Watch Time is one of the most important metrics in YouTube’s algorithm and influences how videos are ranked on search and discovery pages. It’s also a major factor in monetizing on YouTube, as it allows channels to earn revenue from advertising.
Video content that doesn’t hold viewers’ attention will quickly lose viewers’ interest and cause their average watch duration to drop, hurting search and recommendation rankings. On the other hand, content that keeps viewers hooked throughout its entire run (and beyond) will keep them watching longer and help boost a video’s total watch time.
To get a handle on how your video is performing and its overall audience retention, start by tracking ‘Estimated Minutes Watched’ using the YouTube viewer reports feature. This will give you a clear understanding of which videos are delivering a high level of audience engagement and which aren’t.
Audience Retention is the percentage of people who watch the full length of your video, even after they’ve been prompted to leave. This can be a great way to identify what content is working and what isn’t, and to make changes in future productions.
This metric is also closely linked to ‘Relative Audience Retention’, which measures how many of your views are from repeat viewings of your video.
You can access your watch time data through the Monetization page in YouTube Studio.
Besides your Watch Time data, you can also monitor other key metrics to see how your videos are doing from the same dashboard. For example, you can find your Views report and Estimated Minutes Watched by date, video, and location.
If you’re a YouTube channel owner, watch time is an important metric that you need to track regularly. This is crucial to understanding the overall health of your channel and ensuring that you are able to monetize effectively.
Increased watch time is a signal to YouTube that you are producing quality content and that it is relevant to your audience, which in turn can help drive your search and recommendations rankings. As well as this, increased watch time can improve your ad revenues by increasing the click-through rates of the ads that you promote within your videos.
To check your Watch Time hours, open YouTube Studio and navigate to the left-hand navigation panel. Then, select ‘Monetization.’ You will be able to view your watch time hours as well as other key metrics like your subscriber count, monetization progress, and more.
The more videos you upload to your channel, the better you’ll perform on Watch Time. Create high-quality content that’s engaging and will keep viewers hooked through its entire run, then consistently upload new videos as you continue to build your channel.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different video formats and lengths to see what works best for your audience and how to get the most out of them. Longer videos can attract more viewers but can be a drag for some viewers who aren’t hooked in at the start, so don’t overdo it. youtube watch time