Video Watch Time

Date created: Dec 11, 2019  •   Last updated: Oct 14, 2020

What is Video Watch Time?

Video Watch Time is a measurement of how much total time has been spent watching a video (or a collection of videos). This metric helps evaluate the overall quality and stickiness of your content by looking at which videos are being watched as opposed to being abandoned after a few seconds.

Alternate names: Minutes Watched, Time Spent (Video)


ƒ Sum(Seconds Watched) OR Sum(Minutes Watched) OR Sum(Hours Watched)

How to calculate

If a video is published on January 1st and in the first month it accumulates 250 hours of watch time and in the second month it accumulates 150 hours, then the Video Watch Time after 2 months = 400 hours.

Video Watch Time

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More about this metric

As this is a time-based measurement of content consumption, it simply refers to how many hours/minutes/seconds (depending on what the video platform offers) have been spent consuming a piece of video content (or a grouping of content in aggregate, such as a playlist, series, or account). Video Watch Time can be used to help calculate other common performance metrics at a more individual view or personal level, such as Average View Duration, Minutes per View, or Minutes per Viewer. Also, one time-based metric can be used to calculate another. For example, “Seconds Watched” can be divided by 60 to get “Minutes Watched”. YouTube is one of the primary video platforms providing a "Video Watch Time" metric. Because YouTube wants viewers to spend as much time as possible on their platform, it is widely known that their algorithm favors videos that have a higher "Watch Time."

Recommended resources related to Video Watch Time

Learn more about YouTube's Watch Time report.