YouTube is one of the most popular mediums for consuming content in today’s day and age.
No matter your requirement be it professional or entertainment, you tune into YouTube.
And seeing the popularity of YouTube you might have thought to yourself you must also make content and that is very courageous of you.
However, unlike most YouTubers, you want to actually study and understand the platform and while doing your research you come across two words.
YouTube retention and watch time.
You might have asked yourself that these are quite similar but in reality, there is a world of difference between these two terms and after you understand them you can become a popular creator.
So, let’s understand what these two means and how you can ensure that you have good retention as well as watch time.
WHAT IS YOUTUBE WATCH TIME?
Watch time is quite simple to understand. It is simply the total accumulated time that people have spent watching your videos.
Watch time can be calculated quite easily.
Watch time is important because it shows the popularity of the YouTube channel. The more YouTube videos are watched the more ad revenue those videos are generating.
That is why they are always prioritised by YouTube.
Watch time is also the simple way by which YouTube determines if a channel is ready for monetization.
This is because YouTube has to show that this channel is popular therefore more watch time means the advertisements are also going to be watched.
The most effective way of increasing your video watch time is by retaining viewers.
YouTube analytics clearly show that if you can hold on to the audience’s attention then that is the best way to popularise a channel and be successful on YouTube.
SO, WHAT IS YOUTUBE AUDIENCE RETENTION?
Audience retention is simply the art of retaining the audience throughout the video. The more time the audience stays with the video the better the retention rate.
Audience retention is basically the metric to show the audience’s attention throughout the video and you can easily view that through simple charts.
The higher the retention rate the better the video is ranked and also this increases the relevance of the video.
Previously YouTube algorithms were designed to simply see the view account and the watch time but nowadays retention plays an even more important role.
This is because previously clickbaits were used to lure people into the video and gather watch time but retention allows the algorithm to see if the video is being able to hold the audience.
Now that we know the meaning of watch time and audience retention, let us understand the difference between YouTube retention and watch time.
Retention is simply the metric to calculate the attention span of the audience and to show at which point of the video did the audience start watching or stop watching or even skip.
This is helpful for the algorithm but it is even more so helpful for the creator in order to understand how to keep the viewers from exiting the video or even skipping to different parts.
YouTube watch time on the other hand is a simple sum of the number of minutes and hours the viewers have watched their video.
Watch time can be a simple metric in order to understand how popular the creator is and how much time their video has been watched in total, nothing more nothing less.
The best performance and the most popular types of videos are those that have a balance between watch time and retention rate.
Watch time ensures that the videos of the creator are popular and the retention rate shows that the videos are content-rich.
HERE ARE SOME PRACTICES TO INCREASE THE AUDIENCE RETENTION RATE
FIRST 15 SECONDS
This is one of the most important things that a new creator must keep in mind and if they can follow this, they can be quite successful.
It has been found that viewers decide to keep watching or stop watching a video based on the first 15 seconds of the video.
While this might seem quite unfair but it is what it is and the first 15 seconds are therefore the most important 15 seconds of the video.
So, if you are a creator then you must make sure that your video is the most engaging for the first 15 seconds so that you can hold on to the viewer.
After that, you can slowly get back to your style of video making and slowly ease out of your viewers into your video.
The retention graph is always a downward graph where the attention span of the viewer decreases.
You can hold on to the audience at the beginning then you can think about keeping them for the rest of the video.
TRY NEW THINGS
YouTube is all about experimentation and it is what keeps content creators relevant.
You must always try out new things on YouTube and you must always try out performing your last video.
In order to keep the retention rate high, you must try out new things such as adding new camera angles or changing the style of editing.
You can also start new series and new ideas so that your content might never be stagnating.
There are excellent examples out there of famous creators simply not getting any views because they did not manage to change their content with the times.
Channels with millions of subscribers have seemingly failed due to this simple thing.
If you want to stay relevant and also have a great retention rate then the best thing to do is to try out new things.
That is often the misconception that YouTube videos are not scripted and planned and that they are more so done impromptu.
However, this is a false misconception simply because YouTube videos are also planned and scripted just like a TV show and the creators that do this have a more polished video.
Planning out everything from the beginning will ensure that your video brings out a more understandable outcome so that you might be able to predict the audience’s reaction.
This can however not be done if you are a vlogger but you can still plan out things and edit them in a sequence to make things more attractive.
This was the difference between YouTube retention and watch time. There are a lot of metrics and parameters to keep in mind. If you do not want to keep all these things in mind and if you want a simpler solution then we are here to help you.
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