Content Creation ·

Decoding the YouTube Shorts Algorithm: A Deep Dive into 3.3 Billion Views

What's the secret to virality in the age of bite-sized content? YouTube Shorts is dominating, and Paddy Galloway's deep dive offers creators a blueprint to achieve digital success.

Decoding the YouTube Shorts Algorithm: A Deep Dive into 3.3 Billion Views

The Breadth of the Study

Harnessing the power of data, Galloway and his lead analyst, Chris Gileta, meticulously combed through 33 diverse YouTube channels. Their dataset? A mind-boggling 5,400 shorts. The aim? To distill the essence of what makes a short truly viral.

Special thanks to YouTuber Paddy Galloway for this illuminating research.

The Age-old Question: How Long is Too Long?


Among the myriad of questions creators grapple with, the ideal length of a short is paramount. Galloway's data offers some clarity here. A significant chunk of creators lean towards crafting shorts that span between 20 and 40 seconds. However, those ultra-brief videos? They're as elusive as unicorns in the dataset. You should focus on 50 - 60 second shorts because this maximizes average viewer duration and therefore views.

Length vs. Stardom

While many factors play into a video's success, Galloway's data underscores one irrefutable fact: longer shorts have a magnetic pull when it comes to views. It's not about stretching content—it's about maximizing value within that extended window.

The All-important AVD


Beyond length, Average View Duration (AVD) stands tall as a metric of supreme importance. Galloway's insights shine a spotlight on this: Shorts that keep viewers engrossed for more than 50 seconds don't just perform well—they're in a league of their own, boasting an average of 4.1 million views.

Cracking the Code: The 3 Pillars of Viral Content

If virality had a secret sauce, it would be brewed with these three ingredients:

  1. Niche: The age of generalized content is waning. Today, specificity is king. The more tailored your content, the faster it finds its tribe.
  2. View Rate: It's a two-pronged affair. For shorts, the battle is against swipe-aways, while for long-form, the duel is with thumbnails and titles vying for clicks.
  3. Watch Time: As the research emphasizes, keeping your audience glued is not just beneficial—it's crucial.

Wrapping Up

As the sands of the digital content realm continually shift, insights like Galloway's act as a beacon for creators navigating their path. By internalizing and actioning these findings, creators can finetune their strategy, ensuring their content doesn't just reach audiences but resonates with them.

To Paddy Galloway and his stellar team, the content community offers a nod of gratitude. As content creation continually evolves, such data-driven insights are invaluable.

Anton Koenig

Anton Koenig

Co-Founder of VideoGen

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