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YouTube Private Video Vs. Unlisted (Everything You Need To Know!)

Not all YouTube videos are meant for public consumption. That’s why many people make private and unlisted videos to keep them out of the public eye and maintain privacy. So, what is the difference between private and unlisted YouTube videos?

Private videos are only watchable via invite whereas you can watch unlisted videos if you have the URL. You cannot monetize private YouTube videos, but you can monetize unlisted videos if they get enough views and your account has 3,000 or more watch hours. Unlisted videos don’t offer as much privacy as private videos, but you can schedule them to publish, unlike private videos.

Both unlisted and private YouTube videos are subject to copyright, and you must follow YouTube’s terms of service for both. Follow along as we explore private and unlisted YouTube videos and see how they differ.

What are Private YouTube Videos?

Private YouTube videos are videos that nobody can watch unless you invite them to. When someone searches your YouTube channel, they won’t see your private videos. YouTube only lets you invite 50 users to watch your private video.

Users cannot share your private YouTube video with people that you didn’t invite to watch it. Many people keep videos private on YouTube for storage so they can make free space on their PCs. Private videos are also a great way to share private information, such as sensitive personal matters or business data.

What is an Unlisted YouTube Video?

Unlisted YouTube videos are similar to private videos in that they don’t appear in search results or on your channel. However, they are unique in that anyone can share your unlisted YouTube video if they have the URL. You can’t see an unlisted YouTube video on someone’s channel or search results, but you can watch it if they send you the link.

Once you create an unlisted video and send it to one person, it’s out of your hands and can be shared an unlimited amount of times. Unlisted videos are useful in the business world because you can disseminate information to many people within a company without having to send invitations for private videos.  

You can also test a video to see how people respond to it when it’s unlisted. This will give you a good idea of whether people will like the video or not before you publish it.

Difference Between Unlisted and Private on YouTube

The main difference between unlisted and private YouTube videos is that people can share unlisted videos but not private videos. You must sign in to a YouTube account to watch private videos, but that’s not necessary with unlisted videos if you have the link.

Unlisted videos don’t offer as much privacy as private videos because private videos are unshareable without an invitation. There is no limit to how many people you can share an unlisted video with, but you can only share private YouTube videos with 50 users.

Another key difference is that you can schedule unlisted videos to publish on YouTube, but you can’t do that with private videos. When you schedule a YouTube video, it’s automatically an unlisted video until it is published. You cannot schedule or publish a private YouTube video until you switch it to public.

Do Private YouTube Videos Count Towards Watch Time?

Private YouTube videos don’t count towards your channel’s watch time. They used to count towards watch time, but that stopped in 2019 when YouTube overhauled several aspects of channel analytics. However, unlisted videos still count towards watch time for your channel.

Are Unlisted YouTube Videos Subject to Copyright?

Unlisted YouTube videos are subject to copyright. YouTube automatically checks videos for copyright violations whether they are public or unlisted. Copyright owners typically submit their content to YouTube so they can scan videos for videos and music, and YouTube does the work from there.  

Can You Monetize Private Videos on YouTube?

You cannot monetize private videos on YouTube. The only way to monetize private videos is if a sponsor paid you to make a video, but that is highly unlikely because they would get no exposure if the video is private. Once you publish your private videos, you can monetize them.

So, What is the Difference Between a Private and Unlisted Video on YouTube?

The difference between a private and unlisted video is that you can share unlisted videos with anyone but private videos aren’t shareable. Unlisted videos count toward your channel’s total watch time, but private videos don’t. You can also schedule unlisted videos to publish, but you cannot do that with private videos.