Super quick post today, but I wanted to share my experience with autoplay YouTube Video embeds, how you do it, and also why you shouldn’t except for certain circumstances.

First, How You Autoplay YouTube Video Embeds

If you’re grabbing your code from YouTube and plopping it onto your site, WordPress or otherwise, you won’t see the option to autoplay your YouTube video anymore. It used to be an option when you would grab the embed code, but YouTube has removed it. Why? We’ll get into that below, but it’s a fair reason.

The way you have to do it now is:

  1. Grab your YouTube video’s URL – it can be from the URL bar in your browser, or the share button under the video you wish to share (on the video’s viewing page on the YouTube site). Either one works.
  2. Add this code to the end of the video and place it where you need it:
    ?autoplay=1

This can look like any of the following:

Just the URL:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgjX34lUEfQ?autoplay=1
Screen shot of where the share icon is on YouTube

or if you’ve grabbed YouTube’s embed code you’ll add that ?autoplay=1 to the URL in the embed code (not the autoplay text you see later in the iframe).

Note: I did break this code by removing the opening and closing brackets on the iframe tags so it would stop actually loading the video.

width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dgjX34lUEfQ?autoplay=1" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen

Why You Shouldn’t Autoplay YouTube Embedded Videos

Screen Capture of the Share/Embed option on YouTube's site where you can see that autoplay is no longer a checkbox available

YouTube removed the ability to autoplay from their grab and go code in their Share button.

And I recently had an experience where I thought, hey I embed my YouTube videos on my blog posts, if I set them to autoplay I’ll rack up a bunch of views on my YouTube channel.

No sir, not the case.

Aside from the fact that in THAT case, of adding a YouTube video to my blog post, it was probably a bit annoying for my visitor, YouTube did not count views from autoplays.

So having my video autoplay did absolutely nothing for me on my YouTube channel. It didn’t count the watch hours, it didn’t count the views.

However, from what I could tell I didn’t get penalized for doing it either.

Is There a Place or Situation Where Autoplaying YouTube Videos is Okay?

Yes, actually.

Autoplaying YouTube videos on sales funnels is pretty perfect, if that video is the main thing doing your selling.

Generally when a user comes to your site, they want to be in control. They want to be the one making the decisions. Autoplaying anything, visual or audio, takes that control away from them and can cause them to leave.

However, on a sales funnel page, the user has clicked on it because they’re ready to be exposed to your advertisement, to what you have to say.

If, and only if, the video is you explaining to them personally how XYZ is going to fix ABC problem, and you don’t care about views and only about conversions (sales), then autoplaying a video could be worth it.

It’s all about how you use it. If you feel the user is open to talking to a sales person, then yeah, give them what they want.

But if they didn’t click on an ad, or a link in an email, and are expecting to be sold or educated on something, do not do it.