If you’ve ever tried to upload a video to YouTube and found it rejected for being more than 10 minutes long, you may be pleased to learn YouTube is giving you five more minutes of video time. Why, after years of complaints, is YouTube extending the length of uploaded videos to 15 minutes now? In a blog post, Joshua Siegel, YouTube’s product manager for Upload and Video Management, explains that the success it’s had with music labels and movie studios is what has enabled them to go a little longer.
Full-length video has always been an option for YouTube partners. YouTube has had full-length studio and network content, including movies and TV episodes, since the fall of 2008.
I initially wondered if there was some ad angle to the increased length of the video time, since many sites have touted longer video views as proof of greater engagement — which in turn, leads to higher CPMs. But YouTube says that there are no plans to extend advertising to non-partners videos.
“This is for all users and their videos are not monetized,” said a Chris Dale, a YouTube rep. “Only partners’ videos are monetized and partners can upload videos of any length… It was really about addressing that request at the point where our Content ID system was sophisticated and robust enough. It is a top goal of company to grow the time spent on YouTube from 15 minutes a day to 30 minutes, etc. (right now the average American spends 5 hours a day watching TV).”
Over the past few months, YouTube has done a number of things designed to maintain its online video dominance in the face of challenges from competitors like Hulu. It’s streamlined the look of its website this past spring and earlier this month, it introduced its Leanback continuous viewing feature.
The longer video time also recognizes that while online video is still predominately a short-form viewing format, users are getting used to watching for extended periods.