Guide to YouTube Studio for marketers and content creators

A selfie of a content creator with dark hair and light skin edited into a graphic of a YouTube video screen against a red background



Over the years, creators and marketers have flocked to YouTube in order to use video content to sell their products, grow a community, and share their journey with the world. In doing so, the YouTube Studio has become an essential tool to enable channel owners to better manage their content, analyze their performance, and even monetize their videos.

What is the YouTube Studio?

YouTube Studio is a place where you can manage your YouTube channel and its content from one central location. The YouTube Studio is an essential for creators and marketers who need to know how their content is performing, make changes to their existing content, organize their videos into playlists, respond to comments, customize their channel, and ensure the overall successfulness of their content and their channel. Channel owners can also use this space to begin monetizing their content — but more on that later.

Essentially, the YouTube Studio is a space that can only be accessed by the channel owner to manage the channel and its content.

Further reading: Create YouTube videos for free in minutes with Adobe Express

A YouTube creator with their back to the camera sitting at a table using YouTube Creator Studio on their laptop

How to access the YouTube Studio

How to access YouTube Studio (desktop)

  1. Head to
  2. Click your name/icon in the top right corner of the screen (you need to be logged in for this).
  3. Select “YouTube Studio.”
  4. Navigate using the tabs on the left of the screen.

How to access YouTube Studio (mobile)

  1. Head to the YouTube app.
  2. If you aren’t logged into your YouTube account already, you’ll need to login now.
  3. Click your name/icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  4. Select “YouTube Studio.”

YouTube Studio dashboard explained

The YouTube Studio dashboard is the first area you’ll see when you enter the YouTube Studio. From here, you’ll get a summary of various key data points including the performance of your most recent video, your current number of subscribers, your top performing videos, your views and watch time from the last month, your latest comments, and your most recent subscribers, as well as some updates from YouTube on what’s new in the YouTube Studio.

From the dashboard, you can navigate to other areas of the YouTube Studio using the left-hand menu.


The content area is the place where your video content lives. From within this area, you can optimize your content, view analytics for individual videos, change the privacy settings on your videos, edit your video info (title, description, thumbnail, add tags, categorize), as well as make edits to your YouTube videos. You can also monetize specific videos from here.

Playlists also live within this area, allowing you to organize, edit, and create new playlists. Because playlists allow you to group together related content, they are great for encouraging viewers to watch more of your content. They also help to keep viewers on your channel as the next video in the playlist will auto-play as soon as the previous one ends.


The analytics area allows you to view a variety of data that will help you to better understand your audience, as well as your content performance. Much like the YouTube Studio dashboard, the overview tab within this area will give you a rundown of your views for the month, your watch time, your top videos, and the performance of your most recent video. The content tab within this area will provide you with a little more insight into how viewers find your content, views, impressions, click-through rate, and average view duration. You will also get insight into the key moments for audience retention within the videos on your channel. Remember to use the tabs at the top to choose your content type: video, shorts, or live, to view your performance per format. For an overview of content performance across all content types, select “All.”

By selecting the “Audience” tab in this area you can view data regarding your new viewers, returning viewers, subscribers, watch time from subscribers, and the age/gender/location of viewership, see channels and content your audience watches, as well as find out when your audience is on YouTube.

Finally, the “Research” tab within the analytics area allows you to research some of the top searches from viewers on your channel and across YouTube in the last 28 days.


The comments tab exists exclusively to help you manage and respond to comments that appear across all of your videos from one united inbox. You can filter these comments to pick out ones that you haven’t responded to, show comments that include questions, filter by subscriber count or by public subscribers, or search for keywords.

A close up of a dark-skinned person's hands responding to YouTube comments on a laptop


Including subtitles or captions on your video content is enormously important to make your content more accessible, retain viewers, and enable people to watch without sound — something that many social media users like to do. This tab can be used to add subtitles of multiple languages to your YouTube content.

This section gives you the tools to report any copyright infringements. It’s important to report any videos that are using your content without your permission as it’s in your best interest to keep your channel filled with exclusive content that cannot be viewed elsewhere.


The “Earn” tab is where you can begin to monetize your YouTube content. To monetize your content, you need to:

If you are eligible (and has been approved for the YouTube Partner Program), in the monetization tab you will see a variety of options to help you monetize your channel, such as “Advertising,” “Create and sell merchandise,” and “Launch channel memberships.”


