Why People Stop Watching YouTube Videos


Table of Contents

Imagine that you are the star of a hit Broadway play. It is an epic telling of a story that people just can't seem to get enough of. You have a house packed every night with fans eager to take in every moment of the action. You are getting written about in the newspapers, and your star power is rising quickly. Then, suddenly and without warning, people stop coming to the show entirely. It is not just about a lack of a sold-out performance hall, but it is an empty room where you are still supposed to perform. These are the kinds of visions that haunt people in their panic dreams. However, it is also a reality for many people who create content for YouTube. Especially now that there are more and more people who stop watching YouTube videos.

There are YouTube creators who find themselves caught in the death spiral of declining viewership. They want to know why people stop watching YouTube videos and what they can do to turn that around. 

Getting a Little Too Comfortable With Ads

It is to the incredible frustration of many creators that they cannot control the ads placed at the beginning and end of their YouTube videos. But that has been the structure that the site has used for a very long time. There are some limited controls that creators do have over other ads that may appear in their videos. Some popular social media channels have pointed out some small things that creators can do to reduce the impact of excessive ads on their content. 

Why should you turn off mid-video ads?

Many creators don’t even realize that they have the option to turn off mid-video ads like this. It is reasonable to think that literally, everyone on YouTube could and should turn these mid-video ads off immediately once they realize that they have the power to do so. However, it is not that simple. Creators must determine how much revenue they are willing to give up to create less ad-filled content for their subscribers. 

Those facing a mass exodus of their viewership should consider turning off the mid-video ads right away. It is a small thing. But if a viewer gets annoyed by a disruptive ad in the middle of your video, then they are far less likely to share that video with someone they know. You don't want to risk not gaining a new potential viewer because you were trying to squeeze a few more dollars in ad revenue from your video. 

Woman using a mobile phone to find relevant and ad-free videos on YouTube - showing a concept of why people stop watching YouTube videos.

The Peril of Long-Form Videos 

There is a time and a place for long-form videos on YouTube, but they are not suitable for every creator. One of the main reasons people stop watching YouTube videos from specific channels is that they don't want to invest the time to watch lengthy content from certain providers. Do you want to produce long-form content on YouTube successfully? Then it needs to have the following elements to stand any chance of being successful: 

Extremely Interesting Material

You might have a lot of passion for any topic that you bring to your videos. But does that topic resonate with the public? If not, then a long-form video is going to lose a lot of people. Many would-be viewers will skip over your long videos if they don't feel that you are providing something worth consuming that much of their time. 

Catchy Title/Tags

Getting someone to stick with a long-form video is hard enough. But it is even more daunting if you don't put some effort into the titles of your videos. Remember, most people scrolling through YouTube are going to look at the content at a glance. If you aren't putting out eye-catching material, then you might as well forget about gaining respectable audiences.

Maintains Quality Throughout

Viewers want to take away something interesting from each part of the videos that you put out. If you do not maintain a decent quality throughout the video, people will tune out as soon as that quality starts to dip. 

These are three things that must be included in a long-form video that has any chance of being watched by a large audience. It is a lot of work to put together a video of that length. It is also challenging to maintain these qualities throughout. Thus, some channels may want to scale back on their ambitions as far as long-form content is concerned. This is particularly true if they notice a drop-off in their viewership base lately.

The most popular YouTube channels are those that make something that can be broadly enjoyed and related to. Is your channel missing that mark right now? Then it is time to re-think the length of your videos!

Why People Stop Watching YouTube Videos: A Lack of Actionable Information 

It is hardly any wonder why people stop watching YouTube videos that don't add real value to their lives. Yes, it might be easy to get a little lost in the vortex of YouTube videos that are served up to you in a personalized way. However, most people who first go to YouTube search for a particular video. They have specific terms that help them find the content they have been on the hunt for. Videos that don't satisfy their hunger for knowledge or curiosity about a topic aren't worth much. 

Any new video on YouTube should add something unique and insightful to the topic at hand. Meandering videos or those that simply cover the topic discussed in a way that has been done many times before will inevitably lose viewers quickly. And those are just some of the main reasons why they stop watching YouTube videos.

The Title Misleads the Viewer

A final point to touch on why people stop watching YouTube videos that really shouldn't be a problem for any self-respecting YouTube channel is when the footage presented does not match the title placed on it. 

The most charitable explanation for why a video might not match up well with the title bestowed upon it is because it was an accident. This is because the creator simply made a mistake when typing out the title (if so, SLOW DOWN and concentrate before hitting the publish button). However, most of the time, the title and the content of the video itself don't match up because the creator has done this on purpose. Why would someone do that intentionally? Perhaps in the misguided belief that all they need to do is post a sensational title to gain viewers. 

A sensational or eye-catching title might be good enough to capture a few unsuspecting viewers for a moment. But they will quickly leave if your content does not match up with the title. You'll miss out on long-term viewers. You may also earn a poor reputation on the site for doing this. In some cases, YouTube may even deny you the opportunity to monetize your videos for making this error too often. Never mislead your viewers on purpose. It erodes trust, and that rapidly leads to a collapse in your viewership numbers. 


The bottom line for any YouTube creator is that they must think of their viewing audience first and foremost before deciding about the content they produce. Failure to do so will be very obvious to the audience, leading to people leaving the channel. A great way to think about it is to understand what you want to see from your favorite YouTube channels. You can then try to apply those same principles to the material that you put out. If you can do that, then you should retain enough of your audience to make the continued production of videos worth your while.

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Filed Under: Business Tips, Social Media

About Lauren Zylyk

During her time working for Walt Disney World, Lauren quickly grew a social media presence on platforms, mainly through Instagram. With a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing paired with her passion for marketing, Lauren grew her audience even more by creating a blog and through use of other social media platforms. She loves the impact that social media has and how quickly it can get information around worldwide.
When she is not busy keeping up with the latest trends online, she can be found baking cookies in the kitchen, watching hockey, or at the gym. She loves hot yoga and trying out any new dessert recipe. She can’t cook, but she can sure bake!