designated CPM, or payment rate per 1,000 views.)

Last year, “CPMs peaked in mid-to-late March, were consistent from mid-May to the end of June, rose steadily through August to a high in September, and were high throughout all of October, November and December,” Gielen writes.

For additional findings, check out the study in full at Tubefilter.