How long is too long?

When I am talking with business owners, I am often asked how much I charge for producing a web video. In order to answer this I ask how long do they want the video to be and if they want dancing unicorns. You know, the usual stuff. Generally, they say 2­-3 minutes and no. Is 2-3 minutes too long for a web video? I tell them it generally is and here’s why.

These days people have an increasingly shorter attention span (thank you Twitter) and 2­-3 minutes isn’t effective in getting more views. I did some research and found, thanks to labnol.org, this chart based on a study done by Wistia.com.

How long is too long

The results? Shorter videos get more views, generally. People are more likely to keep watching your video if it is shorter. Basically you want a video that is short and to the point. Now a video can be short, but if you don’t state the purpose within the first few seconds, you will have a hard time keeping an audience. Now another very interesting result of the chart is this. If you make a video that is 3-5 minutes long you will have roughly the same percentage of viewers (provided the content is good) as a 2-3 minute video. Why you ask?

My unproven theory is a gut reaction I have when watching a video. 2-3 minutes can portray a good bit of info but 3-5 minutes can give more info, but it doesn’t seem to be much longer when watching. Can I prove my theory? No, not at this time.

So the takeaway from this is:

  • Shorter is better in most cases
  • Get to the point/front load your information
  • Content is king

Want the full scoop on the results? Here is the full article by Wistia.com