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YouTube Tips Just noticed my intro loses retention faster than vids with no intro

Lotuz

New Member
13
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This seems interesting. I have looked at my most viewed videos, and some low viewed ones, with mixed configurations of having an intro or not. I believe my intro is simple, short, and looks good. But my videos with an intro lose around 60% retention in the first 5-10 seconds. Videos with no intro seem to take almost 2 minutes in average to lose 40% retention. Its such a gigantic difference that I'm going to start trying only posting videos with no intro now.

Of course this wont be the same for everyone, and perhaps if my intro was different, this effect wouldnt happen. But this can help improve my overall retention and watch time and its good to always keep an eye on stuff.

I wish I was able to a/b test video content itself hahaha too bad youtube does not allow such complex behavior.

Just thought I'd share it!
 

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Ater

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Personally I have never liked intros. When I watch a video I'm there for a reason, to learn something new, listen to an interesting topic, see something happen, get entertained and so on. The intro do nothing of that, it's just an annoyance in the way from what I'm here for. So if the intro is longer than 2-3 seconds I usually skip forward into the video and if the channel have intros on all of their videos I rarely stick around and watch a lot of that channels videos unless they are really good.

Think about it, if you watch series on Netflix they have a skip intro button that pops up whenever a intro start playing. Why do you believe they added that button? I believe their goal is that they want people to be watching as much Netflix as possible and when they studied their statistics to find out when people stop watching they noticed that the intros was one of the key points where people stopped watching or just skipped by them and realized that by making it easy to skip introes (some of their own shows also have extremely short intros) people would be less likely to stop watching and spend more time on Netflix instead. Now of course this is just me guessing, I could be completely wrong.
 

TubeBuddy

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This seems interesting. I have looked at my most viewed videos, and some low viewed ones, with mixed configurations of having an intro or not. I believe my intro is simple, short, and looks good. But my videos with an intro lose around 60% retention in the first 5-10 seconds. Videos with no intro seem to take almost 2 minutes in average to lose 40% retention. Its such a gigantic difference that I'm going to start trying only posting videos with no intro now.

Of course this wont be the same for everyone, and perhaps if my intro was different, this effect wouldnt happen. But this can help improve my overall retention and watch time and its good to always keep an eye on stuff.

I wish I was able to a/b test video content itself hahaha too bad youtube does not allow such complex behavior.

Just thought I'd share it!

Intros can be hit or miss. On TubeBuddy we see no dip, but we keep it short and to the point. On my own channel same results. Just depends the audience and what they came for.
 
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Lotuz

Lotuz

New Member
13
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Personally I have never liked intros. When I watch a video I'm there for a reason, to learn something new, listen to an interesting topic, see something happen, get entertained and so on. The intro do nothing of that, it's just an annoyance in the way from what I'm here for. So if the intro is longer than 2-3 seconds I usually skip forward into the video and if the channel have intros on all of their videos I rarely stick around and watch a lot of that channels videos unless they are really good.

Think about it, if you watch series on Netflix they have a skip intro button that pops up whenever a intro start playing. Why do you believe they added that button? I believe their goal is that they want people to be watching as much Netflix as possible and when they studied their statistics to find out when people stop watching they noticed that the intros was one of the key points where people stopped watching or just skipped by them and realized that by making it easy to skip introes (some of their own shows also have extremely short intros) people would be less likely to stop watching and spend more time on Netflix instead. Now of course this is just me guessing, I could be completely wrong.

That makes so much sense, I have never thought of it from the netflix perspective. Really interesting paralell, thank you!
 
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Ikerot

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Well, from what I've learned from Nick Nimmin's stream this week; if you see that steep drop in the beginning, check your intro and maybe try a different way of introduction and test the waters.

That being said, the faster you can get to the content they're looking for, the better ;)
 

Beanie Draws

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This is a PRIME example of the importance of looking at your audience retention and EVIDENCE that intros aren't always that great to have in a video.

I'm kinda glad to see a lot less video have super long (and in my opinion, serving nothing more than the ego) intros with fancy animations and graphics. You don't need them. I made the mistake of making super long winded intros, excuses for lack of uploads "where I've been" videos that no one cares about. If I visit someone's channel for the first time and the first thing I hear is "sorry I haven't x for x time" or "i just want to let you know what's happening with my channel" etc... I just wonder "why do I care?" but of course, if you give suggestions for someone to remove an intro, you usually get met with the creator taking it as hate rather. than feedback. So we leave it up to ourselves to guess and hope the audience likes our changes, remove what they don't take to, upload a new video, hope... change, upload, hope, change, upload :p

It's a VERY long progress of learning what works and doesn't work through constant tests and experimentation.
 
