• Guest - Earn a FREE TubeBuddy Upgrade for being active on the forums! Click Here to learn how you earn free upgrades for TubeBuddy!
  • Guest - TubeBuddy has a discord! Click Here to join in the conversation!

YouTube Question Video lengths

minusthirtyfilms

Active Member
TubeBuddy Pro
47
9
www.minusthirtyfilms.com
Subscriber Goal
1000
Are there any drawbacks having very short videos? Is there a minimum length required for Youtube algorithms? I.E. all things being equal, does a 3o second vid get as much exposure as a 5 min vid?
 

Benny1985

Active Member
25
5
One of the major components (we think) is average watch time and average duration. If you look at recommended videos for many niches, they tend to be longer and well-composed suggesting longer watch times. Short videos *can* work, but you don't see many blow up on reccomended feeds as often as you'd think.

Months if not a year or two ago, the idea was anything that got a mid-roll ad got a significant impression boost, so that's why so many videos were just over 10 minutes. Now that # is 8 minutes so people dropped their average video length down.

Given my own analytics, I've seen better success with higher average % viewed moreso than video length. However, my videos vary from 59 seconds (which is rare) to 30min, but most videos are between 6-12min. I know that my top-20% of videos have about a 45% watch time, while my bottom-20% are around 35%. At least from my experience, that's a bit more critical than the actual duration (average video watch is about 4min for me).

It may also vary by genre and niche. Its not like music videos are 8m+ in most cases, but YT still suggests it. I'd find competitors that YouTube reccomends, and see what their total runtime is to get an idea of what YouTube effectively likes to promote.
 

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,640
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
I spoke to Roberto Blake about this at length last summer. We typically do 20 minute videos but we also have a 360 camera and release short, 1 minute 360 videos to supplement our library. He had zero concerns about it affecting our overall watchtime, the reason being because it was additional content. While it does bring down the overall average view duration on the channel level YouTube views videos on an individual basis and doesn't take channel performance into account when suggesting content. Mr. Blakes advice on the matter was simply to make our 1 minute 360 Videos 3 minutes in order to help garner a little more watchtime and to help them to compete against slightly longer videos. That was it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: minusthirtyfilms

TubeBuddy

Legendary Poster
12,450
33
www.tubebuddy.com
Subscriber Goal
5000
I spoke to Roberto Blake about this at length last summer. We typically do 20 minute videos but we also have a 360 camera and release short, 1 minute 360 videos to supplement our library. He had zero concerns about it affecting our overall watchtime, the reason being because it was additional content. While it does bring down the overall average view duration on the channel level YouTube views videos on an individual basis and doesn't take channel performance into account when suggesting content. Mr. Blakes advice on the matter was simply to make our 1 minute 360 Videos 3 minutes in order to help garner a little more watchtime and to help them to compete against slightly longer videos. That was it.

This isn't bad. I also wouldn't stress TOO Much on video length, and focus more on making the video as long as it needs to be to get your point across and not a second more :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: minusthirtyfilms

Stanley | Team TB

Amazingly Decent and Not-At-All Terrible Fishing
Administrator
TubeBuddy Staff
2,640
25
Subscriber Goal
250000
This isn't bad. I also wouldn't stress TOO Much on video length, and focus more on making the video as long as it needs to be to get your point across and not a second more :)

That can not be stressed enough. One of the single most important things you can do is to get some pre-determined length out of your head and let the video dictate it's own length based on its flow and pacing.
 

TubeBuddy

Legendary Poster
12,450
33
www.tubebuddy.com
Subscriber Goal
5000
That can not be stressed enough. One of the single most important things you can do is to get some pre-determined length out of your head and let the video dictate it's own length based on its flow and pacing.

Exactly. I've had 15 minute scripts be cut down to 7 because I realize some of it's not needed, and the video was better because of it :D 6
 
  • Love
Reactions: Stanley | Team TB

Beanie Draws

Mythical Poster
2,883
27
www.youtube.com
Subscriber Goal
30000
Exactly. I've had 15 minute scripts be cut down to 7 because I realize some of it's not needed, and the video was better because of it :D 6
I've been getting "better" (and much slower) at cutting out the fluff of my videos. In the past they'd be 50 minutes easily, these days I can usually squeeze them down to 15-20 minutes with the same effect.


Are there any drawbacks having very short videos? Is there a minimum length required for Youtube algorithms? I.E. all things being equal, does a 3o second vid get as much exposure as a 5 min vid?
A video should be as long as it needs to be, no longer, no shorter. I'd say 30 seconds is absolute minimum, but whenever I see a 30 second video, unless it's a short teaser trailer I just wonder what's the point? Short 10-30 second videos just seem kinda spammy and pointless, and YouTube has always rewarded watch time and watch time sessions in the past. The longer someone watches your videos, the better.

I've also found my longer videos (15-40 minutes) tend to significantly outperform my videos that are 5 minutes and shorter, but that could also be down to topic and my niche, so I wouldn't read too much into it. But generally speaking, 5-7 minutes is a good length. 1 minute and under seems a bit pointless to me, but with #Shorts being a thing now, who knows, it might work out better.