November 12, 2018
WELCOME TO THE AGE OF THE HOUR-LONG YOUTUBE VIDEO
ONE MONTH AGO, a dog I have never met died. His owners are YouTubers Simon and Martina, a Canadian couple who make videos about the delicious food they eat in Tokyo, where they live. After their extremely old, extremely beloved dog, Spudgy, peacefully passed away, they took to YouTube to drink and cry and tell stories about the best moments of their little dog’s life.
This messy, raw window into their world was so arresting that by the time I started wondering why, exactly, I was sniffling over an internet dog, I was over an hour into the video. I wasn’t alone. The 75-minute video drew an audience of well over 300,000 people, all willing to give up an hour and 15 minutes of their lives for a rambling pet eulogy.
My viewing habits (while admittedly eccentric) are actually what YouTube wants them to be. Long, long, long videos that last anywhere between 15 minutes and two hours have become not only common but successful on the platform.
That might seem counterintuitive. Not so long ago, YouTube videos resembled long-form Vines more than anything approaching a 22-minute sitcom. But as more people watch video via mobile, the lines between highly produced television show and a rough YouTube vlog have blurred. These days smartphone users spend a whopping 54 percent of their video-viewing time on videos over 20 minutes long—that’s up from just 29 percent in the beginning of 2016.
YouTube Is Shifting Recommendations To Longer Form Videos
A very interesting article that speaks to how YouTube intends to increase monetization. Longer videos that they can insert more advertising
Longer videos + more advertising = More data consumption and greater cost to the entity that is paying the cellphone billBack