Play count shows you the total number of times your audience has chosen to watch your video, and engagement shows you how much of your video those people have watched as a percentage. Most video hosting services give you tools for measuring these metrics so that you can see how your videos are performing.
The modern video consumer is watching all kinds of video content at a variety of lengths, and across all types of devices too, so there’s no hard and fast rule for what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to video length, but there are a few things you should be considering.
Most video playback software will show the length of the video somewhere on the video player, or will show a timeline at the bottom of the video, and people will use the length of the video as a way of determining whether they should invest their time into watching it.
Remember when making your video, it’s going to be harder to encourage somebody who’s on the go, browsing Facebook on their phone, to watch a 15 minute video – yet that same person might happily watch that exact same video if they find it on YouTube while browsing on their laptop at home and have more time on their hands.
Video length will effect play count and engagement.
To make sure your video length doesn’t effect play count consider the context of where your viewer is going to find the video. For example, don’t post longer video content to social media if your users are going to discover it while they’re on the go and don’t have time to watch it.
To make sure your video length doesn’t effect engagement, make sure your content is refined to key messages. If you can’t fit it all in to a length that’s suitable for the context of where it’s going to be discovered by your viewers, split your videos into a series that takes each of those key messages and gives them the time they need.
The more important thing though, above all of this, is that your content is interesting, educational or entertaining enough to hold your viewers’ attention… but that’s a topic for another video.
I hope this sheds some perspective on video length and you can start making videos that are more effective, and more suitable to their audiences.