What Is a Good Average View Duration on YouTube?

Oct 10, 2020


Over the years, average view duration has become a more important metric. If you have a bad average view duration, your videos will struggle to get the traffic you want them to get. But what is a good average view duration on YouTube, and how can you make sure yours is good?

As with a lot of things, a solid answer cannot be given when asked what a good YouTube average view duration is. Every content creator on YouTube should try to create the best videos possible to encourage viewers to watch their videos for longer durations. Ideally, viewers should make it through at least 50% of a video, but longer would be even better.

Average view duration is calculated as a result of viewer feedback. This means that less engaging videos tend to have a low average view duration. Knowing this, improvements to videos themselves often need to be made. Every video is different, but improvements do exist that have been proven to be beneficial for increasing viewer duration across the board.

What Does Average View Duration Mean on YouTube


Before we go any further, we must answer the question: What does average view duration mean on YouTube? Many people get average view duration and audience retention confused. While average view duration and audience retention seem to be the same thing, they are different and shouldn't be viewed as being the same thing.

Average view duration is calculated by dividing the total watch time or watch hours of a video by the total number of views. The job of this metric is to help YouTube determine which videos are being positively received by viewers, and which videos are not. YouTube wants to show high-quality videos to viewers, so having a good average view duration is crucial for success.

In recent years, this metric has become more important. Many content creators used to use misleading titles and thumbnails to get views, but most of the views were low-quality. Meaning, viewers clicked on a video, watched it for a few seconds, and clicked off. Why did viewers do this? They did this because of the misleading titles and thumbnails.

As a content creator on YouTube, you should do everything you can to maximize your average view duration. This metric is directly based on viewer feedback. If viewers don't enjoy your videos, your average view duration will be poor. When this happens, you should make adjustments to your videos.

How to Increase Average View Duration on YouTube


It can be difficult to increase average view duration on YouTube. As I mentioned earlier, average view duration is determined based on how much viewers enjoyed a video. The best way to help viewers enjoy a video more is to make the video better. So, most methods for increasing average view duration revolve around making adjustments to videos.

The following items should be evaluated when trying to increase AVD:

  • Video structure
  • Video hooks
  • Video presentation and quality

Let's dive deeper into each one of these areas of interest.

Video Structure

The way that a video is structured can have a huge impact on how long viewers watch it. Videos that are structured poorly typically repel viewers, whereas videos that are structured well do the opposite. Fixing the structure of your videos should be one of the first items on the agenda if you're trying to increase your AVD.

When we speak of video structure, what we're speaking of is how a video is laid out. For example, a storybook isn't all over the place. A storybook is constructed in a specific manner to get the best response out of readers. This same approach should be taken when creating videos for YouTube.

Fixing the structure of your videos can seem intimidating. However, this process isn't as difficult as it seems. Most of the time, the ideal video structure for the types of videos you create already exists. Meaning, if you look at the way successful channels in your niche structure their videos, you'll be able to see a good video structure for your target audience.

Start by taking a look at how successful channels in your niche structure their videos. Then, use this structure for your videos and measure the responses. If your AVD increases, you'll know that the changes are working. If your AVD doesn't increase, then there might be other issues present.

Video Hooks

Most videos suffer a huge drop-off in viewers within the first minute. Why is this? If the title and thumbnail weren't misleading, the issue typically comes down to having a poor video hook. If you do not hook viewers within the first few seconds of your video, they will be more likely to lose interest. So, having good hooks present in your videos is crucial.

This is quite similar to what I mentioned above with video structure. You need to evaluate your videos and determine if you have weak hooks or no hooks at all. If you have weak or non-existent video hooks, chances are viewers are simply not engaged enough to watch your videos for a long duration.

The main location of interest to place a video hook is in the introduction of a video. Many videos suffer a large drop-off in viewers within the first minute. To combat this, you should do your best to hook viewers within the first minute of your video. Keep in mind, this needs to work in tandem with your video structure (usually this happens naturally).

A video hook needs to be engaging and relevant to the viewer. An example of a video hook that should be placed in the introduction of a video would be something along the lines of:

"Do you want to walk your dog like a pro? In this video, I'll show you some top-secret tips I learned from a professional dog walker that allows me to walk my dog with ease."

If you were looking for a video about how to walk your dog easier, wouldn't that introduction grab your attention? Wouldn't you want to watch this video so you could get access to what was promised? This is an example of a good video hook, and this is what you should be doing in the introduction of your videos.

Video Presentation and Quality

The equipment you use to create your videos isn't the most important thing in the world. However, having a video with decent video and audio quality is expected. When viewers watch a video with audio that is difficult to listen to, for example, they are more likely to leave the video quickly. This would lead to a poor average view duration.

Nowadays, mobile phones come equipped with fantastic cameras. Along with this, cameras and microphones have gotten less expensive. There isn't any reason why your videos would be low-quality. If your audio is low-quality, however, then making the needed adjustments is in your best interest.

Expensive equipment isn't a substitute for a good video. But, if poor equipment is used to create a video, then video might turn out to be low-quality. Low-quality videos tend to have a lower average view duration. Knowing this, you need to try to make your audio and video quality the best it can be.

My Average View Duration Is Low


When I speak to content creators, I'm often asked the question: "My average view duration is low, what should I do?" Believe it or not, this is a question both large and small content creators have. Due to this, the advice I give to both large and small content creators is typically the same.

If your AVD is low, you need to evaluate your videos. You must determine the reason (or reasons) why viewers are leaving your videos early. Is it due to the structure of your videos or your hooks? Maybe your video or audio quality is the issue? Whatever the case may be, you must diagnose and fix the issue.

Referring back to the areas of interest I mentioned earlier, these are the things you should evaluate first. The items I mentioned are the most common reasons for a low average view duration. Evaluate the structure of your videos, your hooks, and your video quality and see if one of the items is the issue.

After determining what the issue is, you should make the needed adjustments. If you don't adjust anything, then your results will continue to be the same. Along with this, recognize that you'll need to be patient. Changing your video structure for 1 video won't do it- you'll need to run tests for multiple videos at a time. Make adjustments and stop your watch time from decreasing.


The issue of low average view duration plagues content creators on YouTube of all sizes. Since YouTube wants to share high-quality videos with viewers, it's essential for any content creator looking to achieve success to increase their AVD as high as possible. Try adjusting your video structure, hooks, or quality if you're dealing with the issue of a low AVD.

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.
Learn More