If you’re a podcaster or a blogger that’s used to writing long-form content or voice, you’ll quickly find that YouTube viewers will not stick around very long. Which brings us to the question, how long should my YouTube videos be? And the answer as short as possible, we keep our videos at five minutes or less usually, and even that is sometimes too long for our audience. One of the most influential channels on YouTube is the vlog brothers and they’ve created crash course size show and they even interviewed the president for YouTube.
They have a strict rule on their channel that no video can be over four minutes unless it’s educational, in which case their audience gets to choose a punishment for them. It’s kind of a fun thing they do.
Average YouTube video length
However, 4 minutes is not the average time, or it was a while back. The average duration was 4.4 minutes, based on ComScore reported in 2014. However, in 2018 Statista reported an average of 11.7 minutes, and based on different niche/category the average length varies. Here is a list of average video lengths based on different category:
Gaming: 24.7 minutes
Film and animation: 19.2 minutes
Entertainment: 12.9 minutes
Total: 11.7 minutes
Other: 9.5 minutes
People and blogs: 8.4 minutes
Music: 6.8 minutes
There are new YouTube channels that are taking the old fashion tv series and creating content that is about 15-20 minutes long. Best Ever Food Review Show is one example
Each of their episodes is about 15-20 minutes long, it’s about the same amount of time as a regular tv show, without the Ad times.
Videos are increasing because it helps monetize your videos better, but people are demanding quality information. You’ll see all kinds of how-to videos, informative videos being popular. Cutting the cord with cable TV, where else would people go to view content they want? You got Netflix where you would sit for about an hour of entertainment or YouTube where you can watch 4 minutes to 20 minutes long video.
How to make your video shorter
One trick we found to making our videos shorter is to let it sit for an hour or even preferably overnight after finishing the video and before posting close your computer and walk away. After coming back with fresh eyes, you’d be amazed at how much you can easily cut out because you’re becoming bored with your own video. When in doubt, cut it out.
If you’re new on YouTube, a good rule of thumb will probably be to edit your video and then cut it in half. Generally, cut about 20% on your second pass. That’s not to say that there aren’t successful channels with long-form content. We personally subscribe to several more than a handful of channels that regularly posts more than 30-minute videos.
Generally speaking though, if you’re creating entertaining content, you should probably keep it short and sweet. If you’re creating informative content, you might be able to get away with making them a little bit longer. Even if your topic requires more time to cover, though, you’d probably be better off splitting it into two or three or even four parts. Not only do you quadruple your views, but you break up the video into more manageable sessions for the viewer.
It’s not all about cutting it short
Our own analytics over the lifetime of our channel confirmed that the average view time for our video is, you guessed it, three and a half minutes. That does not mean that you should keep it short and sweet. But listen to your audience when you are creating a video. What is working, what can you experiment on, what is your competition or YouTubers in your same niche doing and succeeding?
We want to keep it short or create a plan to keep all things short to make sure that only quality stays and quantity leaves. The more jam-packed your video is, the more they will want to stay and watch. That means you can increase your video if the content is packed with tips they are looking for, or cut it to 2 minutes if you have to so that you can get the best result from your viewers.