Media Analytics Overview

All about engagement graphs, Heatmaps, action analytics, and play rate.

The media analytics page in your account is chock-full of sweet, sweet data. Learn all about how to read it.

Want some high-level help with analytics? Check out our Guide to Video Metrics over in the Wistia Library

On the media analytics page (accessible by clicking “Analytics” on a media’s page) is a smorgasbord of data.

Here you can find detailed insights into how your media was played — both at the aggregate level through the engagement graph, and individually through heatmaps. Plus, Wistia provides some great analytics around turnstile and calls-to-action. Who clicked which call to action and annotation link? It’s all here.

If someone is logged into Wistia and is viewing your content, their plays will be tracked in your Private User Sessions. You can read more about this more on our Private Sharing Page.

If you want a quick prep on the terminology we’re using, head over to the Wistia Glossary. Otherwise, read on for all of the nitty gritty details about understanding your Wistia media stats.

Engagement Graph

The blue section of the engagement graph shows the engagement of viewers who clicked play on your episode. The orange section on top shows the number of times that section was replayed. Move your cursor over the graph (from left to right) to see specific information for a time or frame in the media, and click the graph to play the media from that point.

Want to know more? There’s a lot to cover on this topic, so check out the help page all about engagement graphs.

Summary Bar

The summary bar next to the engagement graph displays overall data for the media’s audience.

You can use this for high-level data comparison — like percent of viewers who clicked play, percent viewed, and total time watched. This is also where you’ll find all of that awesome data around action analytics, like who entered an email into Turnstile or clicked an annotation link.

Confused about how we got these numbers? You can click Show Details for a deeper explanation of this information.

Average Engagement

On the media analytics page you’ll see Average Engagement next to the engagement graph. The average engagement for your media’s playback shows you how much attention your viewers are paying to your content.

Engagement is calculated by looking at the total plays and multiplying that number by the length of the media. This gives us the total amount of time your audience could have spent consuming your content (or 100% engagement rate). Then we take the actual time people spent playing the media (hours played), and divide that by the first number. And boom! Engagement rate.

Hint: if you ever forget this calculation, you can always click the Show Details button on your analytics page to see the breakdown again.

Engagement is a tricky metric to apply globally. At Wistia we tend to look at engagement metrics differently depending on the goal of the media.

Help Center engagement rates tend to hover around the 50% mark since they’re teaching pieces, and people tend to leave once they’ve gotten the necessary information.

With our launch videos however, we look for 70% engagement as a healthy number.

And finally there are those unicorn episodes that have super high engagement rates, like this silly one with 89%. We must have done something right that day. 😉

That being said, lots of different factors play into engagement rate. We’ve written about it a good amount, so check out the below resources for more help understanding and improving engagement rate:

Total Plays

Below Average Engagement on the media analytics page you’ll next see Total Plays. This one’s pretty easy, but total plays shows you the raw number of times your media was played — no matter how long your audience member stuck around for.

Play Rate

Finally, below Average Engagement and Total Plays on the media stats page, you’ll see Play Rate. Play rate, like average engagement, is a calculated stat.

We take the number of unique plays and divide it by the number of unique page loads. We calculate loads as anyone who loaded the player on your page (which, for the most part, unless you’ve done some fancy coding, or your viewers were super fast when running away from your page 🏃) is pretty synonymous with your webpage loads.

Just like average engagement, play rate isn’t one size fits all.

At Wistia, we think about play rate in a few different ways. For example right here, in the Help Center, we look for metrics that — were we taking a final exam — might look like they’re failing. But in truth, 50% play rate around these parts means we’re doing something right.

If the video is a product update, we’ll probably see a pretty (seemingly) dismal play rate. But based on the placement of that video — on a page where people visit a lot for something else, in a popover embed with a text link — a 3% to 5% play rate is pretty healthy.

Want to know more about how we use media analytics here at Wistia? We’ve got a blog post for that!

Want some help with play rate? Head over to the blog where we’ve got a post cooked up just for you.

Unique Plays and Unique Page Loads

In your analytics, the load count is the total number of times this video has been loaded on a page.

The play count is the total number of times this video has been loaded and then played.

Page loads metric are counted by unique IPs, not by all page loads. So the page load counter doesn’t count every player load, only unique ones.

The difference between total plays and and unique plays is unique plays are aggregated by user (a user could play the same video more than once) whereas total plays is the total number of times the play button has been clicked.


Actions are an easy way to track audience engagement from Calls to Action, Annotation Links, and Turnstile email submissions. Actions also include clicks on the Share buttons and navigation with Chapters.

Hovering over a waypoint below the engagement graph will show what percentage of your audience took a certain action during your medias — like entering their email. Clicking the waypoint reveals the individual heatmaps for those viewers. Waypoints indicate actions taken on Timeline Actions, which include Turnstile submissions, and clicks on calls to actions and annotation links.

Chapter markers will be indicated with a smaller dot below the Engagement Graph. Hovering over the dot will reveal the chapter title, and the total number of clicks that chapter received.

Have more than one action on your timeline, and can’t remember which one comes first, second, or even seventh? No worries! Hovering over the waypoint on a heatmap will show you the exact action a viewer took.

Curious to see how many viewers shared your episode in their social networks using the Share buttons? See the total count by selecting Show Details. There you’ll see the total number of shares and the share rate. Scroll down to the individual heatmaps, and you’ll be able to hover over the smaller grey dots to reveal which Share button the viewer selected.


Heatmaps show you second-by-second how your individual audience members engaged with your media. They’re color-coded to show which parts of the media were most interesting. 🔥 Check out the heatmaps page for more.

Exporting Analytics Data

At the bottom of the media analytics page, is the button to Export Stats to CSV. You can click on this button to get a report of the viewer analytics for this video sent right to your inbox! Clicking on this button will open up a new dialogue menu where you can customize the date range for your export and see a preview of what will be included on your CSV. For a full list all of those sweet, sweet analytics you can export, head on over on the exporting stats page.

Reset Stats

If you’re building a site with media, or just testing things out, you’ve probably loaded (and played) your episodes a few times. This means your stats might be a bit skewed. Nobody likes to start with bogus stats, so reset those bad boys before your launch.

On the media analytics page, scroll down to the bottom. There you’ll see an options to Reset Stats. Go for it! Just confirm that you absolutely, definitely want to reset them (there’s no going back), and you’re good to go.

Analytics Troubleshooting

Having problems with your analytics? Bummer! Your first step is to check out our Status Page to confirm that nothing funky is happening on our side of things.

Then head over to the Analytics Troubleshooting page to check out our tips.