The latest data from comScore shows that video length is trending down, and marketers might want to keep their brand content concise.

Keep video content short & sweet to hold viewers’ full attention

to read

Digital video is one of the fastest growing types of internet marketing content, and brands are picking up the pace to launch campaigns ahead of their competitors. When creating successful videos that will hold viewers’ interest, marketers must remember that time is of the essence. And on the ‘net, that means keeping messages short and sweet, or video viewers may not watch the full clip. According to September data from the comScore Video Metrix report, the online audience watched videos that averaged 5.1 minutes in length. This was down slightly from the length of videos people watched in August – 5.2 minutes.

This finding could be the product of a number of variables, such as companies producing shorter clips, consumers choosing to watch shorter content or viewers clicking out of videos before they’re finished playing. Marketers should look into their content analytics to determine which situation applies to their brand content so they can make smarter decisions when crafting future campaigns.

Conflicting data?

Not all reports suggest shorter is better for video marketing. In fact, last year Brafton reported that 87 percent of people who start clips longer than 2 minutes complete the videos.

 Brafton reported that 87 percent of people who start clips longer than 2 minutes complete the videos.

If video landing page data shows that visitors’ average time on site is less than the video’s length, it indicates that viewers are not sticking around for the entire message. If, however, it appears that people are staying on the site long enough to watch the whole video when the clips themselves are shorter, marketers might take this as a sign that concision correlates with results.

Audience relevance and matching the viewers’ expectation may be the most important factor.

Brafton recently published a blog by Editor and amateur filmmaker Chris Hassan, who explained that creative vision must lend itself to the video marketing message and not the other way around. Check out the full post for more tips about pruning video content for maximum viewer impact.

Lauren Kaye
Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.


  • Marc Davison

    I wonder if this is a incorrect extrapolation of the data. Looking at the sources of these video, I’m of the belief that they are tracking music video and television show segments rather than digital marketing as in adverts for products or feature launch or what does our product do video.

    Love your analysis and read it daily.

    • Lauren Kaye

      Hi Marc!

      Thank you for taking the time to read and respond! I think that point is definitely valid, and the majority of videos included in the report are probably music videos, TV shows and other viral clips because those are videos most people watch online.

      The data do include YouTube videos (and many of our clients host their clips on the site) and BrightRoll, which is a digital ad platform, so we thought it represented an overarching body of video data.

      Of course, we looked to this report for larger trends about video – the way consumer behavior is changing, how the market is evolving – as a signal for the way marketers should approach their brands’ campaigns. And we understand that there’s always room for interpretation :)

      Thanks again for your feedback and for reading!