Does YouTube Favor Longer Videos?

Nov 15, 2020


If you're a frequent YouTube-user, chances are you've noticed that most videos tend to be over 10 minutes in length. Have you ever wondered why this is the case? Is this something creators do intentionally? Does YouTube favor longer videos over shorter videos? Or, do creators make longer videos simply because their peers are doing so?

YouTube doesn't favor a particular video length, but longer videos do have advantages over shorter videos. Longer videos can accumulate more watch time minutes than short videos, leading to more channel growth. Along with this, videos that are over 10 minutes long can feature multiple advertisement placements, leading to more earned revenue.

While longer videos are technically better than short videos for growing a channel, they can be difficult to create. Many content creators try to stretch their videos out to be longer than 10 minutes, but this often lessens the quality of their videos. With this said, if stretching out videos results in more potential for growth, shouldn't it be done?

Are Long Videos Better Than Short Videos

As I mentioned above, long videos have some major advantages over short videos. These major advantages are:

  • Increased potential to accumulate watch time minutes
  • Multiple advertisement placements

As you may or may not know, watch time is an important metric for growing a YouTube channel. The more watch time your channel gains, the more authoritative it will appear in the eyes of the YouTube algorithm. This can help your videos and channel get promoted to more potential viewers more frequently.

Also, having the ability to have mid-roll ads present on your videos can help you earn more revenue. Instead of someone needing to watch 2 of your videos, they can watch 1 video and get served 2 ads, increasing your ability to earn more money from each viewer. Keep in mind, however, that a video must be longer than 10 minutes to feature mid-roll ads.

Overall, there are some major advantages that long videos have over short videos. It is important to remember, however, that there are also disadvantages present with long videos. For example, long videos take a longer time to create, which can make it difficult to upload new videos consistently.

Should Every Video Be Long

You might be wondering- should every YouTube video be long? After all, if long videos increase the odds of achieving success, then creating strictly long videos must be the best option, right? Well, this isn't entirely true- long videos have disadvantages to go along with their advantages.

Above, I touched on the fact that long videos tend to take longer to create. This is an issue because uploading new videos consistently is important for growing a YouTube channel. In many cases, content creators should upload two 5-minute videos each week, as opposed to one 10-minute video, as this will allow them to upload more videos.

While long videos have the potential to gain more watch time minutes, this doesn't mean they will. In many cases, short videos end up gaining more watch time than long videos due to their average view duration. A video can only accumulate watch time for as long as people watch, and people will only watch videos they enjoy.

Stretching videos out to be a longer length than they should be is not something that content creators should do. When video quality becomes worse, the average view duration often becomes worse. If a viewer watches a 5-minute video for 3 minutes, and another viewer watches a 10-minute video for 2 minutes, the 5-minute video will provide more watch time.

Video Types and Their Ideal Lengths

Something important to recognize is that certain types of videos have ideal lengths. One type of video might perform best when it is 10 minutes long, whereas another type of video might perform best when it is 3 minutes long. Figuring out the ideal length for the types of videos you create can help you determine how long your videos should be.

Standard daily vlogs, for example, tend to eclipse the 10-minute mark. Often, these vlogs are lightly edited and are around 15 minutes long. On the flipside, animation videos are usually shorter in length due to the work required to create them. Creating a 10-minute animation video would take ages, and this would result in a lack of upload consistency.

The best way to figure out how long your videos should be is to look at similar videos that have performed well. Meaning, if you make gaming videos, look at how long similar gaming videos are. If viewers responded positively to a certain video length, chances are it would be a good idea for you to take that information and implement it into your videos.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that sometimes videos end up being longer or shorter than initially thought. There is no issue present when this happens. Make videos as long as they need to be. Take the lengths of other videos into account, but do not force your videos to be a certain length- this will result in a loss in quality.


Most content creators on YouTube upload videos that are longer in length. But why is this? Does YouTube favor longer videos? Technically, yes, YouTube does favor longer videos. However, it's not a good idea to stretch videos out to a longer length than they should be, as this will result in a poorer average view duration, which will lead to less gained watch time.

Daniel James
Hi there! I’m Daniel, the founder, and CEO of Tubefluence. I help businesses and influencers utilize the power of YouTube marketing to grow an audience and generate leads.
TubeRanker offers the ultimate toolset for Creators & Marketers to optimize their videos against the YouTube algorithm and rank higher in YouTube & Google searches and recommendation engines.
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