It’s important for your channel to be fully branded and consistent across a variety of channels in order to build a strong and recognizable brand. Within the "Layout” section you can choose a video to give a spotlight to, which is similar to pinning a post on other social media channels. You can even choose for a different video to be spotlighted depending on whether the viewer is a channel visitor or a subscriber. This will allow you to get a little more strategic with your choice of video, perhaps choosing an introductory video for visitors, and spotlighting your latest video to appear for those who are subscribers.

Within the “Branding” section you can add or change your profile picture and your channel art and banner, while the “Basic info” section allows you to add or edit your channel name, description, and contact information, and add any relevant links.

Audio Library

The Audio Library is where you can search and download free music and sound effects to use within your YouTube content. We all know that audio is an important part of video content, with the right audio enabling you to set the desired tone for your YouTube content.

A person sitting on a coach with headphones plugged into their phone listening to music from YouTube's Audio Library

How to get started on YouTube Studio: Your first YouTube Studio Login

YT Studio gives you the tools you need to manage and optimize your content — as well as respond to all comments across all of your videos. If this is your very first YouTube Studio login, you should begin by checking that your YouTube channel is fully completed and branded by heading to the “Customization” tab and then the “Basic Info” tab.

Once this is done, the most important thing is to head to the “Comments” tab to begin replying and responding to all recent comments across all of your content. It’s important to respond to comments in a timely manner to show your audience that you appreciate their engagement. If you're a business, some of your comments could be genuine questions from customers or potential customers; these comments in particular are crucial to reply to promptly so as to avoid your customers losing interest in your offering and checking out a competitor instead.

Once your comments have been addressed, let’s head back to the YouTube Studio dashboard. One of the first things you’ll see within the YT Studio dashboard is your most recent video and information about its performance so far. If this is your first YouTube Studio login, this might be a good opportunity to explore the tools available to you for optimizing your content on this most recent video.

On this most recent video, select “Go to Analytics” to view analytics for this specific video. Have a read-through and see if there are any learnings you can take away to either action now, or just keep in mind for future content.

You’ll notice there is an “Editor” tab on the left-hand side menu. From here we recommend using the editing tools to add an end screen, info cards, and add some audio if you haven’t already. Once these basic improvements have been made, we also highly recommend adding subtitles to your content using the “Subtitle” tab on the left.

Further reading: Create free video intros for YouTube in minutes with Adobe Express

What’s new on YouTube Studio?

For more up-to-date news about the YouTube Studio, check out this article.

YouTube also publishes a Creator monthly roundup video for anyone interested in hearing about new and useful features across the whole of YouTube.

A phone set up sideways on a stand recording a YouTube video of two people sitting in chairs

YouTube Studio FAQs

Is YouTube Studio free?

Yes — just like how the official YouTube app is free, so is the YouTube Studio.

Where is YouTube Studio on YouTube?

To get to the YouTube Studio on YouTube, you have only to head to your name/icon in the top right of your screen and select “YouTube Studio.”

Can you use YouTube Studio on iPhone?

Yes — you can use YouTube Studio on mobile via iPhone or Android phones. The YouTube Studio has its own app, separate from the main YouTube app. If you head to your existing YouTube app on mobile and select your name/icon, you should see the option for “YouTube Studio.” Clicking this will prompt you to download the mobile app for the YouTube Studio.

How do I use Youtube Studio?

The YouTube Studio exists to help creators and marketers to manage and optimize their YouTube content and channel. From YouTube Studio you can navigate using the various options on the lefthand menu in order to understand how your content is being received and make changes to your content and channel to increase your views and subscribers.

How do you monetize a creator?

The “Earn” tab within YouTube Studio presents creators with a variety of options and ways in which they can begin to earn money through their YouTube channel (as long as the creator meets the eligibility criteria). These options include advertising, creating and selling merchandise, and launching channel memberships. Outside of YouTube Studio, creators can also earn money on their content through brand partnerships and sponsored content.

What does YouTube Studio do?

The YouTube Studio is for managing and optimizing your YouTube content to increase your performance and help you grow your channel. With the YouTube Studio, you can manage and edit content, create playlists, analyze your performance, add subtitles to your content, respond to comments across your channel, customize your channel appearance, add basic channel info, monetize your content, and browse YouTube’s audio library.

Home to over 51 million channels, YouTube is not only a huge platform for video content but it’s also a platform teeming with competition. Using YouTube Studio to maximize the effectiveness of your content can help you compete with the other content in the platform and fight for your space in the YouTube feed.

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