In a perfect world, everyone who would watch your videos on YouTube would wait until the very end before moving on to more content.
Even just by studying your own viewing tendencies, you might know that this isn’t common.
So, how can you keep viewers engaged from start to finish and boost your average view duration?
This guide focuses on explaining YouTube metrics like average view duration and retention time.
By understanding these metrics, you can study your own channel’s stats and figure out when viewers are moving on from your videos and how you can keep them engaged for longer using some simple tricks.
Short Answer - Here’s The Average View Duration For YouTube
This means that the retention rate of the video is 50%.
The average view duration can then be calculated according to the video’s length.
For example, if the video is five minutes long, the average viewer will only watch 50%, so two and a half minutes.
This trend occurs in videos of different lengths. Viewers will generally only watch one minute of a two-minute video, or 10 minutes of a 20-minute video.
The 50% retention rate is fairly common throughout lengths and categories.
So, if you want to maintain a viewer’s interest, you need to make sure the first half of the video is engaging enough that users stick around for the rest.
Getting to 100% is tough, but if your retention rate is over 70%, you’re doing really well.
You should always keep in mind what YouTube wants; YouTube is happy when users are happy. If users bail on your videos quickly, YouTube will have no incentive to push your video to other users.
And your ultimate goal should be that viewers who remain until the very end, you can direct to take further action:
- Subscribe, like, or share your video.
- Watch another piece of content you created.
- Act on your call to action.
We've covered this in detail in our guide on how to end a YouTube video.
Why Does View Duration Matter?
View duration matters for many reasons.
Firstly, if your average view duration is high, your video is more likely to make it to YouTube’s recommended lists and rank highly on search results.
When this happens, you can get more views and subscribers, making you even more likely to get extra attention on your other videos.
If viewers stay until the end of your video, you can also increase engagement rates with annotations. This will also boost your views and subscribers.
Another important reason to aim for a high view duration is advertising.
The longer viewers watch your videos, the more ads you can have on your content.
Mid-roll advertisements in the second half of a video are pointless if viewers aren’t engaged enough to keep watching past the 50% mark.
Post-roll ads aren’t so common for this reason exactly. Viewers don’t tend to watch videos until the end, so it’s not likely they’ll see the ads placed after the conclusion.
How Do I Increase My Average View Duration?
Now that you have a deeper understanding of what average view duration is and how it can affect your channel’s performance, here are some tips on increasing this value that you can implement right away.
When creating your next video, try to focus on:
- Structure and Hooks
- Presentation and Quality
- Fan Engagement and Brand Building
Video Structure and Hooks
Spend plenty of time planning out your next video.
If you have chosen a structure and figured out what will hook viewers to keep watching, you’re more likely to create great content that will have high view durations.
You can structure the sections before filming and then make a script for each part so that you feel prepared.
Once you’re ready to record, start with an intro that will captivate viewers, especially for longer videos.
Long-form content is less-viewed than short videos, so you need to hook users in right away.
Have a basic explanation of what’s going to happen so that viewers know it’s a relevant video for them and hook them with an intriguing piece of info that will develop later on.
As the video goes on, the view duration will steadily drop, so add more hooks and questions throughout.
These will help you to maintain the viewer’s attention for the whole video. And make sure to avoid fluff and unimportant or boring content.
Even if an intriguing reveal is coming up, users might want to skip ahead or leave the video altogether if they don’t feel engaged.
Presentation and Quality
When you know what you’re going to talk about, think about how you can present it.
Videos with good camera and sound quality are always going to do better than those that look 10 years old.
If you’re on-camera or narrating, aim for high energy levels.
You don’t need to be bouncing off the walls, but you should try to maintain enough vibrancy that viewers won’t feel uninterested.
If you’re not enjoying the topic, why should they?
Sharp edits and different camera angles can help to achieve an engaging feel.
Changes in music and adding graphs and animations can also make a video feel more engaging. Keeping the viewer’s focus is the goal.
Finally, try to create a pleasing visual scheme.
This can be done with good lighting, nice colors and typography, shapes, logos, and more.
Who doesn’t enjoy videos that are appealing to the eye?
Fan Engagement and Brand Building
One of the best ways to guarantee better view duration stats is by creating a fanbase that watches your videos regularly and are interested in viewing them until they end.
Contrary to what some people think, YouTube measures and pays attention to how your videos are doing over time. If, for example, your videos are being watched by 100k users on average, and then start down trending, YouTube will take that as a sign that your fanbase is no longer engaged with your content.
Given that YouTube's goal is to keep the users watching as long as possible, they will not recommend your videos as much anymore.
To create a strong fanbase, you will need to focus heavily on engagement and brand building. Your fanbase needs to feel like they know you; they need to feel a connection with who you are.
This is why faceless YouTube channels are doing way worse in the long run.
To start building your brand, you should have an aesthetic solution for your videos.
Not only should you pick a niche and focus on the subjects within that niche, you should pick a specific style for your titles and thumbnails.
These are the first representations of your work that users will see, so they should be captivating and maintain a certain vibe.
Fan engagement can start within your videos.
Despite being a one-way medium, you can interact through videos by asking questions and encouraging fans to leave comments, like your videos, subscribe to your channel, or share your content.
Make sure to reply to as many comments as you can to build trust with your audience.
Giveaways and contests are another great way of interacting with fans.
A prize can be a perfect incentive for leaving comments or sharing videos.
To make it even more interesting, place the answer or hints for contests within your video.
This way, viewers will pay extra attention or even rewatch your content in order to have a better chance of winning.
You’ve simultaneously created engagement and boosted your average view duration with one simple trick.
Lastly, use other tools for publicizing your work.
For example, make YouTube Shorts as an advertisement for your main videos or to announce contests.
Fans are more likely to share shorter videos with friends or on social media.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Is 25% average view duration good?
25% average view duration isn’t particularly good, but in some cases it’s not bad.
If a viewer has only watched a quarter of a one-minute video, then it’s lacking engaging content.
However, 25% of an hour-long video is quite good. It means the creator was able to provide enough engaging content for 15 minutes.
How important is the average view duration metric on YouTube?
Average view duration is an important metric for getting higher positions on search results and for being added to recommended lists.
And these two factors are essential for building a large YouTube presence.
By proving that you can keep your audience engaged, YouTube’s algorithm will know that you’re creating good content that should be shared with other users.
So, if you want to increase views, subscribers, impressions, engagement, and monetization possibilities, the average view duration of your videos should be one of the metrics you pay close attention to.
The objective of this guide was to explain what average view duration is, how important it can be to your channel, and how you can increase it with a few tips and tricks.
By working on the structure of your videos, adding hooks, ensuring the quality of your content, and interacting with fans, you can increase the average view duration and retention rate of your videos.
This can lead to higher positions in search results and recommended lists, which in turn can give you chances to monetize your content.
Do you keep an eye on your average view duration? If so, have you tried any of these tricks to increase it? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.