Experiment: Do Long Videos Get Rated as More Popular?

As I posed last week, some of the most popular YouTube videos of the day/week have been oddly long. I surmised that some of the creators with avid fan bases are able to convince their viewers to watch most of a 10-15 minute vlog. As a result, those videos get high “attention scores” (which is weighted by length, so these 15-minute vlogs are scored against horribly boring 15-minute videos that rarely get seen at all, much less for more than 1-4 minutes).

So I’ve posted a 10 minute video that encourages the viewer to fast-forward to the end. Will YouTube count that as a full view? Will it propel the video to the top of the coveted “most popular page”? I’ll watch to see if it worked tomorrow. You can check the “honors” yourself in the next 24 hours.

10 Replies to “Experiment: Do Long Videos Get Rated as More Popular?”

  1. I’ve already expressed my concerns about this experiment in the comments on YouTube, the primary concern being the relative size of your Uncle Nalts audience compared to that of the more popular vloggers.

    If you wanted to really jack up the audience attention score, you could encourage people to let the video play all the way through while they do something else and then rewind to the parts with actual content.

    It does have the honor #46 – Top Rated (Today) – People & Blogs, so maybe you are on to something.

    On the other hand, your short video “Got 20 Seconds for Charlie?” has the honors #8 – Most Discussed (Today) – People & Blogs and #11 – Top Rated (Today) – People & Blogs.

    Make of that what you will and let’s see how things develop.

  2. Current honors for the long video:
    #51 – Most Discussed (Today) – People & Blogs
    #10 – Top Rated (Today) – People & Blogs
    #71 – Top Rated (This Week) – People & Blogs

    The 20 Seconds for Charlie video is still doing well too:
    #7 – Most Discussed (Today) – People & Blogs
    #17 – Top Rated (Today) – People & Blogs

  3. Your experiment is flawed. YouTube does take it in to account if viewers fast forward a video. You need to make a video with 10 minutes of actual content. And you need people to watch all the way to the end.

    Have you watched any shaytards videos all the way through lately? If so, you’ll notice that at end end, Shay has been doing a little voice over with some funny lines about something or other, usually relating to the video. Kind of like a little bonus to entice people to watch to the end. So maybe he does know something, and maybe you are on the right track here Nalts.

    As for the popularity of the videos, I think one of the reason they’re so popular is it really gives people a chance to feel like they can connect with the creators that they follow. Anyone that has met Shay knows how likable he is, it’s just natural that people would be drawn to wanting to interact with him and know more about him, and a daily look in to his personal life gives people an opportunity to feel like they know him more intimately than they could ever know a mainstream star.

  4. @7 Wow, my sentiments exactly. It’s like you’re reading my mind. I haven’t watched any of Shay’s vlogs, but I think your analysis of the popularity of daily vloggers is spot on. I know Nalts wouldn’t be nearly as engaging if he didn’t interact with his audience and give them a sense of intimacy by sharing some of his personal life.

  5. @8 It’s a win win, for the audience and the creator. Take a look at the views and it’s not hard to figure out that if a shaycarl video is put up once a week and averages 300,000 views vs a shaytards video which is 7 times a week at 100,000 avg views, which becomes a more lucrative proposition for the creator. Not that it’s all about money mind you, but you have these guys doing daily vlogs and it’s their JOB now. To them the trade off is, 3 or 4 hours a day editing and uploading a video as opposed to 8 or 9 hours a day commuting and working in an office somewhere.

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