Case study

How We Conducted Analysis of YouTube Video Thumbnail Performance and Identified the Impact of Characters and Background on Click-Through Rates (CTR) for a Media Conglomerate

SGA Case Study Data Analytics Youtube Thumbnail


The client wanted to study how well YouTube thumbnails specially created for a video perform compared to the pictures that are a part of the scenes from a video. Additionally, the client wanted to see whether having certain characters in the picture has a significant impact on how often people click on the video.


  • We created a process to collect information and download thumbnails for a few listed shows.
  • We took 100 live videos for the analysis and analyzed their thumbnails based on click-through rates (CTR).
  • We identified all the characters present in the videos. We also determined whether a picture was specifically created for the video (custom) or was only a scene from the video itself.
  • We calculated the average number of times people clicked on videos (through CTR) by following the steps mentioned below:
    - First, we compared how often people clicked on videos with pictures with a particular character versus the pictures without that character.
    - Second, we looked at how often people clicked on videos with customized pictures versus pictures that showcased scenes from the video itself.
    - Third, we identified which thumbnail worked better regarding CTR by conducting the above two analyses.



We created a way for our client to check how well their thumbnails work by measuring how many people click on them (CTR) to watch videos.


  • Through this process, our client could learn important information about how well its thumbnails are working and improve them to get better results.
  • Our analysis shows that thumbnail images play a significant role in convincing people to watch a video. Having a specific character in the thumbnail has a significant impact on whether people decide to watch a particular video.



Video thumbnail design is critical for audience engagement and viewership, including how a specific character can significantly increase the likelihood of viewers choosing to watch a video.

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