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I have a few very popular videos with lots of views and likes, but after 10 years they're getting outdated and need upgrading.

I know there must be a way to replace the videos without losing views or likes. Everywhere I search it says it can't be done, but I know it CAN because the evidence is there on YouTube.

Case in point:

  • Search YouTube for 'Take On Me' by A-ha.
    The video recently became only the second 80's music video to gain over a billion views, with the video being present on YouTube since 2010.
  • However, in Dec 2019, Aha replaced the video with a 4K version, which also featured a completely different introduction.
  • NO views were lost. How did they do that?

I've been hunting high and low for an answer but not found anything yet. Any ideas anyone?

3 Answers 3

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So from what I've found, you cannot replace the video without losing comments and views. This is because each video uploaded gets a unique URL. There have been other music videos that have done the same thing you described. Those channels are so large though, they might have special privileges not available to the average user. What most people do is add an annotation to the video with a link to the new video stating that the video has been updated. Making changes to the title to inform viewers of the status of the video helps as well. Sorry, I know that's not the answer you were looking for.

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  • Thanks for your answer, Unfortunately YouTube removed annotations a few years back. You can only add a link at the end of the video now. I've tried it on my videos, and shortened them as well, but it doesn't look good. I think this is something YouTube really needs to address. Thanks any way. Commented May 6, 2020 at 19:34
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At the moment you could add a card at the beginning of your video linking to its new version.

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I just need to insert a PowerPoint slide over a few frames of the video to cover up an error. Idea for Future YouTube Design Solution: There must be some way for YouTube to REUSE a URL of the old video and use it again for the replaced video. Vimeo, for example, just has a REPLACE button. So Replace would just reuse the old URL and delete the old video while keeping all of the analytics. RonB_USA

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