My Watch Time on YouTube Is Decreasing

Sep 28, 2020


Have you ever looked at your YouTube channel analytics and said to yourself: "My watch time on YouTube is decreasing!" If so, you'd be suffering from a common problem content creators face. But what are the reasons for the decrease, and how can they be solved so channel growth can begin to increase?

There are a few common reasons why a channels watch time would decrease. Typically, the causes are a decrease of views, a decrease of video lengths, or a decrease of average view duration. Often, all 3 of these issues are present, making for a difficult time to try and recover the lost watch time minutes.

Watch time is one of the most important metrics in association with the YouTube algorithm. Due to this, it's in your best interest to gain as many watch time minutes as possible. However, this can only be done if you do not make mistakes that lead to a decrease in watch time. Learn about these mistakes in this article so you do not position yourself for failure.

Why Is My YouTube Watch Time Decreasing


If you've ever asked yourself the question: "Why is my YouTube watch time decreasing?" you wouldn't be alone. Many creators on YouTube are often faced with this reality. Due to the importance of watch time, it would be in your best interest to fix the problems that could be causing a decrease in performance.

Here are 3 reasons why your YouTube watch time might be decreasing:

Decrease of Views

You can't gain watch time if you don't get views. Knowing this, it's safe to say that views have a large impact on watch time. Naturally, a decrease in views would lead to a decrease in watch time minutes. This is one of the biggest issues that cause a decrease in watch time for many content creators.

There are many reasons why views might drop. Maybe fewer videos are being published on the channel, or maybe the videos are simply performing worse. Whatever the cause is, it must be found so the problem can be fixed. A channel shouldn't get put into a "death spiral" as when this happens things become very difficult to fix.

If your views have decreased recently, this could be the reason for your decreased watch time. Remember, you cannot gain watch time if you don't get views. So, it would be in your best interest to diagnose and fix the issue. The sooner the problem is solved, the sooner you can begin to achieve more success.

Decrease of Video Lengths

The longer a video is in length, the more watch time minutes it can accumulate. Knowing this, it's safe to say that a shorter video would be able to accumulate less watch time minutes. This is why video lengths can have such an impact on watch time. If a creator decreases the length of their videos, a drop in watch time will usually follow.

There are many reasons why video lengths decrease. Maybe longer videos were lower quality, so a decrease in lengths needed to occur. Maybe the type of content that was being made worked better with shorter videos. Whatever the case may be, there must be a good reason for video lengths to be shortened, as this change can lead to less growth.

If you've changed your content recently, then this might have unintentionally caused a decrease in the lengths of your videos. For example, if most of your videos used to be 10 minutes long, but now they're 5 minutes long, this would most likely lead to a decrease in watch time. So, if you did decrease your video lengths recently, this could be your issue.

Decrease of Average View Duration

The longer a viewer watches a video, the more watch time minutes will be gained. Knowing this, we can see how much of an impact a good average view duration has on watch time. What happens with there is a decrease in average view duration? Watch time minutes also decrease, as viewers are watching for a shorter duration.

There are a few reasons why average view duration might decrease. Maybe a channel has decreased its video lengths, or maybe viewers aren't receiving videos from a channel as positively anymore. Average view duration is a quality score metric, meaning it's heavily affected by audience feedback. If viewers don't like a video, they won't watch it for as long.

A decrease in average view duration can be tricky to deal with. If the issue comes down to video lengths being shortened, then the problem can be fixed by publishing longer videos. If the issue has to do with viewer response and video quality, however, things can get complicated.

If you've made any major changes to your videos lately, then this could be what is causing your average view duration to decrease. Maybe you've changed your video format or presentation, causing viewers to like your videos less. Chances are if your video lengths aren't the issue, then something you've done in your recent videos is causing the issue.


A decrease in watch time can be an alarming thing to come across as a content creator on YouTube. If you've ever said to yourself: "My watch time on YouTube is decreasing" then you'll know the feeling. However, as with most issues, the problems that might be causing a decrease in watch time can be solved if you make the needed adjustments.

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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