Are Longer YouTube Videos Better?

If you want to get into video-making, it is good to stay on top of the latest trends. You may have noticed that videos are becoming longer, but are longer YouTube videos better? 

Longer YouTube videos can be better for a few reasons, such as YouTubers can run ads in the middle of longer videos to gain revenue. Longer videos might also increase your channel’s audience retention and will be more effective for branding purposes.

YouTube is one of the biggest video platforms in the world. While shorter videos might have been all the rage a few years ago, longer videos are becoming more popular. This article will cover if longer YouTube videos are better and explain the reasoning behind a longer video. 

YouTubers Can Utilize Mid-Roll Ads With Longer Videos

One of the main reasons why YouTube videos are becoming longer is because of AdSense. AdSense allows you to gain revenue through ads; the more people who view the ads, the higher your income. 

When you have a longer video, you can run an ad in the middle of the video, allowing you to generate more income. You can also place multiple ads in the video, such as the beginning, middle, and end. Some YouTubers will even place two ads in the middle a few minutes apart. 

The longer the content, the more ads you can place in the video, and the more money you will make.

If you want a quick overview of what mid-roll ads are, check out the video below:

Even though mid-roll ads have become quite popular amongst content creators, they have also become controversial. 

The controversy usually stems from the improper use of mid-roll ads. Thoughtlessly placed ads can lead to frustrated viewers and can even lead to a follower unsubscribing. 

Perhaps you have created a well-thought-out and intriguing video. Now picture an ad playing right in the middle of your sentence – obviously, this could be annoying. 

If you decide to utilize mid-roll ads, there will be a few things to keep in mind. 

You May Lose the Audience With Mid-Roll Ads

A big reason why some YouTubers do not use mid-roll ads is that there is a good chance you will lose your audience halfway through the video. 

If the video is not entertaining enough for your audience to watch a 15 to 30-second ad, you will see a large viewer dropoff. 

However, if you are a passionate content creator who loves to produce top-quality videos, your audience will usually watch the entire ad. 

Some YouTubers even have built such a good connection with their audience that viewers will purposefully watch the ad to provide income for their favorite creators. 

A good audience connection and high-quality content will prevent viewers from clicking off the video. However, you can do a few other things that we will cover in the next point. 

Do Not Let YouTube Place the Ad

The most important thing to remember when using mid-roll ads is not to let YouTube decide where to place the ad during your video. 

Even though YouTube will generally place the ad during natural breaks, you still don’t know when the ad will play. There will also be a chance that YouTube could place the ad at inconvenient times, like in the middle of a sentence. 

Luckily, there is an option to place the mid-roll ad manually. All you have to do is go to the YouTube studio and click “place manually” under the ad/monetization section. You can then manually add a timecode to the mid-roll ad or drag and drop the ad into your video timeline. 

To get the best results, place the ad when your audience is waiting for something like an answer or a big reveal. Doing this will give them an incentive to watch and come back to the video after the ad. 

To place the mid-roll ad manually, watch this video:

Audience Retention

Another reason why YouTubers create longer videos is audience retention. 

Audience retention is how much of the video that people watch. For instance, if you publish a video that is ten minutes long and audiences watch it for an average of seven minutes, your audience retention will be 70%. 

When a video has a high audience retention score, there will be a higher chance that YouTube will pick it up and promote it. 

In general, when you create longer videos, you will have a higher chance of a good audience retention score. 

When YouTube sees that people are watching your videos for a long time, it sends a message that your videos are good and that they should keep sending your videos out. 

High retention scores indicate that people want to watch your videos, which will help grow your channel. 

How Do You Increase Audience Retention?

Now that you know the importance of audience retention let’s cover a few ways to increase your audience retention score. 

Have an Interesting Hook

You will only have a few seconds to hook your audience. If they aren’t interested in the first fifteen seconds, you will lose them. 

Create an interesting hook to keep the viewers interested. A hook is a statement you use to convince viewers why they should watch your video. You can explain what you are offering the audience, whether it is a review, education, or plain entertainment. Make sure your introduction does not drag out too long. 

