What is good audience retention on YouTube?

By The IFTTT Team

December 07, 2023

  • YouTube has become a powerhouse for content creators and businesses alike, with over 2 billion monthly active users. With such a large audience, it's no surprise that many are turning to YouTube as a platform to share their content and reach a wider audience. Today, the most popular metrics to judge how successful YouTube videos are consist of views, likes, and subscriber count.

    With so much competition on the platform, it's important to understand how to truly measure the success of your videos. One key metric to pay attention to is audience retention. In this article, we'll dive into what audience retention is, why it's important, and what is considered good audience retention on YouTube. We'll also introduce IFTTT, our free automation platform that hosts a plethora of tools to help keep your audience retention rates high.

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    What is audience retention?


    Audience retention is a metric that measures how long viewers are watching your video. It shows the percentage of your video that viewers are watching before they drop off or stop watching altogether.

    This rate differs from a view count, which simply adds one view to a video when a user watches for around 30 seconds. One person may watch a video for only 40 seconds, while one may watch all the way through, but both count as one view. You could argue that one viewer was much more interested in the video than the other, which makes audience retention such a cool tool.

    Audience retention is one of the most important metrics for content creators to understand, as it can help them better understand how their content is engaging viewers and how to optimize their videos for better results. Knowing your audience retention rate can also help you make more informed decisions about how to promote your videos and target new viewers.

    How is audience retention calculated?


    Audience retention is calculated by dividing the total watch time of your video by the total length of your video, and then multiplying by 100 to get a percentage. For example, if your video is 10 minutes long and the total watch time is 5 minutes, your audience retention would be 50%.

    YouTube provides audience retention data in the form of a graph, which shows the percentage of viewers that are watching at each moment of your video. This allows you to see which parts of your video are most engaging and which parts may be causing viewers to drop off.

    Why is audience retention important?


    Audience retention is important for several reasons:

    It shows how engaging your content is: A high audience retention rate indicates that your content is holding the attention of your viewers and keeping them engaged. This is important because it means your audience is more likely to watch your entire video and potentially take action, such as subscribing or clicking on a call-to-action.

    It affects your video's ranking: YouTube's algorithm takes audience retention into account when ranking videos. Videos with higher audience retention are more likely to be recommended to viewers, which can lead to increased views and engagement.

    It helps you improve your content: By analyzing your audience retention data, you can see which parts of your video are most engaging and which parts may be causing viewers to drop off. This allows you to make improvements to your content and create more engaging videos in the future.

    What is considered good audience retention on YouTube?


    So, what is considered good audience retention on YouTube? The answer is not straightforward, as it can vary depending on the length and type of video. However, a general rule of thumb is to aim for an audience retention rate of at least 50%.

    Short videos For shorter videos, such as those under 5 minutes, a good audience retention rate would be around 60-70%. This is because shorter videos are more likely to hold the attention of viewers for the entire duration.

    Longer videos For longer videos, such as those over 10 minutes, a good audience retention rate would be around 50%. This is because longer videos are more likely to have a drop-off in viewership as the video progresses.

    Live streams Live streams are a bit different, as they tend to have a lower audience retention rate due to their longer duration and unscripted nature. A good audience retention rate for live streams would be around 30-40%.

    How to improve audience retention


    If you find that your audience retention rate is lower than desired, there are several strategies you can implement to improve it.

    Create engaging content

    The most important factor in improving audience retention is creating engaging content. This means creating videos that are informative, entertaining, and visually appealing. Use a variety of visuals, such as graphics, animations, and b-roll footage, to keep viewers engaged.

    Hook viewers in the first 15 seconds

    The first 15 seconds of your video are crucial in keeping viewers engaged. Use this time to hook viewers in and give them a reason to keep watching. This could be through a captivating intro, a teaser of what's to come, or a question that piques their interest.

    Keep your videos concise

    As mentioned earlier, longer videos tend to have a lower audience retention rate. To combat this, keep your videos concise and to the point. Avoid rambling or going off-topic, as this can cause viewers to lose interest and drop off.

    Use cards and end screens

    Cards and end screens are interactive elements that you can add to your videos to keep viewers engaged. Use them to link to other videos, playlists, or your website, which can encourage viewers to continue watching your content.

    Analyze your audience retention data

    Lastly, regularly analyze your audience retention data to see which parts of your videos are most engaging and which parts may be causing viewers to drop off. Use this information to make improvements to your content and create more engaging videos in the future.

    Improving YouTube stats with IFTTT

    IFTTT (If This Then That) is our free automation tool that allows you to create connections between over 800 of your favorite web services. This includes YouTube, which means that you can use IFTTT to improve and automate your YouTube analytics.

    For example, IFTTT can automatically add a tag to your videos when they reach a certain number of views or likes. It can also be used to send email notifications when your channel has been mentioned in a comment or video. By using IFTTT, you can stay on top of your YouTube audience retention data and make sure that you’re delivering the best possible content to your viewers.

    Read on to hear more about our mission and our top picks for YouTube automations.

    What is IFTTT?

    IFTTT is our free web-based service and mobile app designed to boost productivity by automating tasks. It works by creating connections between popular apps and services, allowing them to work together seamlessly.

    The basic idea behind IFTTT is to create "applets" or sets of instructions that trigger when certain conditions are met. This can be turning on the lights automatically when you enter your house, for example.

    Founded in 2011, IFTTT has been used by over 25 million individuals to automate both business and home tasks, saving time and increasing efficiency. It's commonly used to connect disparate services and systems, making all products and services work well together in a way that instills user confidence. Best of all, it's free and only takes a couple of minutes to set up.

    Top YouTube Applets with IFTTT

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    Add songs from videos you like to a Spotify playlist

    This Applet will search the title of the video on Spotify — if it finds the track, it'll add it to a "YouTube" playlist. Not all songs on YouTube are available on Spotify, but many are. Happy tune hunting!

    Automatically share your new videos to a Facebook Page

    Keep your communities in sync with this easy to use Applet — when you upload a new public video the link will be posted on your Facebook Page.

    Publish your new videos as Wordpress posts

    Grow your audience by cross-posting your videos automatically — this Applet will grab the embed code and post it on Wordpress. The title of the blog will be the title of the video.

    Receive a notification when someone you're subscribed to uploads a new video

    Never miss an upload by all of your favorite creators! This Applet will send out a notification if someone you are following posts a video.

    To enable these Applets and millions more, try IFTTT today for free!

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