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Trends Q: Does the length of a resort YouTube video impact the views and ratings it receives?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

Video is a powerful medium, but whenever video strategy is discussed it’s hard to avoid debating the optimal length. Individual story needs aside, we wondered what the numbers would say. Do longer videos get fewer views and lower ratings than shorter ones? Here’s our answer.

The Goods
For this analyses we looked at over 22,000 YouTube videos uploaded by over 240 North American ski resorts. Combined, these videos had nearly 50,000,000 views and over 110,000 ratings. We then grouped these videos by their length in one-minute intervals. As a slight departure from normal Stash style, we included both the average view count and average rating. Take a look.


While the variations aren’t as dramatic for ratings, both curves follow a fairly similar path where their lowest points are for videos that are 0-1 minute long and peaking around 3-5 minutes. Videos longer than 5 minutes showed a sporadic, but nonetheless downward trend all the way to 10 minutes.

What This Means
The short version is, yes, length matters. It probably shouldn’t trump the needs of a specific piece of content, but it does correlate to both the number of views a video receives as well as how users rate it.

What was interesting, however, was the low view and rating results for shorter videos, especially those under one minute. In both cases, this was the lowest performance which makes us think that while videos can certainly be too long, it seems they can also be too short.

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