Keep the Video Visually Entertaining

The worst thing you can do is stand in front of the camera and talk for 20 minutes. You can do this, of course, but you will have to add some other visual elements to your video. 

Audience retention scores skyrocket when videos have different visual elements. Maybe you can add some graphics here and there or change the camera angle every once in a while. 

The bottom line is that you need to switch it up visually to keep your audience engaged.

Write a Script

Audiences will be able to tell if you have planned out your video or not. To avoid unnecessary “ums” and long thinking pauses, make sure to plan out your video and write a script. 

Some YouTubers do not like going by a script since it can make them sound too robotic or monotone. However, just because you write a script doesn’t mean you have to read it word by word. Write down a few pointers, and when you feel as if you are wavering, glance down at your plan. 

Creating a well-thought-out video that is full of quality content all the way through will increase audience retention. 

Analyze Your Audience Retention Statistics

One of the easiest ways to increase audience retention is to look at your past video statistics and take guidance from there. 

Perhaps there was a certain section of your video that people watched more. Maybe you animated a story or used a new camera angle. Whatever it was, repeat it in the next video. Learn from your past success to increase the quality of your video. 

Give Your Audience a Reason To Stick to the End

Finally, you can always give your audience an incentive to watch the entire video. 

You can do this by promising to tell them a funny story or telling them you will share a few of your favorite tips and tricks for something. 

However, you will have to be careful with this. You will need to have some great content for this to work. You don’t want viewers to wait around till the end to hear some mediocre advice they have heard before. 

If you are interested in learning a bit more about audience retention, check out the video linked below:

Long-Form Content Is Becoming More Popular

Gone are the days where 3-5 minute videos were all the rage. Content creators used to make shorter videos because we thought that viewers had very short attention spans. They still do, but they will watch a 20-minute video if the content is good enough. 

Nowadays, it is normal to see creators publishing videos that are 8 minutes or longer. For example, movie commentary YouTubers often create videos 15 minutes to an hour-long, and their viewers love it. 

Let’s take a look at why long-form content is becoming more popular. 

COVID-19 Pandemic

A major event that influenced YouTube culture is the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has kept millions of people at home for the past year. That means that more and more people are turning to the internet for their source of entertainment. 

Ever since the pandemic, YouTube has experienced a major rise in view counts. The rise in views, in turn, has affected the kinds of videos that the YouTube community is producing. With more people watching, the videos have gotten longer. 

Longer Videos Generate More Income

Long-form videos are not only appealing to the viewer, but the content creators prefer longer videos as well. As mentioned above, longer YouTube videos can generate a much higher income compared to short videos. If creators add just a few more minutes to the video, they can make more money. 

Creators Can Produce Higher-Quality Content

We also have seen an influx of really high-quality content. YouTubers are devoting more time and passion to the content they are putting out. 

Longer videos will usually require more planning to fill the time slot effectively. When creators have the time to plan more, they will provide better information, advice, and content. 

Viewers Get To Spend More Time With Their Favorite Creator

Longer videos give audiences the chance to spend more time with their favorite YouTube creators. When videos were shorter, audiences could only spend a few minutes with the content creator. Nowadays, they can watch daily vlogs, interact in live streams, and learn more about their passions and hobbies. 

Long-Form Videos Work for Multiple Video Formats

Long-form videos also work well for the format of many different video genres. For instance, makeup tutorials, video essays, movie commentaries/reviews, and book reviews (amongst others) benefit from the new long video format. 

A few years ago, when short videos were all the rage, some influencers had trouble cutting down the amount of information they gave to the audience. In some cases, short videos lowered the quality of content since creators could not explain everything as much as they wanted to. 

However, many different video formats now benefit from the freedom of longer videos. Even if a tutorial ended up being a 45-minute video, people would still watch it. 

The YouTube Algorithm Prefers Longer Videos

The YouTube algorithm bumps up videos that keep people engaged. When someone stumbles across a long video they like, they stay on the site for a longer time. YouTube simply wants to keep people on their website, so videos that keep viewers engaged for longer will be ranked higher. 

