“20% Of Online Video Viewers Give Up After 10 Seconds”
That was the headline on a “chart of the day’ from Businessinsider.com.
While this figure is shocking and undoubtedly true, a look at the “average” video en masse is not particularly useful. Video quality distribution has to be some sort of bell curve. The variables are a) Quality of the video and b) how well the video targets a given population.
There are some videos that people tune out of in 3 seconds, at the other end of the bell curve that they don’t tune out of at all. Further, there are some videos that are completely uninteresting to one target (say, boys 12-15) that are fascinating to another target (say, women 35–54). If you do a good video for a specific target audience you should have little or no abandonment.
I linked back to the original research report by Visible Measures which turns out to be great support for my theory. They analyze viewing patterns for this brilliant Bud Light viral video—which has about a million views on Youtube:
According to Visible Measures, this video has a very HIGH tuneout— 40% of viewers abandon it in the first 12 seconds. That means it’s not only targeted to a particular kind of viewer, but offensive to people not in the target. But after the first 12 seconds, it has NO tuneout. If you stay for 12 seconds, you’ll watch until the end. They’ve grabbed their desired target by the eyeballs and held on.
This is a very different curve than the “average video” will have—proof that if you do great video, it will get watched.