Contrary to popular belief that YouTuber users have the attention span of a goldfish, more than a third of all YouTube view time is for videos that are 20 minutes long or over. Not only is long form a serious draw for viewers but a third of all searches on the site are news and current affairs related and 80% of all YouTube traffic now comes from outside the U.S. These little nuggets of info were gleaned fromĀ an event for YouTube partners in L.A., and later confirmed by the site itself.

YouTube has spent the last couple of years encouraging original, broadcast quality programming. They have invested in a number of creators and opened up the site for monetization via paid channels for those who want to distribute their work that way. More live features have been added and YouTube are offering state of the art production facilities in L.A, London and Tokyo for creators who want to produce the best video content they can. With the general move away from traditional TV viewing and on to second screen devices and Connected TVs, YouTube need to keep encouraging this professionally produced, long form content in order to compete with Cable TV and other outlets.

  • Jim Cliff


    I think that the advice to keep videos short (which I still totally agree with) tends to be aimed at people marketing their businesses or making fun videos. I'd be interested to see the data, but I strongly suspect the long form viewing is tv shows that have been on YouTube, along with some well established vloggers who have regular, longer shows (like Rhett and Link, for example). This doesn't change the fact that to have the best chance of getting your video watched and shared and converting viewers to subscribers/customers you should keep videos short and to the point.

    Also, the fact that it's a third of all view time skews the perception a bit - that essentially means one 20 minute video watched to the end alongside forty 1 minute videos - I'd say the short ones are still a lot more popular.