I could throw amazing stats at you about how many YouTube videos are consumed every day. Or how many TV shows are watched on Hulu, via iTunes, etc. And on the PR/advertising/marketing side, I could talk about the insane numbers surrounding the Old Spice commercials, YouTube videos, etc.
But guess what? Most people have short attention spans when it comes to Web videos and aren’t watching as much as you might think they are.
Visible Measures came out with an interesting study that was reported by the New York Times and Gizmodo, among others. The key finding: nearly 45 percent of viewers click away after watching an online video for a full minute and nearly 20 percent gave up after just 10 seconds.
This phenomenon is known as “viewer abandonment.” Visible Measures studied the abandonment rate of 40 million videos over seven billion viewings, with each one being shorter than five minutes in length.
This is by no means definitive, nor should clients and brands stop making videos altogether. But this study does tell us:
- First and foremost, it’s quality over quantity. If people can’t stand to watch a full minute of a video, what’s the likelihood they’ll watch seven videos from your brand?
- Keep it short and get to the punchline . . . fast. As Gizmodo alludes, many viewers may watch any 10 seconds of the video, not necessarily the first 10; so make sure your video is “skippable” and doesn’t have to be watched beginning to end.
- Make your content personable and unique. If you work with a community or blog to make a video just for their readers, you’re more likely to get a vast number of them engaged, versus trying to make a video appeal to the millions of people that visit YouTube.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go re-watch that Banksy opening from last week’s episode of The Simpsons for the third time today. . .