As technology changes the way we interact with it does too. When we think of videos posted across social media, we might be led to believe that our attention spans are getting worse with the vast plethora of social media distractions and quick snappy micro videos that pop up as we scroll through our feeds and fail to give them our attention unless they inspire us within three seconds. However, this is not entirely the case. In-fact, YouTube has shown a steady uptick in its average video length ever since it loosened its video length restrictions in 2010. Content is getting longer.
Smartphones are the cause?
If you look at smartphone video length viewing habits from 2016 compared to 2018, you can see that 54% of videos viewed are longer than 20 minutes up from 29% in 2016.
Long form videos such as video blogs, podcasts and gaming videos are more popular than ever. This may be down to several factors, at the 10 minute mark adds can be placed in the middle of a video which incentivizes longer videos, also it is now easier than ever to make a long-form video and upload it to YouTube.
What can Elon do?
With fibre optic broadband and 4/5G removing many bandwidth restrictions, in fact if you look out of your window at the right time of the night, you will see Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink satellites streaming across the sky which marks the beginning of an earth encompassed in super-fast internet available from any place at any time. I recommend taking a look.
Recording devices also have more memory. A modern phone with a decent memory does a pretty good job of recording video and memory cards continue to increase their space. So, if anyone wants to have a long in-depth conversation on whether Jeffrey Epstein really killed himself and broadcast it out into the ether, they can with almost no effort.
Podcasts also helped.
There is also demand for long form content where people can really delve into a subject matter. We see this in many popular video podcasts such as the Joe Rogan Experience. With podcasts often exceeding 3 hours in length and every episode receiving millions of views, there is clearly a demand for it. The beauty of a long form video podcast is that it can also work in just audio form as well as offer many shorter clips to promote the content so the value from it exceeds just that of its original content like you will often see in this particular example with JRE Clips.
This is an extreme example, it’s unlikely that you can post a 3 hour video and expecting to gain traction but there’s no reason why you cant film long form videos and clip the best bits from them. The technology available makes this easy.
Realistically, statistics show that if you are looking to gain maximum engagement, shorter videos often work best, keeping a YouTube video to 2 minutes or less is often advised. Wistia has shown that that as video length increases, the percentage of viewers watching to the end decreases which is no surprise.
Bringing value to your brand.
If you want to make longer form videos that can bring true value, as many people are, it makes sense to make shorter clips of those videos and also post those also with a link to your longer video. The same goes for posting short form videos across other social media. A quick engaging micro clip of your content (with subtitles), that will grab a viewer’s attention within a few seconds as they scroll down their social media feed on silent. This will help to gain viewers interest and want to find out more, leading them to your longer form content.
So, some videos are getting longer, and some aren’t. The key is to know your audience and effectively lead a viewer in the right way to those longer videos. The details of some of these subjects are complex and the specifics will be explored in depth in future posts. Stay tuned!