Audience Retention is an important metric that plays a very big role on YouTube today. In laymen’s terms, audience retention indicates how much your viewers enjoy your videos. Given that YouTube has stated over and over again that their main goal is to keep their viewers happy, engaged, and watching videos, it comes as no surprise that audience retention is YouTube’s favorite metric.
Read on and learn all about the characteristics of audience retention, and see why you need to pay attention to this statistic.
Since YouTube decided that all views weren’t the same in quality, they needed a metric that would effectively measure the quality of the views according to their level of engagement. That’s exactly where audience retention steps in:
The reason why this YouTube metric is so important is that it gives YouTube a statistical representation of how much your viewers are enjoying your video. For example, if you upload a video that is 10 minutes long, and the viewers have watched 5 minutes on average, the audience retention rate for that video would be 50%.
My highest audience retention ever, 83%! Already getting suggested views! Not even 24 hours later. Hope it takes off! pic.twitter.com/sOxE7TiIzo
— Mikey Slice (@zMikeySlice) December 29, 2018
A good audience retention rate will persuade YouTube into ranking your video better, and will give an overall better organic visibility. Poor audience retention will decrease the chances of your video achieving positive organic growth.
Once you visit your analytics section and you find your audience retention, you will see that there are two types of audience retention you have statistics about:
Want to see how your @YouTube video stacks up against all other videos of the same duration on the platform?
Check out Audience Relative Retention in analytics so you can see how viewer retention is either helping or hurting the reach of your video & channel. 📈📉 pic.twitter.com/1ytmgyQVMU
— Frisk 💬 (@markusfrieske) October 22, 2018
If the graph is higher, it means that more viewers have watched your video for that timeframe compared to similar videos in length on YouTube.
Many YouTubers make the common mistake of comparing watch time and audience retention, while they are actually two different metrics that present different information:
Watch time is most important to @YouTube's algorithm. The better your watch time, the higher your content appears in search results 🔍
— Maya Lin Sugarman (@mayasugarman) September 28, 2017
The important thing you need to understand is that watch time benefits don’t disappear when a viewer stops watching your video. Watch time calculates the total amount of time a viewer spends on YouTube even after they watch your content.
A watch time session ends when a user gets back to search after watching your content and other suggested videos. This is why it’s good to link out to other videos on YouTube besides your own on some occasions when it really matters.
There isn’t an official benchmark for what a good audience retention rate is, but for the sake of having a benchmark, creators should always strive for an audience retention rate of above 50%.
this is what a good audience retention rate looks like on a video, constantly working on better quality videos. pic.twitter.com/p23BWyZkvx
— Alex (Alvis) (@AlvisFriend) September 6, 2015
A great audience retention rate would be somewhere between 60% – 70%. Keep in mind that it is virtually impossible to have an audience retention rate of 100%. Someone is bound to click on your video by accident and will leave the video before it finishes.
By now, you probably want to know which factors lead to a positive audience retention rate and which factors lead to a negative one. While it all depends on the niche you’re in and how your audience accepts your content, these are the general factors that determine the level of your audience retention rate:
— Pulp Strategy (@pulpstrategy) November 17, 2016
Video length under 1 minute is good and has 80% retention rate. pic.twitter.com/xM3Eo8UnaC
— Pulp Strategy (@pulpstrategy) November 18, 2016
All of the elements listed above have an impact on your audience retention rate.
What you need to understand is that your audience retention directly affects your ranking on YouTube. It should be plainly obvious that audience retention is something that you should strive to constantly improve, but let’s elaborate on that a bit more:
Audience retention is an indicator of quality content, one of the most favored metrics by YouTube, and an effective benchmark for every creator to follow. I think that you don’t need to be convinced any further to realize just how important audience retention really is!
Now that you know which factors have the biggest impact on your audience retention rate, you probably want to learn what to do in order to improve your audience retention. Here are some general techniques that can boost your audience retention rate:
Ha ha ha ha! Check out the audience retention for the Bee Joke video.
Can you guess what point that drop off is at?! pic.twitter.com/hKwDu4bKwJ
— Potema Parker (@PotemaQuest) July 13, 2016
Remember, your audience retention rate is a direct sign of how much your viewers are enjoying your videos. That’s why it’s best to analyze your audience retention rate, see if there is a pattern that most of your viewers are following, and find out what you need to correct in order to generate a better audience retention rate.
Date: January 18, 2019 / Categories: Analytics, Statistics, View Tactics, / Author: Rich Drees