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DamoΓÇÖs Paintings

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IΓÇÖm on the same problem too, the retention graph showed IΓÇÖm losing my audience right where the intro is, so IΓÇÖm gonna use YouTubes built in editor and clip them out, see how it goes
 
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Lotuz

Lotuz

New Member
13
4
IΓÇÖm on the same problem too, the retention graph showed IΓÇÖm losing my audience right where the intro is, so IΓÇÖm gonna use YouTubes built in editor and clip them out, see how it goes

Hey, I never thought of that before. Just removed the intro on some of my most watched videos for the last 7 days, and will test the how it affects retention for the next few weeks on those vids.
 

Stanley | Team TB

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I have a belief that audiences get tired of intros really fast. Even if it is good, it gets old.

My approach was to go as extreme as possible, with our intro effectively being a 3-4 second flash of our channel name on top of that introductory, attention grabbing clip. Has worked well for us, I see no issues in retention loss.
 
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Owen Salisbury

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This seems interesting. I have looked at my most viewed videos, and some low viewed ones, with mixed configurations of having an intro or not. I believe my intro is simple, short, and looks good. But my videos with an intro lose around 60% retention in the first 5-10 seconds. Videos with no intro seem to take almost 2 minutes in average to lose 40% retention. Its such a gigantic difference that I'm going to start trying only posting videos with no intro now.

Of course this wont be the same for everyone, and perhaps if my intro was different, this effect wouldnt happen. But this can help improve my overall retention and watch time and its good to always keep an eye on stuff.

I wish I was able to a/b test video content itself hahaha too bad youtube does not allow such complex behavior.

Just thought I'd share it!

Thanks for this tip, very helpful
 
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Tito Tim

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I saw the same thing with a massive drop in the first few seconds. I moved the intro to the outro, and made it just the length of the end screens. I personally hate when endscreens are over content, so the outro gives me a place to put the endscreens.

I try look at it as a viewer - and as a viewer I do not even like watching the opening credits of a movie or TV show. I certainly do not want to watch opening credits to a YT vid. A 2 or 3 second splash screen is the most I will put up with.
 

MyBlocksStrongestMan

Recognized Member
99
9
Successful YouTubers like Dusty Porter are big proponents of very short intros, perhaps for this reason. I'm thinking of taking the approach of putting the most interesting 5 second clip of my video right at the beginning, then the intro, then the full video, much like Greg Doucette does. He seems to have a very consistently high number of daily views that doesn't waver much, so maybe a good example to follow.
 

SonicNebula

Familiar Member
TubeBuddy Legend
59
9
my intro is only 4 seconds. now you guys got me thinking why even have one. just give the people what they want. being a music channel. I can see people being ugh 4 seconds of this again. I am going to test this before I edit all my videos AGAIN

the real question is if i add the intro, will the YT editor keep it or delete it if you want to return it. now i gotta test it.
 

MyBlocksStrongestMan

Recognized Member
99
9
my intro is only 4 seconds. now you guys got me thinking why even have one. just give the people what they want. being a music channel. I can see people being ugh 4 seconds of this again. I am going to test this before I edit all my videos AGAIN

the real question is if i add the intro, will the YT editor keep it or delete it if you want to return it. now i gotta test it.
Your intro seems totally appropriate in both length and nature to me. Nice channel. I just subscribed. Now I need to learn how to emulate the view counts that you've been getting per day! I'm nowhere near that.
 
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SonicNebula

Familiar Member
TubeBuddy Legend
59
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Your intro seems totally appropriate in both length and nature to me. Nice channel. I just subscribed. Now I need to learn how to emulate the view counts that you've been getting per day! I'm nowhere near that.
I subbed back, I support that 110%, I lost 50 pounds, from getting new job just got promoted yay me. but I do a lot of walking but I need to pump some iron again, back to subject my views some is organic yes thanks to TB SEO, but some of those views are from cheap ads i paid for is it worth it I no longer think so. the retaining rate is like 95% loss. so its terrible return on money. lol but back to SEO does YT weigh videos that are heavily backlinked like google does?