Knowing the difference between YouTube retention and watch time is important for any content creator.

What's The Difference Between YouTube Retention & Watch Time?

Terri P

As you’re beginning your journey towards YouTube success, you might come across some unfamiliar metrics.

 

Two of the most important metrics for any YouTuber to be familiar with are retention and watch time.

 

But what’s the difference between the two, and why do they matter?

 

YouTube retention versus Watch Time

 

Audience Retention

 

Audience retention refers to the percentage of viewers who watch your video, how long they stick around for, and at what point in your video they leave. This is an important metric to be aware of because it directly correlates to how engaging your content is. If you’ve effectively captured your audiences’ attention, your video retention rate should reflect that.

 

Because retention rate is measured at every point in your video, you can tell which parts of your video were the most engaging for your audience. This will allow you to craft future content better suited to your audiences’ needs and interests.

 

In your YouTube Analytics, you’ll see two graphs in your retention report. The first is the absolute retention curve; this shows you how well your video is retaining viewers. The second is the relative retention curve this shows you how well your video is performing compared to all other similar YouTube videos.

 

SUMMARY:  Audience retention refers to the number of viewers watching a video and at what point they leave. Retention can be seen in YouTube analytics approximately 72 hours after views are added to a video. This will be under Audience Retention on your analytics:

 

 

audience retention in youtube analytics

 

If you wanted increased retention on a video you would purchase High Retention Views. However, you should not expect a high percentage of Watch Time Hours to be added as a result of purchasing High Retention Views. 

 

Watch Time

 

Simply put, watch time is the total amount of time your audience spends watching your video. The higher a videos’ watch time, the higher it will rank in the search results and recommendations section of YouTube. In other words, the more engaging a video is, the more watch time it should have.

 

SUMMARY: Watch time refers to the total minutes/hours viewers have spent watching a video. Watch Time Hours added can be seen in YouTube analytics approximately 72 hours after views are added to a video.

 

watch time hours youtube

 

If you wanted to increase the Watch Time Hours on a video you would purchase Watch Time Hours. This is the only service we offer that we guarantee the delivery of Watch Time Hours.

 

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click Through Rate (CTR) refers to the percentage of how many of your thumbnail impressions on YouTube turn into views. This measures how often viewers watched a video after seeing a thumbnail impression of your video.

IMPORTANT: CTR only applies to interactions with your video thumbnail from within the YouTube app/site. A user clicking on your video link that is shared outside of YouTube (from a newsletter, shared with friends, etc) will not affect your Click Through Rate. In fact, YouTube states the following in their support article:

If a large amount of traffic to your video comes from outside of YouTube, you may have more views than impressions. Not every instance where a viewer sees a video thumbnail will count as an impression and not all views come from thumbnail impressions.

If you wanted increased CTR on a video you would purchase a YouTube CTR service. You should not expect an increased CTR from any other YouTube service. If the service impacts your CTR, it will be specified in both the service title and Service Description.

 

Applying These Metrics

 

You can view your watch time analytic, retention rate, and click-through rate, and determine which videos are the most engaging, creating even better content for future videos. And if you’re trying to boost your channel’s ranking and reach YouTube’s trending page, having a high watch time is key to increasing your chances of success.

 

KEY POINTS:

 

  • Click-Through Rate, Retention, and Watch Time are not the same thing.
  • You can purchase YouTube Watch Time Hours to increase your overall channel watch time
  • You can purchase YouTube High Retention Views to increase your individual video retention time.
  • You can purchase YouTube CTR to increase your click-through rate.

 

I Want TO Increase My Watch Time Hours!

 

If you're trying to increase your Watch Time Hours, you should purchase our YouTube Watch Time Hours service here. This is the only service we offer that we guarantee the delivery of Watch Time Hours.

 

I WAnt To INcrease My Video Retention Time!

 

If you're trying to increase individual video retention, you should purchase YouTube High Retention Views - however, you should not expect a high increase in watch time hours from this service.

 

I WAnt To INcrease my click-through rate!

 

If you wanted increased CTR on a video you would purchase a YouTube CTR service. You should not expect an increased CTR from any other YouTube service. If the service impacts your CTR, it will be specified in both the service title and Service Description.

 

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Check out our Services & Pricing page to view our amazing selection of social media marketing services, and our New Order page to learn more about each one!

 

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