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What Is Audience Retention YouTube And How To Increase Retention Rate?

How good are you at retaining your viewers?

When you’re browsing on YouTube, you might stumble upon a video that catches your attention. But when you click on it within a few seconds, you’re bored, and you go back and try to find another? This affects the audience retention rate for YouTubers. People nowadays like watching videos that are fast-paced and entertaining from the start.

That’s when the phenomenon of retention rate comes into the picture. Being a YouTuber, you want most of your viewers to stick to your videos till the end. If they’re clicking in and clicking off, then your audience retention percentage drops immensely. So if you’re retention percentage is less, keep reading the blog till the end to know the ways to increase it.

What Is Audience Retention On YouTube?What is audience retention on YT

YouTube audience retention is a percentage that represents the amount of time viewers spend consuming your video. This retention rate percentage is used to rank your channel or videos for SEO on YouTube. Remember, this percentage is calculated on average. So, if you’ve posted a 14-minute video, and your retention rate is 66%, then on average, 66% of the video has been watched by viewers.

In YouTube Studio, you can find a detailed analysis of your audience retention graph so you can basically spot where you’re going wrong.

How To See Your YouTube Audience Retention Rate?

Here’s how you can check your video’s retention percentage on YT:

  1. Go to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left navigation menu, click on Content.
  3. To analyze a video choose the video from the list, or you can even search for it.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you can see the video’s average view duration and average percentage viewed.

The retention rate percentage is classified and analyzed through four different segments:

  • Percentage of viewers that are still watching the video after the intro’s ending.
  • Top moment or Continuous segments where viewers are watching the video without skipping the video or leaving.
  • When the viewer rewatches a particular part of the video or shares it, it is counted as Spikes.
  • And finally, Dips, where viewers have skipped a section of the video or left the video completely.

YouTube points out these moments so YouTubers understand where viewers are losing interest and what part they’re enjoying the most. These were the basis on which we understand how a particular video is doing. But how is this calculated? Let’s see

How Is YouTube Audience Retention Calculated?How audience retention is calculated

The retention rate varies widely as it is based on the length of your video and what kind of topic it covers. YouTube calculates the retention rate by dividing it into two metrics: Absolute audience retention and Relative audience retention.

You can find both of them mentioned in the graph, however, each has its own purpose. Absolute retention rate shows how well that video retains viewers, while relative one talks about how well the video is retaining viewers when compared to other videos of the same length.

How To Increase Retention Rate?

On average, the audience retention rate for most YouTube videos lies anywhere between 50-60%. But if you’re falling short of the average or want to aim even higher, here are some ways you can infuse to increase your retention percentage:

  • Hook your audience with an entertaining intro: Starting with a bang is what you need to do! Start your video with an entertaining intro that keeps viewers engaged. Remember, the first 30 seconds are highly crucial that’s the time when most users click away, so keep your intros unique and intriguing to retain viewers.
  • Add a sneak peek of the video at the start: Giving viewers a small sneak peek of what they’re going to see ahead in the video will keep them engaged for watching more. Tease viewers with the content or part you think they’ll be most excited to see, just like a cliffhanger.
  • Keep the video’s length as needed: Don’t exaggerate your video! If you drag your content meaninglessly, it will only make a viewer click away from your video.
  • Skip on clickbaity thumbnails: Any viewer will watch the video hoping to see what they saw in the thumbnail. If their expectations are not met sooner, they will leave your video sooner. Misleading can make the YouTube audience retention rate drop faster.
  • Use variations in your video: Keep your audience entertained throughout the video using edits, graphics, and music changes so that viewers are hooked. Film your videos more engagingly and have shots that wow the viewers.
  • Analyze your audience retention graph: Most importantly, study your retention YouTube graph of your latest videos to understand where your content is lagging. Study where the most viewers are clicking off your video. Understanding these patterns will help you bring changes to your videos and help improve your overall audience retention on videos. 


YouTube audience retention is important for your videos to rank higher on search pages. Retaining viewers to watch your videos means that your engagement is increasing and more people are sticking to your content. Making compelling videos and staying unique is the ultimate way to go about this.