Audience Retention vs Average View Duration, which one do you think matters? Today you’ll get the explanation of the biggest and fought-over comparison in the YouTube Creator Industry.
Getting started, you must understand just why these two metrics (Audience Retention and Watch time) are important.
Average Watch Time and Audience Retention Rate are one of the biggest and most important ranking factors on YouTube, the higher they are, the more your videos will be suggested and the higher you’ll rank on search results.
They are vital stats every YouTube Creator should look to improve if they bear the growth of their YouTube Channel in mind.
Watch Time is a very big deal for small YouTubers, they’re all fighting for that 4000 watch hours and 1000 Subscribers so we can apply for the YouTube Partner Program and display ads on our content to make revenue.
But once our Channel gets past the 4000 watch hours mark, does the watch Time matter anymore? What is this even telling us?.
Well, Yes, Watch Time does matter, I can’t stress how much it matters because it matters a lot.
Watch Time would make more sense if it’s known as “Session Duration”, this is because it measures the amount of time your video causes people to stay on YouTube.
And that’s exactly what the Algorithm wants, to keep as many people as possible on the platform, longer than they’re on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, etc.
Longer Session Duration not only helps an individual Video rank in the search results and get more suggested views but increases your entire Channel’s ability to rank new videos and have YouTube promote your content for you.
Think about it, if your Channel Keeps people on YouTube for longer, there’s a reason for that, your content is beyond great.
So, with that in mind, does Watch Time trump Audience Retention Rate? The short and precise answer is NO!.
Audience Retention Rate
Audience Retention Rate can be defined as how long people spend watching a video on average.
If you make a great, high-quality, and engaging video, the audience retention rate should be well higher than that of a poorly made video.
Here’s where the problem is… If you make a 20-minute video and people only watch for 2 minutes, the audience retention rate will be absolutely poor and is at 10%.
But if you make a 2-minute video and the audience retention rate is 100%, it now begs the question…
Watch Time vs Audience Retention, which one will help grow your Channel more?
The only solution to this is to keep both the Watch Time and the Audience Retention Rate high, but how can you do that?
Firstly, make shorter videos but make them into a series, humans love chapters, take books for example.
You could cut a 2-minute Video into a 10-part series by naming it (obviously) and then adding it to a playlist. (Playlists help grow your content).
Also, you can use your End Screens to point your audience toward the next part of the series or the Playlist, whichever is more relevant at the moment.
This could increase your audience retention rate and overall build the average video watch Time in your channel. You can win on both ends.
In an experiment, people watched the long video cut into shorter series, more than one long video was uploaded and the 2 were the same just that one was whole and the other was cut into series.
Overall, you need to try different video lengths and see what works for you in your niche and that now leads me to recommend this content for you:
- How long should your YouTube Videos Be?
- The Best Time to Upload YouTube Videos
- Everything you need to know about Uploading 4K Videos on YouTube.
What does Audience Retention Mean on YouTube?
Does Watch Time Matter on YouTube?
Does YouTube Views Count Everytime I watch?
Conclusion on Audience Retention Rate vs Watch Time
The real truth is that both metrics are important but one is surely much more important than the other and that is the Audience Retention Rate.
The higher an Individual Video’s Retention Rate is, the more it’ll be promoted by the YouTube Algorithm to reach a wider audience.