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.

Turnstile Conversion Analytics

Looking for analytics for the leads you’ve captured in Wistia? When you add a Turnstile to a video, we’ll display form conversion analytics under the Conversion tab on your media analytics page. Your conversion data will include the following metrics:

  • Total Impressions: The number of opportunities viewers had to submit their contact information using a Wistia Turnstile form.
  • Total Submissions: The number of contacts submitted by the viewers who saw the Wistia Turnstile form.
  • Completion Rate: Out of X number of people who had the opportunity to submit their information via a Turnstile, Y number of them did.

On our Pro Plan and higher, you can export this data as a CSV file to upload to a marketing automation or email platform.

Traffic Analytics

If you’re sharing your videos across multiple platforms – websites, emails, ads, events, and social media – you can get a breakdown of where your viewers are coming from and which channels are driving the most traffic to your videos under the Traffic tab in your Media’s Analytics.

The Traffic tab includes information about UTMs, traffic sources, and the device viewers use to play your media!


The Referral section displays the previous webpage viewers were on before accessing the site with your embedded media.

For each referrer, you’ll be able to see the Referral URL, Visits, Plays, and average engagement (what percent of the video was viewed). You’ll be able to sort by any one of these categories to help you gain valuable insight about your media!

What is a UTM?

A UTM parameter is a short snippet of code you can add as a tag at the end of your page’s URL to track the metrics and performance of your marketing campaigns.

Here’s an example of a link with a UTM parameter:

With Wistia, UTM parameters can help you identify websites, pages, articles, and posts that drive traffic to your videos.

There are are 5 different types of UTM parameters, the 3 you can track in Wistia are: Campaign, Source, and Medium

Once you’ve appended a UTM parameter to a page where you have your media embedded, Wistia will display Visits, Plays, and Engagement analytics on the Traffic page.

UTM Campaign

A UTM campaign is a custom parameter used to identify which campaign a media is associated with, for example, you might have a campaign for your “Summer Sale”:


Once you’ve added the campaign UTM, you can see which campaigns are driving traffic to your Wistia media!

UTM Source

The UTM ‘Source’ refers to the page or site viewers were on before they got to your video. By adding the utm_source parameter to the URL of your page, you’ll be able to track the primary traffic source for your media. Examples of traffic sources are Facebook, Google, or the name of an email list. The traffic source is more general, rather than a granular look at a specific Facebook post or blog post.


UTM Medium

Adding a UTM Medium parameter allows you to track how viewers discover the page with your embedded media. This covers various channels like social media, affiliates, organic search, paid ads, newsletters, and email.


Viewing Device

The Viewing Device section shows Visits, Plays, and Engagement analytics categorized by Screen Size. Screen Size represents the device type, like Desktop or Tablet, viewers use to play your media.

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.