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What is the ideal length for your explainer video?

How to structure the perfect video script
October 19, 2017

Before going into the nitty-gritty of that question. Let me give you an insight into the cultural shift that is happening in media consumption. Starting with millennials: This generation, born between from 1990 – 2000, are generally still familiar with how printed media such as a newspaper looks like.

Some might even comfortably handle those large newspapers, skilfully holding it upright in both hands, without losing the sports section in the middle.

But it is very seldom to find a millennial that enjoys spending their whole Sunday afternoon reading the newspaper like a good book, every section of the page, from headline to obituaries.

Instead, after swift look on their phone, a push-up notification from the New York Times News App shows the most recent political developments. Instead of watching TV, they watch the newest video from Casey Neistat from their YouTube subscription in which he is testing a video drone while operating it from his skateboard.

Now picture generation z. These adolescents, born in the years 2000 to 2011 do not even know what a CRT-Monitor looks like anymore. They have been brought up with I-Pad games, interactive video learning and Snapchat. More often than not, they are doing their homework on their laptop, scrolling their Facebook feed and binge watch Game of Thrones on their smart TV – all at the same time of course.

They are drawn in by endless informational YouTube videos and funny Facebook clips, bombarded by information every second of the day. How do they keep up attention? Well, it seems like they are not able to focus on subjects for extended periods of time anymore.

The incredible truth is that the average attention span is now at 8.25 seconds. With the generation z growing up, it is likely that this time becomes even shorter.

But how long should my explainer video be?

A study from Wistia shows a link between the length of a video and the engagement from the audience. They show that:

  • lengths of up to 2 minutes receive tremendous engagement without people switching of prematurely
  • 2 to 3-minute clips are presented with major drops in engagement
  • videos from 6 to 12 minutes enable a better connection with your target audience
  • From 12 minutes another significant drop occurs

Now that you know this, a video length up to 2 minutes gives you, in theory, the best results.

However, could you imagine a Ted Talk to be compressed to 2 minutes? What I am trying to explain is that not every video should follow this rule as it depends on the nature of the video. Giving a scientific explanation of how our brains function takes significantly more time and should not be compressed for the sake of this study.

But if you pitch your business, the better you can get your point across in under two minutes will not only boost engagement but will force you to convey your message in a simple way – two critical parts for your conversion rate! Our experience shows that 60 to 90 seconds yield the best results.

If you look beyond a company pitch, there is some interesting data from The Next Web for the ideal length for different genres of a video:

  • Tutorials: 45 to 90 seconds
  • Creative commercials: 15 to 59 seconds
  • Crowdfunding videos: 2.5 minutes
  • Customer testimonials: 60 to 119 seconds

Go Animated would be happy to help you with these projects as well, simply write us an email at


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