What’s a Good Audience Retention Rate on YouTube? 


If your YouTube audience retention rate is more than 20%, it can be considered adequate. This will increase your videos’ visibility on YouTube searches and the possibility of coming up as one of  the recommended videos for the viewers

I have the answers to all your questions, such as “What’s a good audience retention rate YouTube considers good?” Knowing your audience is crucial. What makes them stop watching and what catches their attention? Your YouTube audience retention rates can visibly go up if you know what your viewers want. 

Before we start talking about what is a good audience retention rate on YouTube, we need to know what retention is and how it functions.  

Understanding Retention for YouTube 

The significance of YouTube audience retention for your videos is that it represents the people viewing the video from start to finish. The retention rate is given as a percentage of the views that exist in total. Let’s say, you have a 10-minute-long video, and the viewers watch for mostly 5 minutes. So, this means, your YouTube audience retention rate is 50%. 

If you go to YouTube Studio, various instances throughout your video that play a role in the audience retention rate are shown. 4 of them are pretty major. These are: 

  1. The amount of viewers that don’t click away after the intro 
  1. Uninterrupted sections where nobody clicked away from the video 
  1. Specific moments that people jumped ahead or watched again 
  1. Low points where the audience didn’t watch a part or clicked away from the video altogether 

This is how you analyze the parts in your video that are interesting or disengaging to your viewers.  

In addition to these analytical graphics, you can see a more superficial version of it as a viewer. If you move your cursor on top of the progress bar, it shows you which parts of the video are watched more or less.  

Where to Find the Audience Retention Rates of Your Channel 

Now that you know what retention rate is, you may also want to check the YouTube retention rates of your own videos. 

  1. Access the YouTube Studio through your YouTube account, as shown below. 

2. Go to Content in the menu on the left side of the page. 

  1. Here, you will see all your videos. You can select which video you want to see the analysis of. 
  1. When you go down on the page, the graphic of your video view statistics will appear. 

Below is an example of this graphic: 

What does this graphic tell us? 

  • The average view duration gives the average time people watched the video. People watched this specific video for 4 minutes and 37 seconds. 
  • The average percentage viewed gives us the YouTube audience retention rate. So, this video’s retention rate is 47%. 

Another useful trick here is the typical performance section.  

By clicking here, you can see the comparison of the selected video to your other similar videos.  

Audience retention rates may differ greatly. It depends on how long the video is, the viewers, and the content.  

To give an example, a video where someone explains a math problem may have low retention. Because the person watching the video has the potential to skip the parts he already understood. Or a cartoon may have low retention rates because of the audience. Usually, young kids watch cartoons on YouTube and their attention span is short. People can click away from a video for various reasons.  

What Is a Good Audience Retention Rate YouTube Favors? 

According to a search done by The Spruce Craft, the average audience retention rate for the YouTubers varies somewhere between 35% and 40%. Since we know that audience retention depends on many factors, keeping this rate as close to 50% as possible means you’re doing an excellent job.  

It’s also been observed that the higher a video’s view count is, the lower the retention rate tends to be. Because a higher view count means a more diverse audience. And we all agree that you can’t please everybody. 

So long story short; the answer to our question “What is a good retention rate on YouTube?” is anything more than 20%. That means people are liking your videos.  

Keep Your Audience Retention Rate High: Here’s How 

You’re only 6 steps away from having a remarkable retention rate. And those steps are: 

1.     Coming Up with the Perfect Intro 

The first 20 seconds are crucial for a video. That’s when most viewers leave the video. Do you know what might prevent that? Beginning your video in such a way that they’re hooked from the start. Having a capturing intro is the key. The first step is to work on that. 

2.     Having Chapters  

Having strategically constructed chapters in your video can actually increase your watch time. How? 

Let’s say your video is a tutorial on how to add layers in the background of a photo on a Photoshop app. The first chapter is selecting the background, the second chapter is adjusting the layer, the third chapter is combining the two, etc. The viewers who have issues with selecting the background will watch the first chapter from start to finish.  

With no chapters, you carry the risk of losing viewers, especially in a long video. 

3.     Teasing the Viewers 

Hey, we’re all human. Most of us can’t resist a little bit of mystery and suspense. We HAVE TO know. So, giving the audience a hint of what’s coming is always a good way to keep them watching. It will definitely increase your YouTube audience retention rate. 

4.     Making Smart Use of Pattern Interrupters 

What are pattern interrupters? They’re basically little acts or effects that might be considered as surprise elements for the viewers. You can do this by changing the angles of the shoot, sudden music switch, or adding entertaining images. 

5.     Adjusting the Video Length Correctly 

Nobody enjoys unnecessarily long videos. So, make sure you’re not talking through your hat just to make your video longer. If 5 minutes is all you need for the topic you want to cover, then make the video 5 minutes. People are there to enjoy their time or learn something. You don’t want to waste their time. 

6.     Familiarizing Yourself with the Related Graphs 

Keeping everything, you have learned in this article in mind, study your video and statistics. Not just the total retention rates but try to dissect your video. When did the viewers click away from the video the most? Does your intro work in keeping them engaged? Or are there any sections or chapters where viewers didn’t click away?  

Care for your videos as if they were your babies and see if they need anything. Don’t let them starve.  


What is the audience retention rate? 

Audience retention rate is the percentage of how many people watch your video from beginning to finish. 

Why is audience retention rate important? 

High retention rates may increase your chance of getting promoted by YouTube’s algorithm and making more money through AdSense. 

What can I do to boost my audience retention rate?

Study the statistics of your videos. Master what your audience likes and dislikes.  

Written by
Beatriz Sirena

Beatriz Sirena, a true trailblazer in the world of social media and digital storytelling, seamlessly integrates her academic background with a wealth of creative expertise on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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