YouTube Audience Retention - Explained

YouTube Audience Retention – Explained

Last updated on March 15th, 2024 at 08:07 am

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YouTube Audience Retention is how YouTube measures how long your combined audience has watched a video or videos. Audience retention is a very important factor the YouTube algorithm uses in deciding how high to rank your videos, and there are a number of sub parts. 

And fortunately, YouTube has a feature in the YouTube Creator Studio where you can look at each video and learn how long on average people are watching your videos and where they’re dropping off on a second-by-second basis.

If you can increase your audience retention, the YouTube algorithm will rank your videos higher.


There are four main kinds of audience retention that you can see on YouTube.

  1. Absolute Audience RetentionAbsolute Audience Retention is on the overview page of every video, and it shows you:
    • A graph of how people are watching.
    • The Average View Duration which is the average time in minutes and seconds that people are watching.
    • The average percentage of the video that people are watching. Absolute audience retention
  2. Relative Audience RetentionRelative Audience Retention shows you how your video is doing compared to other YouTube videos the same length on a second-by-second basis.
  3. YouTube Channel Audience RetentionYour Channel Audience Retention is the Average view duration people are watching your videos.
  4. YouTube Audience Retention by Traffic SourceYou can also see YouTube Audience Retention by Traffic Source, to determine how long people watch depending on how they find your video.


My name is Dane Golden from VidAction and we believe that you don’t need to be a movie star or have expensive cameras to be successful on YouTube, you just need to be committed to helping your customers and follow some basic techniques. So check out our blog posts and YouTube videos. You do that, and you’ll be golden.