What is Watch Time and how does it affect me?
Watch Time is an important metric to promote videos on YouTube. The algorithm for suggesting videos includes prioritizing videos that lead to a longer overall viewing session over those that receive more clicks. Viewers benefit from more enjoyable content being suggested to them, and creators benefit from more focuzed, engaged audiences.
If you’re making videos that people are watching well beyond the first click, those videos will be suggested more often.
Watch Time optimization tips
The Audience Retention Report shows which videos have low view times and view-through rates, and indicates which videos are successful at keeping viewers watching. Recurring dips or decreases iin audience retention graphs may have a common reason why viewers abandon the videos.
You can use the audience engagement reports in YouTube Analytics to see which of your videos drive community actions like comments, favorites, and likes.
Your video thumbnail and title are the first thing a viewer will see when your video is suggested to them. Create descriptive and poignant thumbnails as well as compelling titles for your videos that accurately represent the content. Don’t use misleading thumbnails and/or titles.
Be an effective editor: create a compelling opening to your videos and then use programming, branding, and packaging techniques to maintain and build interest throughout the video.
Direct viewers to watch more content: use annotations in the video and links in your description to make it easy for viewers to continue watching videos, and avoid directing your viewers to click off to other sites.
Build your subscriber base: subscribers are your most loyal fans and will be notified of new videos and playlists to watch.
Involve your audience in your videos and encourage comments and interact with your viewers as part of the content.
Build long watch-time sessions for your content by organizing and featuring content on your channel.
Create a regular release schedule for your videos when uploading to encourage viewers to watch sets of videos over single videos.