The Sweet Spot of Video Production

George Nassif, Staff writer

Throughout the past few years, the types of videos people are watching have shortened dramatically in length. No longer are teens sitting down to watch twenty-minute videos on something that they are interested in. Now, they are watching videos that range from two minutes to around ten minutes in length. This is due to one simple reason: they are no longer willing to spend a large amount of their time finding information about something. Whether it’s watching a tutorial on how to do something in a game or doing research for a school project, kids would rather learn how to do something quickly and then go play the game for themselves. They don’t want to watch other people play the game that they are interested in. Kids are more likely to look up how-to guides instead of Let’s Play nowadays.

Some of you may be wondering what the difference is between short and long-form content. Short-from content is anything that is a social media post or a video that is in the range of five to fifteen minutes. Anything longer than that dives into the realm of long-form content. Other forms of long-form content are blogs, essays, and movies.

Another contributing factor to the significant shift to short-form content is the type of editing creators do to their videos. Content creators now only include the exciting gameplay in their videos rather than making a video from a whole game of whatever they are playing. If they are a Fortnite YouTuber, then they cut out the sections of gameplay where they don’t see many other players. Highlight videos have grown in popularity because kids now only want to watch what they deem as the best of the best.

An underlying reason that videos have become shorter is the YouTube algorithm. YouTube tends to promote videos that are around ten minutes in length because it allows the video to have an extra ad at the end, and the ads on the video make more money because the average view time on the video tends to be longer. A ten-minute video is a sweet spot of allowing the viewer to get all the information they need in a short amount of time while also benefitting the creator.  Due to this, ten-minute or fewer videos tend to gain more traction and climb the recommended charts. Check out if you want to learn more about the relationship between video length and audience retention

With the trend of wanting to gain information faster and creators taking advantage of the YouTube algorithm, society as a whole has embraced shorter content. With this in mind, nothing shifts culture away from one form of content creation like the drive to maximize profits while retaining and increasing viewers.