Why video 'views' aren’t really important

Things have changed significantly over the last five years, but many are still rating the success (or failure) of their videos based on views.

It may be that you have been benchmarking against competitors or verticals, or even big brands, and feel deflated when you see how many more views they’ve received. That’s unwise. Firstly, they may have simply paid for views, a very cheap but pointless (and frowned upon) practice. They may have promoted their content to a targeted audience and spent a significant amount of money. What you won’t be aware of, is how relevant those views were and the level of retention they received - and any action that they generated amongst the audience.

Let’s say you have two one-minute videos on your site. The first has received 1,000 views and the second 100 views. It might be that you assume that you need to make more films like the first ‘more successful’ one. However, once you dig into the advanced analytics you notice that the 100 views the second film received had a much higher audience retention*. In fact, the average viewer watched 90% of the film. Looking at the other film (with more views) you can see that the audience retention is much lower, with the average viewer staying around for only 20% of the film. Suddenly you realise that success isn’t that simple to measure! Beyond retention there are many more analytics we can (and should) interrogate and interpret to gauge the success of our content.  

Simon Crofts
Client Services Director

*Audience retention represents the average percentage of your video the audience has watched.