How to Make YouTube Playlists with a Google Spreadsheet

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Published in: Google Sheets - YouTube

A couple of YouTube videos, some simple Google formulas and a Google Spreadsheet - that’s all you need to quickly create a YouTube playlist. It will be an anonymous playlist, not connected to your YouTube channel, and may be a good way to bunch together multiple videos for easy sharing on WhatsApp, Twitter or an email newsletter.

Make YouTube Playlists with Google Sheets

To get started, open this Google Sheet and put the URLs (links) of YouTube videos in column A (one video per cell, starting with Cell A3). As you paste the video links in cell A, the column B gets populated with the video ID while column C will include a video thumbnail. This helps you double-check that the video URL is actually pointing to the intended video.

After you are done writing the video URLs, go to cell A1 (see tutorial) and you’ll find a link to your YouTube playlist ready for sharing with the world. If you add or remove videos from column A, the playlist link will be updated automatically. Simple. You can share the Google sheet with other people and collaborate together to build a YouTube playlist.

YouTube Playlist Generator - How It Works?

When you paste the video URL in column A, the REGEXTRACT formula uses the following regex to extract the ID of the YouTube video.

=REGEXEXTRACT(A3, "youtu(?:.*\/v\/|.*v\=|\.be\/|.*?embed\/)([A-Za-z0-9_\-]{11})")

Once video ID is available, the IMAGE formula is used to create the video thumbnail for that YouTube video.

=IMAGE("https://i3.ytimg.com/vi/"&B3&"/hqdefault.jpg", 4, 80, 120)

Now comes the most interesting part - generating the YouTube playlist. Well, that’s a simple URL hack where we concatenate the video IDs with the JOIN() method and make a live link using the HYPERLINK() method. `

=HYPERLINK("https://www.youtube.com/watch_videos?video_ids="&join(",",B3:B);"Link")

Also see:  How to Copy YouTube Playlists

These YouTube playlists, generated on-the-fly, are not saved in your Google account. You can also build a permanent YouTube playlist where multiple people can collaborate with a Google Form and Google Scripts. Check out this project written by Martin Hawksey. Thank you Tor Halvor Solheim for the idea.

Published in: Google Sheets - YouTube

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Web Geek, Google Developer Expert
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Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India. He is the developer of Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory

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