Video Marketing

10 Ideas to increase YouTube watch time for new channels

Updated June 16, 2022
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Want to increase your YouTube watch time and monetize your YouTube channel? With some easy fine-tuning, you can elevate your YouTube channel and engage viewers for longer in a few easy steps. 

Image of a girl thinking about increasing YouTube channel watch time with YouTube graphics displayed in image.

Read on to learn what is YouTube watch time and explore 10 ideas to increase YouTube watch time for new channels.

What is watch time on YouTube?

Watch time (also called audience retention) is the total amount of time a viewer watches your YouTube videos. Watch time gives YouTube creators valuable insights into what their viewers enjoy, watching the whole way through and clicking.

Higher video watch times suggest to YouTube’s algorithm that your channel is worth promoting in the feed and recommendations section. This visibility can lead to monetization opportunities for creators like brand sponsorships and collaborations. The average audience retention rate is between 50% - 60%, so the longer a viewer watches your video, the better it is for your YouTube channel. 

10 free ways to increase YouTube watch time

1. Edit an engaging YouTube intro

If your video isn’t receiving the view count it deserves, try creating an eye-catching intro on YouTube to add to your content. A video intro hooks your audience right at the beginning, showcasing your personality and convincing your audience that there’s value in your video that is worth watching. Using a YouTube intro maker adds a visual signature to every YouTube video. 

Have you never made a YouTube intro before or want to spice up your existing one? Head over to Clipchamp’s YouTube intro maker and make a YouTube intro in just a few clicks. 

2. Batch create content for a consistent video schedule plus YouTube series

Whether your channel hosts YouTube tutorials, unboxing videos, or vlogs, planning content ahead of time contributes to your YouTube channel's success. An engaging YouTube creator is often the most consistent, so batch-creating YouTube videos can save your time and money. 

Another way to stay on a consistent video schedule is using the YouTube series feature. YouTube series gives viewers a specific timeline of when to expect the next episode and the ability to rewatch content in order. 

3. Design recognizable YouTube channel art and thumbnails

Branded YouTube thumbnails and channel art can help contribute to subscriber retention and return user rates as your videos are more recognizable. Make sure to keep logos, fonts, and a unique color scheme on your YouTube channel and videos, so they’re easily identifiable. Stand out in the sea of video content by adding logos and graphic elements to thumbnails and channel art.

4. Optimize video descriptions for YouTube SEO

Your videos can rank higher in the search engine results with better YouTube SEO practices, meaning more views and engagement. Just find the main keywords, then include those words in your YouTube description, tags, and video title. If you’re unsure how to find YouTube SEO keywords related to your videos and genre, check out your competitor's YouTube analytics for inspiration. 

5. Divide videos into YouTube Chapters

YouTube Chapters make it easy for viewers to understand your videos better. Viewers can skip to specific sections of your video by selecting a timestamp, with each section having a compelling narrative. Be sure your channel has no active strikes to qualify for the Chapters feature.

6. Utilize YouTube Shorts to add to YouTube watch time

If you’ve been publishing YouTube Shorts, they’re more than likely contributing to your channel's total 4000-hour watch time, increasing your monetization chances. Every time a person views your YouTube Short, it counts towards the overall watch time of your channel. YouTube Shorts can now be found on YouTube’s desktop shelf, giving Shorts content a better opportunity to increase views.

7. Engage in the comments

Creators often underestimate the power of the comments section hold. Having active video comments is a simple way to encourage new viewers and influence them to subscribe. So building a loyal subscriber base by engaging in conversations, you’re more likely to have a successful YouTube channel. Create a YouTube community by asking viewers questions, feedback and replying to comments. YouTube fans enjoy personalized interactions with their favorite content creators and having their comments pinned. 

8. Create a YouTube end card with channel name and website

Like YouTube intro videos, YouTube outros and video loops can add extra value to your video content. YouTube outros can include social media handles, your channel name, website, a subscribe button and even recommend videos for viewers to watch further. By auto-replaying your YouTube video, viewers are more likely to watch again and increase YouTube watch time. 

Amplify your YouTube channel, brand awareness, and watch time by adding a professionally designed YouTube outro to your videos. Make a YouTube outro in minutes with Clipchamp’s ready-to-use templates.

9. Generate YouTube playlists

One of the easiest ways to increase your YouTube watch time is to add your videos to a playlist. When viewers click on your YouTube channel, they can view all of your videos of the same genre in the one list. Making videos more accessible means viewers can quickly view them, creating a free watch time increaser tool. 

10. Make videos accessible with captions - bonus tip!

Want more people to view your videos, even if they’re on mute? Make YouTube content accessible to more people with the help of captions. YouTube generates auto-captions for every video using speech recognition technology. Creators just need to proofread the captions and edit any mistakes first.

Frequently asked questions

How to check YouTube watch time

Not sure how to check YouTube watch time statistics? Head over to YouTube Studio, then click on the Analytics tab on the left sidebar. You can view your YouTube watch time in the overview. 

Can rewatching YouTube videos increase watch time?

Yes. Users can rewatch YouTube videos to increase their watch time, but only 30 seconds or more counts as a view.

How do I get 4000 hours of watch time on YouTube?

It roughly takes YouTube creators one year to reach 4000 hours of watch time if 20,000 minutes are watched per month. If you create engaging videos and follow all the tips above, you should be able to reach 4000 hours of watch time within a year. 

How to check YouTube watch time

Not sure how to check YouTube watch time statistics? Head over to YouTube Studio, then click on the Analytics tab on the left sidebar. You can view your YouTube watch time in the overview. 

Will rewatching YouTube videos increase watch time?

Yes. Users can rewatch YouTube videos to increase their watch time, but only 30 seconds or more counts as a view.

How do I get 4000 hours of watch time on YouTube?  

It roughly takes YouTube creators one year to reach 4000 hours of watch time if 20,000 minutes are watched per month. If you create engaging videos and follow all the tips above, you should be able to reach 4000 hours of watch time within a year. 

Ready to try YouTube watch time boosters?

With the help of quality video content, upload consistency, engaging video intros, optimized descriptions, and recognizable branding, all YouTube creators, beginners, and professionals can easily increase their YouTube watch time. 

If you're looking for a free and easy video editor to create more YouTube content, try Clipchamp.

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