Measure key moments for audience retention

The key moments for audience retention report explains how well different moments of your video held viewers' attention. This report gives insight into areas of your video that are working well and opportunities for improvement. Note that audience retention data typically takes 1–2 days to process.

Note: The audience retention report is only available at the video level of YouTube Analytics.

View key moments for audience retention

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Content.
  3. Click a video title or thumbnail.
  4. From the left menu, select Analytics.
  5. Select the Overview or Engagement tab and look for the Audience retention report. You can click SEE MORE to see how your video compares to all YouTube videos of similar length.

Understand key moments for audience retention

There are 4 types of moments that may be highlighted on your key moments for audience retention report. You can also use typical retention to compare your 10 latest videos of similar length.


Intro tells you what percentage of your audience still watched your video after the first 30 seconds.

A high intro percentage could mean:

  • The content in the first 30 seconds matched the viewer’s expectation of the video’s thumbnail and title.
  • The content kept the audience interested.

Recommendations to improve your intro percentage:

  • Consider changing your video thumbnail and title to better reflect your video content.
  • Modify the first 30 seconds of your video and experiment with different styles to find one that will keep your audience engaged.

Top moments

Top moments are moments in your video where almost no one dropped off while watching.
Recommendations to improve top moments:
  • If the top moments are occurring in a later portion in the video, consider introducing the compelling content earlier in the video -  audience sizes typically decrease over the length of the video.
  • Consider creating newer content by expanding on the content from the top moments.


Spikes are moments in your video that were rewatched or shared.
Spikes can mean:
  • Your audience watched that segment more than previous segments.
  • Your content isn’t clear and your audience had to rewatch a section.

You can review your spikes to better understand reasons for an increase in retention.


Dips highlight moments in your video that were either skipped or moments where viewers stopped watching your video completely.
Dips can mean that your audience watched that segment less than previous segments. We suggest that you review your dips to better understand why audiences lost interest in a particular segment.

Note: Your video may not have all these moments; they’re only highlighted if they're detected in a video. Your video should also be at least 60 seconds long and have at least 100 views.

The shape of the audience retention graph can tell you which parts of your video are most and least interesting to viewers.

When the line on the chart is flat, it means viewers are watching that part of your video from start to finish.
Gradual declines mean that viewers are losing interest over time. Videos on YouTube generally taper off during the playback period.
Spikes appear when more viewers are watching, rewatching or sharing those parts of your video.
Dips mean that viewers are abandoning or skipping at that specific part of your video.

View audience retention by segment type

Note: You might need to enable Advanced Mode to access certain data. Learn how to unlock advanced features.

Audience retention segments report allows you to see how well different parts of your audience engage with your videos. You can compare new viewers vs returning viewers, subscribers vs non-subscribers, and if you serve ads then you can break down viewers from organic traffic vs paid traffic interacting with your content. You can also see traffic from skippable video ads and traffic from display ads.

Organic traffic & Paid traffic

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.

New viewers & Returning viewers

New viewers

New viewers are viewers who watched something on your channel for the first time in the selected time period.

Returning viewers

Returning viewers could be viewers who have watched your channel previously and returned to watch more.

Learn more about returning and new viewers data.

Subscriber & non-subscriber 


Viewers that are subscribed to your channel. You can view your subscriber count in real time and view your growth over time.


Viewers that are watching your videos, but they are not subscribed to your channel.

Learn more about the basic of YouTube Analytics.

View detailed activity for audience retention

The detailed activity report available within audience retention shows the absolute number of views for different segments of your video. You can also use this report to see how many viewers started and stopped watching your video at various moments.

Consider using data about when viewers start and stop watching your video to improve your content and maintain the viewer’s interest.

Note: The absolute number of views for a segment of a video is expected at times to exceed your video’s overall view count. This is because within a single view the same viewer may watch portions of your content multiple times.

Metrics to know

Average view duration Estimated average minutes watched per view for the selected video and date range.
Watch time (hours) The amount of time viewers have watched your video.

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