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Hook viewers in 10 seconds or you'll lose them

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Eric Seals Oct. 12, 2010, 4:27 a.m. permalink

Interesting post in KobreChannel today about another study done on viewers watching our videos and just how important it is to hook them in the 1st 10 seconds.

How long do you think we'll sit through a video before we click away to something else?

A minute? Nope: 44.1 percent will be gone by then.

How about ten seconds? That's when 19.4 percent will have flown the coop. Yes, nearly one in five viewers won't even give you ten seconds of their attention. (Click on graph at right to enlarge image.)

And it doesn't matter whether the entire video is five minutes or an hour -- if you don't grab them in the first ten seconds, say bye bye. 

That's the conclusion drawn by Visible Measures, a video metrics outfit that analyzed the habits of viewers who collectively watched (and ultimately abandoned) over 40 million unique video clips, which, in aggregate, received nearly 7 billion views. And we're not talking feature-length documentaries here -- the research project was limited to short-form videos of less than five minutes in duration! 

Something to think about when you're shooting and editing your videojournalism masterpiece. Those long slow scene- and tone-setting builds and reveals may be Oscar fodder in movie theaters, but will be completely lost on online video audiences. 

It bears repeating -- you've got ten seconds to hook 'em! 

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