For instance, compare a long video with a bunch of short videos. Suppose a person is watching five short videos. In that case, there is a chance that they will become distracted between videos and click off the website. However, this event will be much less likely if a person invests in a 30-minute video essay. 

Branding Purposes

The last main reason why longer YouTube videos are better is that longer videos work well for branding purposes. 

The more time a creator spends with the audience, the more they can see their day-to-day life. When creators allow the audience to see more of their life, it will help build a rapport between them. 

When a creator has a strong connection with their audience, it is easier to sell a product since they have built a trusting relationship. The viewers will more likely believe what the creator is saying, even when trying to sell or promote something. 

How To Brand Effectively With Long-Form Videos

Branding can be challenging since it is very easy to come across as ungenuine. The audience will be able to quickly tell if you are simply doing it for the money. 

If you are interested in creating long-form videos for branding purposes, there are a few tips that will help you along the way.  

Be Honest

There is a lot of fake news on the internet. For this reason, viewers have gotten good at detecting untruthful marketing tactics. To get the attention of the audience, you will need to be honest. 

Whatever you are promoting, whether it is your own brand or another product, you should genuinely support it. Try it out yourself, use it for a while, and share your true thoughts on the product. 

When you share your honest opinion, your viewers will be able to tell. They will then be more inclined to trust your opinion and try out the product for themselves. 

Create a Connection With Your Viewers

Any successful branding will involve creating a connection with your viewers. You can do this a few ways. The first is by being honest, as we mentioned in the above point. 

You can also take some time and go through the comments of your video. Reply to a few viewers and like some comments. 

Another way to connect with your viewers through long-form videos is to take them through your daily routine. Vlogs are really popular and work well to let your audience know what your life is truly like. 

When you show the viewers your room, office, or a day in your university life, they will know you have trust in them, strengthening their trust in you. 

Increase Your Knowledge on What Your Promoting

One of the most key aspects of branding is to have a lot of knowledge in whatever you are promoting. 

Viewers notice when you only have surface-level knowledge of the brand you are promoting. In that case, they will not want to invest any time, interest, or money. 

However, if you show your audience that you have done some research, they will be more inclined to listen to you. Furthermore, the more knowledge you have on the brand, the more trustworthy and authentic you will sound. 

You should also be open about what is in your products. If you can, let your viewers know what materials go into the product and how much each step costs. When people are unsure of where their money is going, they will be more reluctant to purchase the product. 

Learn About Your Audience

Another great way to effectively brand through videos is to learn about your audience. You can do this with YouTube demographics. 

The statistics will include what age the majority of your audience is and what device they watch your videos on (phone or computer). 

You can also take advantage of the comment section again and find out some interests of your viewers. Figure out what brands they like or what hobbies they have. 

Knowing a bit more about your audience can help you understand what angle you should market from. For instance, if your demographic mostly consists of teens, you will use a different tactic than if your audience consisted of 35-50-year-olds.


There are a few reasons why longer videos are better. Creators can put in mid-roll ads in longer videos and, therefore, have the chance to generate more revenue. 

Secondly, you have the chance to increase your audience retention score when you produce longer videos. Longer videos are also becoming more popular and are easier for branding purposes. 

If you want a more in-depth resource for creating great YouTube videos, check out Crushing YouTube: How to Start a YouTube Channel.

My Current Video Editing Setup and Favorite Products

Apple MacBook Air M1 512GB Ram (Waiting for the new 16in pro)

LG 27MK400H-B Full HD Monitor with FreeSync 27″ (I literally have 4 of these)

Razer Holiday Bundle Cynosa Chroma Gaming Keyboard, Abyssus Gaming Mouse, Goliathus Chroma Mousepad

KTRIO Large Gaming Mouse Pad with Stitched Edges

Panasonic LUMIX G7 Digital Camera – Great Entry Camera for Shooting and Streaming

Neewer Ring Light Kit — A Must Have

Emart Green Screen Backdrop with Stand Kit – Affordable and Lots of Uses!

Elgato Stream Deck Mini – I only need the 6 keys


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