According to Wallace Boyer in Chuck Palahniuk’s “Rant”: “… every person is obsessed with himself. You are your own favorite hobby. You’re an expert on you”. With that in mind, I spent some time exploring my YouTube viewing / subscribing habits over the last few years!

Yes, this post is going to be of limited interest to anyone besides myself / any stalkers I happen to have. However, detailing the simple steps I took may help you to do the same!

You can also just view my final spreadsheet.

Preparing the spreadsheet

Google Takeout

For a few years, Google have had an excellent Takeout service available, where you can export data on demand.

To save time, just select “YouTube and YouTube Music” with the “history” and “subscriptions” options:

After requesting the takeout, you should receive an email in 5-10 minutes with a link to download your export:

Creating the spreadsheet

Inside your takeout zip file, you’ll find /history/watch-history.html, a list of every video you’ve watched! As a heavy YouTube user this only showed the last 4 years, but it may show much further back for you.

You’ll also find /subscriptions/subscriptions.csv, a list of all your current subscriptions (ID, URL, name).

If you open up Google Sheets, you can import your subscriptions to start analysing the data via File -> Import:

Adding view counts

Now we have a basic spreadsheet, I wanted to know how many times I’d watched a video from each YouTuber. This could have been done programmatically, but doing it manually was quick enough.

There are 2 ways to get this count, both easy but repetitive:

  1. Open the watch-history.html file in your browser (it might take a while to load!), and simply search for each YouTuber’s username (Ctrl + F). 10 results = 10 views.
  2. Open the watch-history.html in a decent text editor like VS Code or Notepad++. Search for each YouTuber’s ID for a guaranteed accurate count of videos watched.

There’s nothing clever or complicated involved, just repeating a 2-3 second action a couple of hundred times!

Adding subscriber count & genre

I next decided I wanted to know what genres I watched, and how popular the channels were. For subscriber count, I just opened each URL and wrote down the subscriber count. After doing it a few times, it’ll become very quick & automatic!

For genre I decided to use my own categories, as YouTube’s are quite broad (e.g. “Gaming”). I defined these in a new sheet “Genres”, and added data validation to the whole “Genre” column in my main sheet (right click -> more actions -> data validation):

“Fan factor”

Finally, I wanted some sort of measurement of the “nicheness” of a channel. For example, which relatively unknown channels have I watched many videos from, and vice versa. To approximate these, I just used videos watched / channel's subscribers, then x100 to make the numbers easier to work with:

I then used LARGE for the first time, which gets the Xth biggest number in a range, to find my highest and lowest fan factors. The formula for the highest fan factor was =LARGE('Raw data'!G$2:G$398, 1).

Viewing the spreadsheet

The spreadsheet itself is here, if you’d like to see the formulas etc.

Most viewed channels

I was actually pretty surprised by the final results of this! My top channels over the past 4 years:

Channel title Channel subs Channel genre Videos watched “Fan factor”
penguinz0 10,100,000 Gaming - Cr1tikal 1514 0.01499
Hat Films 890,000 Gaming - Yogscast 1178 0.13236
Twitch Clips - Jerma985 64,900 Gaming - Jerma985 1162 1.79045
YOGSCAST Lewis & Simon 7,140,000 Gaming - Yogscast 1040 0.01457
FailRace 507,000 Gaming - Racing 933 0.18402
JakeandAmir 67,300 Comedy 850 1.26300
2ndJerma 577,000 Gaming - Jerma985 845 0.14645
Angory Tom 248,000 Gaming - Yogscast 795 0.32056
Hat Gaming 149,000 Gaming - Yogscast 598 0.40134
Duncan 1,740,000 Gaming - Yogscast 463 0.02661
fantano 1,440,000 Music - Review 368 0.02556
LockPickingLawyer 3,830,000 Hobbies 356 0.00930
3kliksphilip 1,020,000 Gaming - Valve Games 351 0.03441
Yogscast Live 262,000 Gaming - Yogscast 350 0.13359
Jerma Stream Archive 136,000 Gaming - Jerma985 343 0.25221

Turns out, if you combine Hat Films & Hat Gaming, they’re my most watched creators (excluding clip channels)! It’s a bit of a surprise, since I don’t feel like they put out TONS of videos. However, consistent high quality (and a rewatchable back catalog) apparently pays off. Excluding the spin-off / reupload channels, Angory Tom is the lowest subscribed (i.e. most underrated) creator in the top 15.

I often put on YouTube reuploads of old Twitch streams when I can’t sleep, so I thought channels like Jerma Stream Archive would be high. However, since the streams are 4-5hr long, there’d only be 2 views even if I watched all night! Contrastingly Jake and Amir have hundreds of 2-5 minute videos, so hundreds of views can be amassed in just a couple of hours total.

It’s not very surprising that most of my top YouTubers are gaming based, since I often have gaming videos in the background whilst working, like TV. I’m surprised 3kliksphilip is there, since he has his views split between 3 channels, and uploads less frequently than other YouTubers. The high view count despite this probably reflects the consistently high quality and attention to detail in his videos.


Unsurprisingly, when grouped by genre gaming videos make up the vast majority of my viewing:

Genre # Channels # Views
Gaming - Yogscast 44 6532
Gaming - Jerma985 25 3274
Gaming - Runescape 37 2799
Gaming - Cr1tikal 4 1955
Music - Artists 44 1777
Comedy 20 1633
IRL 10 1593
Infotainment - IRL 36 1461
Gaming - Racing 11 1263
Music - Review 8 939
Gaming - Valve Games 13 832
Gaming - Misc 30 781
Technology - Space 14 687
Hobbies 13 637
Infotainment - Internet 13 526
Gaming - Speedrunning 11 396
Technology - Hardware 13 319
Animals 7 228
Film / TV Review 8 209
Gaming - Game Dev 11 188
Technology - Cars 10 183
Infotainment - Crime 9 108
Technology - Software 5 34
Other 1 26

My interests in space, cars, and car games have really ramped up in the last 2-3 years, so I expect the top 2-3 genres reflect 2018-19 more than 2020-2022. It’s also amazing that I’m subscribed to 25 Jerma channels, when there are only 2 official ones! The community has a lot of fan-made content.

That single “Other” channel is LOCAL58TV which… really doesn’t fit in any category.

Best and worst “Fan factor”

I was hoping my “fan factor” calculation (my views / channel subs) would highlight some great small creators that I really enjoy. Unfortunately, it highlighted… tiny channels that have made 1-2 spin-off videos (e.g. a Jerma985 compilation), some personal friends and not much else. A future improvement would be perhaps filtering out channels with < 5 videos and < 1000 subs.

The low “fan factor” is unsurprisingly channels that I don’t actually watch videos from. In this case it’s a large YouTuber, 3 musicians, and a great channel that has stopped uploading:

Rank Fan Factor Channel
1 42.85714 Trotts Bulge
2 21.27660 Biggles OutbreakCommunity
3 15.15152 Lewiiiiiiiis
4 12.50000 Gunlexify
5 5.87515 BeastlyHaz
393 0.00008 Ice Cube / Cubevision
394 0.00007 brusspup
395 0.00004 The Game
396 0.00002 colinfurze
397 0.00002 Drake


So, what did I learn? Well, I learned that I like YouTubers with consistently high quality gaming videos, which I probably already knew! I also found that I’ve watched at least 1 video from all of my subscriptions in the last 4 years, even those that haven’t uploaded in 5-6 years. Some of them could probably be removed though, if I’ve only watched a single video!

Was it worth the time taken? I learnt a few things about Google Sheets, and it was an interesting diversion, so yes. Just.