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YouTube Videos: Time Spent Watching vs. Total Views [CHART]

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YouTube is getting smaller in a metric that used to mean everything: views.

Since December, views on YouTube have dropped 28%, and March views are only slightly above what they were a year ago, startling for a site accustomed to breakneck growth.

It’s an intended consequence of the Google-owned site’s shift from a video search engine filled with snack-size content to a full-fledged, couch-potato-optimized entertainment destination. At YouTube, the “view” is out and “engagement” is in.

After investing $100 million to create content channels, YouTube’s focus has shifted from directing viewers to videos of skateboarding dogs to enticing them into longer, more engaging videos—the kind that are, not incidentally, more appealing to advertisers.

On March 15, YouTube altered its recommendation system to make the time spent with a video or channel a stronger indicator than a click in determining which videos to surface to a user. Read the rest at AdAge.