Why YouTube Users Stream Videos At 1.5x

Posted in Quick Tips on September 26, 2022 by
Jon Deckert

And how you can adapt YOUR video content.

Video Moving Faster Than Real Time

YouTube’s Product Manager, Reid Watson, recently shared that users are trending towards watching videos faster than in real-time. 

How fast? Users were most often using 1.5x as their speed of choice. 

Does this mean you need to start speeding up your videos? Let’s explore that and the reasons why faster video is gaining popularity.

Why the Speed Increase?

Several factors could contribute to why as many as 85% of YouTube users watch videos at faster speeds.

One factor to consider is greater accessibility.

There has never been a time when we’ve had faster internet speeds or tools that help us reach answers faster or more conveniently. With this can come an expectation to get what you are looking for sooner.

For example, let’s look at what Google does nowadays to generate search results. Using their web crawling robots, they analyze text, look through metadata, and convert audio into text to help identify keywords and context that provide the results you see when you press enter and ask your query. As a result, now more than ever, you can receive your answer sooner, with greater context, regardless of the content format.

Another reason to keep in mind is the popularity of short-form videos.

Since its introduction in 2012 with the launch of Snapchat, short-form video has gained popularity and evolved. How popular? According to Techjury, OVER 1 BILLION VIDEOS are watched on TikTok everyday.

Why so many? Because short-form video is easy to share and consume while consumers and prospective clients are on the go.

According to Hubspot, a short-form video is any video under 60 seconds. Today, short-form videos of either 15, 30, or 60 seconds are standard. 

Short-form video provides an opportunity to create hyper-focused content that audiences can view anytime they have a moment to spare. That could be a moment for humor, education, or a glimpse into someone else’s life and perspectives.

Because of the popularity of short-form video platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, it feels like a natural transition for people to want other forms of video to be more consumable.

To put this into perspective, YouTube says that in June 2022 alone, users saved 900 years worth of time by watching videos faster than in real-time.

How to harness the power

Social Media and Marketing platforms are like people: they have their personalities, and they all have their nuances.

Your potential audience’s content expectations vary significantly by platform.

To succeed on a platform, it’s essential to understand what makes a platform unique and capitalize on it with your video marketing. This can include video length, production value, and the importance of captions or graphics, to name a few.

Going Mobile

For mobile-focused video platforms like TikTok and Instagram, there’s a good chance your audience will be on the go. If they are out and about, they may be distractible in a loud environment or where it isn’t polite to play audio around other people.

You can adapt your marketing content to this by creating shorter videos focusing on a singular topic or question in under a minute. Take it a step further by adding graphics, b-roll that gives additional context, and incorporating captions. Several video platforms can create captions for you automatically, but review them before hitting the publish button to avoid typos and ensure you have clear messaging.

Want to know how you can increase the life of your content through repurposing? Check out our blog “What Repurposing Content Means with Help From TikTok”

Desktop/Couch Experience

When using desktop or hybrid platforms like YouTube, there’s a greater chance that your audience can give your video marketing content their full attention and be in a comfortable environment where they can watch longer videos.

Even though they are more likely to be able to watch longer videos, it’s still important to make your content accessible. If you want to help your audience find what they are looking for, there are two methods to consider: Video chapters and captions.

Video chapters

Video Chapters allow you to break up your video into several sections. You can create these chapters to make it easier to find specific topics or answers in your video. Typically, you create chapters on your own though YouTube has started generating them automatically for some users. I’d recommend making them yourself, though, because it isn’t clear which videos receive automatic captions. It’s also in your best interest to control your chapter titles to ensure they are on brand and give your audience a great experience while viewing your video marketing content.

Check out this video from YouTube Creators to learn more about Video Chapters.

You may be thinking about how much work you’ve put into your videos for your marketing plan and feeling your heart sink at the thought of someone not watching it all the way through or skipping around your thoughtfully crafted creative. I hear you! Ideally, everyone will view your videos from beginning to end. 

However, video chapters give you a chance to reach people who would bounce prematurely or not watch your video at all because they don’t have the time for it. Having your video watched all the way through is still the ultimate goal but with shortened attention spans making a solid impression is a close second place, and video chapters can help with that.

Video Captions

I mentioned video captions earlier when talking about helpful methods for mobile-focused platforms, but they can also make sense on desktop/hybrid platforms. For one, video captions help you reach people with hearing impairments or who can retain more information if they can both hear and read simultaneously.

Another way video captions can help your videos is through your search engine results. That’s right! Believe it or not, when Google analyzes your video content, they will review your video’s title, description, and captions (if available) for keywords and context to index your video correctly. If your video is properly indexed, it is more likely to appear in more relevant search results.

One size video does not fit all.

For the sake of your audience and filling up your content calendar, there’s great value in creating multiple versions of your video content to accommodate different platforms and learning styles. Predicting a user’s mindset when they first see your video is challenging. 

However, creating multiple opportunities in multiple formats increases your chances of meeting their needs, increasing brand recognition, and encouraging them to dive deeper. You can create shorter versions that introduce or tease topics on mobile-focused platforms and more extended versions on your website and YouTube. 

This strategy can be effective universally from corporate to commerce and many industries in between.

It’s also worthwhile to incorporate education into your video marketing content. Want to know what that can look like and how to get started? Check out our blog “The Value of Educating Your Customers Through Your Marketing”

Where do we go from here?

There are several reasons why YouTube users are trending toward watching videos faster than in real-time. Whether out of accessibility, availability, or habit, it’s crucial to view it as an opportunity to audit your approach to the video content you create for each platform and respond accordingly. 

There is no denying the benefits of gaining knowledge at your audience’s speed and needs. It’s even better to adapt and accommodate your audience with options that connect rather than expecting your audience to adapt.

I hope this blog gives you some good insights; if it’s helped, I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to read our thoughts on another topic related to video marketing or digital marketing, please feel free to connect with me on social media.

Want to read YouTube’s full post? Check it out right here.