TubeBuddy is a browser extension for helping YouTubers. In this TubeBuddy review, I’ll give a rundown of its features and my experience using it, as well as answer the main questions I’ve seen people ask about it.
How do you use Tubebuddy? How does it work?
Go to TubeBuddy.com to download TubeBuddy. Once you’ve installed the TubeBuddy extension (it works in Chrome or Firefox), you’ll see it in your browser and on the top-right of YouTube, like this:
After you’ve installed it for the first time, you’ll have to login to the Google account associated with your YouTube, and give permission for TubeBuddy to view some data about your YouTube account. Then you can use it by clicking on the red ‘tb’ text whenever you’re on YouTube. You’ll get a dropdown like this:
TubeBuddy has a whole range of features that either give you information that will help you make more popular videos, or do your work on YouTube faster. Here’s a rundown of their main features:
Helps you come up with keywords and tags for a keyword you enter, and comes up with a “score”:
For some reason I could never get this to work on my computer, as the “Overall Score,” “Score Analysis” and “Common Video Tags” sections were always stuck on loading as shown above. But here’s what it’s supposed to look like according to TubeBuddy:
I am not sure where TubeBuddy gets its data for the Search Volume, and have some suspicions about how accurate it is. These days keyword research tools are known to be inaccurate, so perhaps TubeBuddy is reliable as a general guide only here.
This helps you write an optimal title, use optimal tags, and create a good thumbnail. It may be useful for beginners, but for anyone with any (very basic) knowledge of SEO at all, nothing the SEO Studio suggests will be anything you don’t already know:
If you look at the “How to improve your score” section in the bottom right, it’s very basic stuff.
Video Topic Planner
A very simple to-do list type feature – nothing very interesting:
Allows you to view and manage tags you’ve used or intend to use – again, nothing very interesting:
Best Time To Publish
Just some advice about when the best time to publish videos may be:
This requires a legend-level licence (I only tested TubeBuddy with the Pro version), and contains the following features:
- Power Rankings (see which videos are performing best – takes into account clicks, watch time, and click through rate)
- Element Inspector (see which thumbnails and titles get the highest click through rates)
- CTR Opportunities (suggests videos where there is room for improvement by changing the title or thumbnail)
- Advanced Analytics (sort videos by data such as clicks, views, average duration, total watch time and click through rate, which you can then export to a csv. YouTube itself does not provide this feature)
See more information on the Click Magnet feature here. While I have not tested this personally at the time of writing (though I hope to at a later date), it definitely looks to me like some of these metrics would be extremely helpful and would do a lot to help you fix things and find opportunities.
A checklist for different things you have to make sure you’re doing with every video, like writing a good title, adding tags, responding to comments, turning on monetization and so on:
How active your channel is. Our YouTube channel isn’t big enough yet for this to show anything meaningful, but here’s what it looks like if you have an active channel (taken from TubeBuddy):
All this data is provided by YouTube themselves, so nothing too interesting here.
Social Bluebook is a service that estimates how much your YouTube channel and other social media accounts are worth. I haven’t tried using this personally.
Compares your channels data to the publicly available data of your competitors, and displays it in a neat graph so you can see how your views are doing compared to the competition. Here’s an example from TubeBuddy:
Quite handy, as YouTube won’t give you anything like this. TubeBuddy also gives a graph for cumulative subscribers and uploads.
Like Google Alerts except for YouTube only. Also quite handy for seeing if some new videos have been posted about a particular topic or keyword and being notified automatically.
Allows you to try different title, tags, descriptions and thumbnails, and after you’ve had a reasonable amount of data, TubeBuddy will tell you whether your change(s) have had a positive or negative effect. It’s easy to change any of these properties of a video after it’s been uploaded, making testing like this well worth doing. Another good feature.
Shows how long each of your videos tends to be viewed, but differently to YouTube. For example, TubeBuddy’s Retention Analyzer will tell you what % of viewers viewed at least 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 90 seconds, 2 minutes and so on.
Backups & Export
Backs up all your videos metadata and download it in csv format.
These are very simple and work just like email templates in Gmail.
Links to things like your most recent upload, most popular upload, channel page link and so on. Nothing interesting.
Search Rank Tracking
A very interesting and advanced feature that tracks how well your videos are ranking for different keywords on YouTube, so you can measure if any SEO changes you made to them have had an effect. This is similar to what SEO tools do where they measure how well a website is ranking in Google for some keyword.
What are the BEST features of TubeBuddy?
I’ve gone through a lot of features of TubeBuddy above, but many of them are very simple or largely pointless. In my view, the best features of TubeBuddy — the one’s that actually may make it worth paying for — are these:
- Click Magnet
- Brand Alerts
- A/B Tests
- Search Rank Tracking
These are the things that will actually help you make your videos and channel a lot stronger, and which add a ton over what YouTube alone offers.
VidIQ vs TubeBuddy
VidIQ is the main competitor to TubeBuddy, and offers similar analytics. In my vidIQ review (published shortly after this TubeBuddy review) I explained the differences between them.
Is TubeBuddy safe?
Yes, TubeBuddy is safe. It’s simply a browser extension and can therefore easily be deleted if you want to (see below), and I haven’t heard any reports or seen any evidence that it will mess with your YouTube account (of course, if you have any evidence to the contrary, please contact us).
Are there coupon codes or discounts for TubeBuddy?
Not that I am aware of at this time.
What is TubeBuddy’s pricing?
- $9/month for Pro
- $19/month for Star
- $49/month for Legend
Go for any of these only if they have a feature that you feel is definitely worth the money. Most of the advanced and very useful features that I’ve covered above are only available in the Star or Legend plans. If you’re a smaller YouTuber, you probably won’t need to pay $49/month for Legend, and can stick with the Pro or Star plans.
How do you remove/delete/uninstall TubeBuddy?
TubeBuddy is merely a browser extension, not software you download and install on your computer, so it’s easy to remove using whatever browser you’ve installed it on. Here’s how you’d uninstall it on Chrome:
Once you do that, all traces of it should be gone.
Is TubeBuddy worth it?
I feel TubeBuddy is worth paying for if you’re a serious YouTuber and feel you can benefit from more data and insights that TubeBuddy will provide. For newer channels like us, or anyone who is very far from making a living from YouTube, you probably do not need it.