Video viewing attention spanOne of the frustrating things about online video view counting is YouTube and most other video sites count a “view” regardless of how much of a video is actually watched. So that got the research staff at TubeMogul thinking…how much are people actually watching before they click away?

The results from their study are pretty amazing: most online video viewers watch mere seconds, rather than minutes, of a video. All going back to the point I try to stress with every one of my clients that brevity is key. Click the image to see an enlarged graph of TubeMogul’s study findings.

Here are some of the highlighted statistics that I found truly interesting:

Most videos steadily lose viewers once “play” is clicked, with an average 10.39% of viewers clicking away after ten seconds and 53.56% leaving after one minute.

I found this one surprising but not a complete shock. Most of our online marketing videos fall under 1½ minutes. The fact that over half of all viewers they sampled drop off after the first minute is interesting. How many were because the videos were incorrectly described or tagged and how many were just “casual browsers” checking out videos randomly. Properly titling, describing and tagging your video is one of the most important steps to getting found by the right people who are more likely part of that 46.44%. If they were looking for your content, they are far more likely to watch it to completion…as long as you keep it short.

A three minute video that has a post-roll ad in the final seconds, for example, will only be viewed by 16.62% of the initial audience, on average.Another takeaway is that overlay ads should be displayed as early as possible in a video, preferably within the first few seconds. On YouTube, where most overlay ads appear at about 10 seconds in, 10.39% of a video’s initial viewers are not likely seeing the ad.

Alright I’m going to go off on a little tangent here – I am not a fan of pre-roll or post-roll ads on video content. Personally I just think it is too much of an interruption to the viewer who clicked on a particular video to watch…NOT the advertisement tacked onto the video. I wonder how many viewers are clicking away because they are annoyed by the interruption of overlay ads on the video they are trying to watch? Especially if it is interfering with the content. Social networking on video sharing sites is all about inbound marketing or letting the community find the resources they are looking for by properly tagging videos with the keywords they will be searching for. Overlay ads to me are more of the old school of outbound marketing like television commercials, print ads, etc. a shotgun approach to hit as many people as possible with their sales pitch without regard as to whether it is hitting their target market or not. Sorry…my diatribe is over now. Anyway if you are going to engage on overlay advertising, this is a staggering reason why you shouldn’t even consider post-roll overlay advertising.

TubeMogul has once again impressed me with their industry leading research and produced some impressive results from their study. What about your own viewing habits? How long do you typically watch a video? How do you feel about overlay ads?
 

Eric Guerin Eric Guerin (276 Posts)

Eric Guerin is the founder of Adelie Studios. He chooses to use his creative powers for good and not evil by helping businesses to better market themselves using animated marketing videos. He can easily be bribed with coffee.