Google requires you to create an API key to make use of its products. An API is used to identify your project, as well as giving you access to use the data of a service. In the context of YouTube, the API key enables you to use your YouTube videos or analytics on the product you are developing. For instance, you can integrate your WordPress site with YouTube via an API key to embed a playlist from your channel. Or, you probably want to create a tool to display the statistics of your YouTube videos. You also need an API key in such a case.
Google itself divides the YouTube API into four types:
- YouTube Data API: An API that provides access to YouTube data (including videos, channels, and playlists)
- YouTube Analytics API: An API that retrieves YouTube analytics data
- YouTube Reporting API: An API that schedules reporting jobs containing your YouTube Analytics data and downloads the bulk data reports in the form of CSV files.
- YouTube Ads Reach API: An API that retrieves YouTube ads reach per market, demographics, campaign budget, and other criteria
How to get a YouTube API key
You can get a YouTube API key via Google API Console. Before creating an API key, you need to have at least a project on the Google API Console.
To get started, visit the Google API Console website and login with your Google account. Select a project from the dropdown menu on the top side.
If you have no project yet, click NEW PROJECT to create a new project.
Give your project a name and click the CREATE button.
With your new project selected (which you can select from the dropdown menu on the top side), click Library on the left panel.
Scroll down to the YouTube section and select a YouTube API key type according to your needs. For instance, if you want to embed a YouTube playlist, you can select YouTube API Data.
Click the Enable button to enable the YouTube API key for your project.
Once the API is enabled, click Credentials on the left panel.
Click CREATE CREDENTIALS and select and select API key.
Wait a moment until your API key is created. Once created, copy the generated API key and it’s ready to use.