What’s The Perfect Video Length?

 In Branding and Marketing, Food for Thought, Video Production

Human beings are fickle. The internet and its infinite distractions have made us all realise our focus isn’t lazor-like. According to research, only about 20% of people read online articles through to the end. Videos on the internet are the same too. Many are played from the beginning, but so many are not watched to the end. The average human’s attention span is partly to blame for this phenomena. This raises concerns when it comes time to produce a video and begs the question: how long should I make my video?  

We now have data which clearly reveals viewer retention rates on the internet. However, the perfect video length doesn’t exist. While research shows videos under two minutes are the most watched, not every video should be two under two minutes. Its purpose is so important to consider. A video needs to strike a balance between communicating key messages and engagement. Fortunately, data can help us decide whether to trim or add seconds in the final cut.

When producing a short video, up to two minutes is ideal. A video which is exactly one hundred and twenty seconds won’t guarantee a viewer’s eyes glued to the screen. However after a couple of minutes of playtime, every second after will test your viewer’s attention span. So if you are producing an advert or a simple and entertaining clip but its run-time is slightly over two minutes, try to cut the video tighter.

Between two and six minutes, diminishing return is rampant. After six minutes, a viewer’s attention will be steady until the twelve minute mark, then there’s a linear decline. So the quality of content should be the goal if it’s impossible to edit a snappy little video. This window of six to twelve minutes is is ample opportunity to fit in all the information which could be included without worry. However after twelve minutes, every second counts.

These bands of opportunity are just general hints, content on the internet like TED Talks, online documentaries and tutorials can go for way longer and still engage audiences. While duration is an aspect of your video which should be kept in mind, what will keep your viewer’s attention front and center is the content. Remember the audience, how they will watch the video, and most importantly, what you want them to do after.

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