When you upload a video to YouTube, the dream scenario is that everyone watches to the end, right? That can be a lot harder than it sounds with so many other videos vying for your audience’s attention. But the reward for holding people’s interest is often a huge increase in views, which is why it pays to understand your average view duration on YouTube.
It’s a key metric that shows just how watchable your videos are. At the same time, it can give you pointers on how to improve your future content. And the best bit is, once you start regularly improving your average view duration, your entire channel will have a better chance of being shared further by YouTube’s algorithm.
So don’t miss out on boosting your view counts and read on to learn what this important stat is showing you. You’ll also find seven simple tips to help you bump up your average view duration and keep people watching for longer.
- What is average view duration on YouTube?
- How average view duration affects views
- Average view duration vs average percentage viewed
- ⭐️ What’s a good average view duration on YouTube?
- Where to find average view duration on YouTube
- How to use average view duration to improve content
- ⭐️ 7 easy tips to increase average view duration
- Increase your average view duration and get more views
What is average view duration on YouTube?
Average View Duration (AVD) on YouTube shows how long the average viewer is watching your video. Clearly you want people to watch your videos all the way through, and average view duration shows you how close your content is to achieving that aim.
YouTube works out your video’s average view duration by taking its total watch time and dividing this by the number of video plays.
Once you know how effectively your videos keep viewers watching, your aim is to increase AVD with every upload. And when you get into that mindset, you’ll find yourself on the road to becoming an even better creator making consistently binge-worthy videos.
How will a higher average view duration result in more views?
We know average view duration shows how engaging your videos are, but how can it translate into more views? Let’s start at the beginning. If you want your videos to be seen by a bigger audience, you need YouTube’s algorithm to share it in people’s feeds.
YouTube's algorithm favors videos that keep viewers watching for longer, and that means it rewards content with a higher AVD by sharing it with a wider audience. So by focusing on increasing your average view duration, you’re also making YouTube’s algorithm happy and giving it a reason to recommend your videos to more people.
Average view duration vs average percentage viewed: What’s the difference?
The average percentage viewed metric on YouTube shows how long people are watching your video on average, but as a percentage. This is especially useful when your channel features videos of different lengths, as it allows you to compare how effectively they hold viewers’ attention.
Your average percentage viewed is also a better indicator of how likely YouTube’s algorithm is to recommend your video further. Essentially, the higher your average view percentage, the more likely YouTube will share your video in people’s feeds.
What is a good average view duration on YouTube?
It’s a question lots of creators ask us, and the truth is it depends on the content you create. What you’d consider a good average view duration for a short video will differ completely from an hour-long upload.
Which is why it's good to keep an eye on your average view percentage too, because it helps you compare videos across your channel. Similarly, a good average view percentage depends on the type of content, but anything over 30% has people gripped through the intro and into the meat of the video.
Any video over 60% is doing a great job of keeping viewers watching through most of your content. But what’s more important is continuing to improve your videos and aiming to increase the average percentage viewed with every upload.
And while defining what you’d consider a ‘good’ average view duration is tricky, here are some benchmarks YouTubers are aiming for:
- For shorter videos (under 5 minutes): Aim for viewers to watch at least 50-70% of the video, so somewhere over 2-3 minutes.
- For longer videos: Achieving a view duration of 40-60% can be considered a success. So if you posted a 10 minute video, you’re aiming for an AVD of 4-6 minutes.
Where to find average view duration on YouTube
YouTube Analytics lets you check both the average view duration and average percentage viewed in just a few simple steps, whether you’re looking at individual videos or your channel as a whole:
- Head to YouTube Studio and hit the Analytics tab
- On the Content tab, you’ll see your channel’s average view duration for the period you’ve selected
- To look at individual videos, click on the Audience tab and go to Advanced Mode
- Underneath Content, select average view duration from the drop-down menu
- From here you can also select the average percentage viewed
Use average view duration to improve your videos
Checking your average view duration will help you identify what's working and what's not. Videos with a better AVD are more effective at keeping people watching, while content with a lower AVD can show you where to improve next time.
Perhaps your intro isn’t doing enough to convince people to carry on watching, or maybe editing parts of your content where people are dropping off could make it flow better. It’s all about thinking critically about where you can improve your content when the average view duration isn’t as high as you want it to be.
How to increase average view duration with 7 easy tips
Remember, the more engaged your viewers are, the longer they’ll watch. It might sound obvious but creating engaging content is key. So keep these seven tips in mind when making your next video and see if you can increase your channel’s average view duration:
1. Start with a compelling hook 🪝
Once someone’s clicked to watch your video, give them a reason to watch right to the end. Your intro is arguably the most important part of your video and needs to convince viewers to keep watching.
2. Keep your editing tight ✄
Be brutal and cut any parts which are likely to turn people off. Trimming the fat from your edits will result in a punchier video that viewers are more likely to watch all the way through.
3. Tell a story 📖
As a YouTuber, you should start thinking of yourself as a storyteller. Map out the plot of your video before you hit record, and think critically about whether viewers will be engaged throughout.
4. Encourage viewer interaction 👋
By making people feel like they’re part of the video and inviting them to get involved in the comments, you’ll make them more likely to be fully invested in your content.
5. Use chapters to help viewers find what they're looking for 🔍
If you create longer, more in-depth videos, consider using chapters to signpost important sections. When you make it easier for your viewers to find what they’re after, they’ll be less likely to click away. Check out our guide on uploading YouTube videos to see how to add chapters.
6. Deliver on promises 😇
Your audience clicked on your video because they were enticed by your title and thumbnail. Make sure your video lives up to what they’re expecting or viewers are going to leave.
Remember, if you deliver the main point of the video right at the start, people will have no reason to keep watching. Help boost your AVD by building up to a big reveal over the course of your video.
7. Judge each video on its own merits 👀
Yes, AVD will tell you how engaging your video is, but it wouldn’t be fair to compare a short clip with an hour-long podcast. What’s more important is seeing what your AVD is telling you on a video-by-video basis and taking those lessons into your future uploads.
Increase your average view duration and get more views for your videos
Once you understand what your average view duration is showing you, it's easy to spot ways to improve your future videos. Always aim to increase the view duration across your channel with attention-grabbing intros, engaging edits, and captivating storytelling.
They’re simple tweaks that’ll keep people watching for longer and show YouTube’s algorithm your content is worth sharing further. And If you’re looking for more ways to unlock your channel’s potential and build a bigger audience, check out our guide to YouTube Analytics.