Track users’ interaction with YouTube videos using Google Tag Manager

Yes, it has finally happened. Now we have a special trigger helping us to track YouTube videos in Google Tag Manager. Honestly, I don’t like writing a lot about ready-to-use features. What I love about GTM is that all tools and solutions offered by the dev team there are pretty much self-explanatory.

So in this post I’ll briefly show where and how to use the new trigger to track YouTube videos in Google Tag Manager.

How can I find the new trigger?

Head off to the “triggers” section, click “NEW” and type “youtube” just like it is shown below.

track youtube videos in google tag manager: trigger

What do all these check boxes mean?

Now, let’s have a closer look at the trigger.

track youtube videos in google tag manager: configuration

Capture section

The capture section allows you to configure the tracking process for certain events. As you can see, you can track the following:

  • when a video has been triggered to play (start)
  • when the video has been fully played (complete)
  • pause, seeking, buffering (ah, I guess that’s obvious)
  • progress

If you activate the progress option, you’ll be able to track the percentage (or the exact time in seconds) of the video that has been played. That’s a nice feature if you want to know whether or not your users actually watch the video.

I’d recommend activating ALL features in the capture section. 


Yet again, if you’re wondering what this features is, all you have to do is to hover over the question sign located right next to feature text. Ta-da! If you know what YouTube JS API is, then it is all clear to you. If not, be sure to check this article.

How do I use it to track YouTube videos in Google Tag Manager?

Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Step 1

Activate new built-in variables for video tracking.

track youtube videos in google tag manager: variables

Step 2

Create a new GA event tag. It may look something like this

track youtube videos in google tag manager: ga tag

Don’t forget to set the Non-Interaction field according to true or false (according to your needs)

Step 3

Configure new YouTube trigger according to your needs and attach it to the tag. If you want to track all videos, choose “All videos” option right at the end of the trigger’s settings list.

That’s it. You’re ready to go. Easy, right?


Yet again, practice makes perfect. I’m sure you don’t need a special article to start using this awesome new feature at its max! Feel free to play with it: add additional tracking (time between pauses), track only certain videos that are important to you etc.