It’s important to find out the answer to this question: “How engaging are your YouTube videos?”. It’ll have a big impact.

In this blog we’re going to look specifically at the ‘audience retention’ analytic tool in YouTube. The beauty of this tool is that you can clearly see how engaging your video is.


Are people watching it all the way though and if not, when are they dropping off? You can even see if people are rewatching parts of your video.


Audience Retention

  1. Absolute audience retention
  2. Relative audience retention

So which one is most useful? Well the short answer is both. Lets look at an animated video we did for Blue Butterfly Digital.

On the view page of your video you’ll see in the top right a tab for ‘Analytics’. Click on that and you’ll see the summary screen for all the analytics for your video. This is a useful page in itself, but in this blog we’re just concentrating on audience retention.

On the left, click on ‘Audience Retention’. YouTube will bring up ‘Absolute Audience Retention’ first.


How good is good?

You’ll see on this particular video that the audience retention drops off to about 75% after 30 seconds of the animation.

This is actually pretty good.


Even some of the most engaging videos will lose around 20-30% of views by this point.


This is just the nature of how people use YouTube and you’ll probably find similar statistics with your website in terms of length of site visit.

The real clincher here is that over 60% are still watching right the way until the end. Well, until around 1:50 or so. If you are wondering why people have suddenly dropped off here, you can see which part of the video this relates to.

Just click on the time bar to go to that part of the video and you’ll see the screen will jump to that bit. The red bar will help you see exactly where. With this particular video, people are dropping off after the logo has been on screen for a few seconds.


This is very important as YouTube now ranks you on how engaged people are in your film – not just how many views you get.


See our blog on ‘Engagement affects your YouTube ranking‘.



  1. Don’t have a long intro or outtro as this will hurt your ranking. Too long and you will lose your viewers before the end of the video.
  2. Where the blue line goes up this is where viewers and replayed that part of the video. This can be very useful tool and help you shape future videos.

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