Measure audience retention

Audience retention is a measurement of how much of your video people watch. The Engagement tab of YouTube Analytics shows you how much of your videos your viewers are watching. It also shows you when viewers stop watching.

Knowing when viewers stop watching can give you insight into why they stopped watching.

See your video’s audience retention

The audience retention report is only available on the video level of YouTube Analytics. Select a specific video to see this report.

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio beta.
  2. From the left menu, select Videos and choose a video.
  3. From the left menu, select Analytics.
  4. Select the Engagement tab and look for the Audience retention report.

Understand audience retention

Knowing when viewers stop watching can give you insight into why they stopped watching. The shape of the audience retention graph can tell you which parts of your video are most and least interesting to viewers.

Flatness means viewers are watching your video from start to finish. 
Gradual declines mean viewers are losing interest over time.
Bumps mean viewers are rewatching or sharing those parts of your video.
Dips mean viewers are skipping over those parts of your video.
A sudden drop means viewers are leaving your video at that specific part.

View by type of audience retention

Use the options above the graph to switch between Audience retention and Relative audience retention

Audience retention

The audience retention curve shows the number of views for every moment of a video as a percentage of the total number of video views.

Tip: Pay close attention to the first 15 seconds of every video — that's when viewers are most likely to drop-off.

Relative audience retention

Use this report to see how your video compares to similar YouTube videos. Relative audience retention shows a video's ability to keep viewers compared to all YouTube videos of similar length.

When the graph is higher, it indicates how many more viewers kept watching your video for that timeframe compared to the same timeframe in other YouTube videos.

Note: Relative audience retention is based on world-wide data even if you've selected to see data for a specific location.

View by traffic type

If your video also serves as an ad, you’ll see a breakdown of audience retention by organic traffic, traffic from skippable video ads, and traffic from display ads. 

Organic traffic

These are views that are the direct result of user intention. For example, traffic is considered organic if a viewer takes an action like searching for a video, clicking on a suggested video, or browsing a channel.

Paid traffic

These are views that result from paid placement.

  • Skippable video ad: Views for ads that are auto-played before a video and that viewers can skip after five seconds.
  • Display ads: Views that resulted from a viewer clicking a display ad, including ads shown in search results or on other video watch pages.

Learn more about video ad formats in Google Ads for video

Can't see your video in the report?

Make sure embedding is turned on for that video. You can update this on the Video details page, on the Advanced tab. Check the box next to “Allow embedding”.

Metrics to know

Average view duration Estimated average minutes watched per view for the selected video and date range.
Watch time (minutes) The amount of time that a viewer has watched a video. This gives you a sense of what content viewers actually watch (as opposed to videos that they click on and then abandon).
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