Scraping YouTube Data: Legality, How-To & Use Cases in 2024
YouTube is the 2nd most visited website in the world, with nearly 69.1 billion monthly visitors.1 68% of YouTube consumers use YouTube for product research and discovery.2 Whether in B2B or B2C, YouTube is an excellent data source for businesses to gain insight into customers and competitors. However, collecting data from YouTube on a large scale is difficult. Web scraping is the most efficient way to collect web data from YouTube automatically.
Is it legal to scrape YouTube?
Most data on YouTube is publicly accessible. Scraping public data from YouTube is legal as long as your scraping activities do not harm the scraped website’s operations. It is important not to collect personally identifiable information (PII), and make sure that collected data is stored securely.
What kind of information can be extracted from YouTube?
There are different methods for extracting data from YouTube. Businesses can either:
- Build their own YouTube scraper using scraping languages
- Utilize web scraping tools
- Use web scraping APIs
YouTube data can be scraped and used for various business purposes as long as your business complies with YouTube terms and services. Businesses can leverage YouTube data for different purposes, such as marketing, sales, and research. You can scrape publicly available data like:
- Video ID.
- Published Date.
- Channel ID.
- Comments on videos.
- Video title and description.
- Number of views and likes.
How to extract data from YouTube: Step-by-step
- Determine how to collect data from YouTube. Data can be collected using URL(s) or keyword(s).
- Define the exact search keyword(s) or URL(s) you would like to scrape. It will be used as input for the scraper.
- Set the bot to run for one time only or schedule it to run at a specific time.
- The bot will collect data, including YouTube comments, the number of views, likes, and the time the video was posted.
- You can download the results in CSV, JSON, or XLSX format when the data collection is completed.
Figure 1: The output of publicly available data scraped from Twitter for a specific video
The top 3 reasons why businesses should scrape YouTube data
1. Opinion mining using YouTube scraped data
Opinion mining, also known as sentiment analysis, is a machine learning technique used by businesses to automatically extract sentiment (positive, negative, neutral, etc.) and valuable insight from text data. People use social media to express their thoughts on brands’ products and services.
YouTube video details such as likes and comments are a great way for businesses to get insights about their customers. Understanding customers’ preferences and needs enable businesses to improve and customize their products and services.
Web scrapers allow companies to gather video comments from YouTube. They can use opinion mining or sentiment analysis to analyze and understand how people think and feel about their brands, products, and services.
For instance, Youtube allows its users to leave likes on video content. The simplest way to understand your audience’s feelings is to compare the number of likes and dislikes. However, it provides limited insight into the audience’s thoughts about the content. You cannot identify what consumers’ pain points are.
- You first need to gather your audience’s comments on your YouTube videos.
- When data scraping is completed, the scraped data must be cleaned. The collected comments may be opinions, suggestions, complaints, or spam. You have to remove unrelated items from your database.
- Delete duplicate data.
- Remove items that do not convey meaning, such as and, the, etc.
- Remove all punctuation and emojis from the text.
- There are several approaches to sentiment analysis; choose one to analyze the extracted YouTube data. If you scrape a mass amount of data, you can
You can leverage web scraping APIs to access public YouTube data and retrieve standard feeds from YouTube. Smartproxy’s Social Media Scraping API help individuals and companies gather real-time or on-demand YouTube data at any scale.
2. Expand customer base by using YouTube data
One of the most effective ways to generate leads is through referral marketing (word-of-mouth recommendations). 90% of people are much more likely to trust a brand that has been recommended to them. In B2B or B2C, referral marketing is essential for expanding your customer base. It enables your leads to convert into customers. Engaging with customers on social media channels and resolving any complaints they may have is critical to strengthening the relationship. 85% of SMBs have used YouTube to expand their customer base by reaching out to new audiences.
People use social media to express their opinions about a brand, its products and services. One example of a product review is a YouTube unboxing video concept. You can use web scraping to collect customer feedback on your YouTube videos. Web scrapers gather comments with reviewer contact information. It enables businesses to respond to complaints or check whether customers are satisfied with their products or services. You can gain their long-term loyalty. Here is a quick guide to help you understand how to scrape data from YouTube videos:
- Let’s search for “Sony WH-1000xm4” on YouTube to see what people think and feel about the product. You can visit the brand’s own YouTube video post or other product review videos published by end users.
Figure 2: Youtube search result for a specific product query
- Choose which video URL you want to scrape data from. I chose one of the most popular product review videos at random.
- There are approximately 700 reviews under the video.
Figure3: YouTube consumer product reviews for a searched product
- Copy the video’s URL and paste it into the web scraper’s input field. The bot will collect all comments along with the contact information for their reviewers.
- Remove fake reviews and decide which ones are worth reaching out to. The feedback could be a complaint about the product or a question. You can assist your customers in resolving their issues.
3. Keep up with the emerging trends
Youtube algorithm ranks videos based on the number of viewers. Understanding what works best for your target audience is essential to increase your online presence on YouTube.
Assume you work in the software industry. Your company’s YouTube channel contains a variety of video concepts, such as demo videos (which explain how a website or product works), explainer videos, how-to videos, and Q&A videos.
YouTube Studio enables you to monitor and analyze the performance of each video. Maybe your video content is doing well compared to other posts on your YouTube channel. This is good indeed, but not enough to rank high on YouTube search results. You must also understand how your competitors are performing and your current market positioning.
External factors such as trending topic(s)/keyword(s) and competition influence your videos’ performance as well. You cannot fully comprehend which keywords are trending upwards or downwards.
Enter the search keyword, say “application software,” into the search box. YouTube will show you all of the most popular topics that have been viewed for your entered keyword/topic. A large number of video results will appear. Manually collecting and analyzing video data is inefficient and time-consuming. Web scraping allows you to crawl YouTube search results and extract data such as video hashtags, titles, descriptions, video ID, channel ID, the number of views, etc. Scraping video data from competitors enables businesses to:
- Identify competitive keywords.
- Understand target audience behaviors and which pages they interact with the most.
A quick tip: Do not overlook the advantages of long tail keywords. Broad keywords have aggressive competition. It isn’t easy to rank for broad terms with just one video content. Let’s give an example, suppose you want to create content on big data for your YouTube channel. You need to publish a number of video content on big data with different concepts such as how-to, informing, Q&A, etc. Otherwise, the YouTube algorithm will have difficulty recognizing and ranking your content in this competition. Another option is to narrow the keyword, such as big data for healthcare. Long tail keywords have low traffic and competition. However, ranking high on YouTube is much easier.
More on social media scraping
- Social Media Scraping: Legality, How-to, and Advantages
- Facebook Scraper: How to Scrape Facebook
- TikTok Scraper: How to Scrape Data From TikTok
- How to Scrape Instagram and 6 Best Instagram Scrapers
For guidance to choose the right tool, check out data-driven list of web scrapers, and reach out to us:
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