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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How Long Should Web Video Be? Three Examples: 1 min, 45 sec, 90 sec

How Long Should Web Video Be?

Here are some examples of shorter video:

1 min

Boston College Minute. Going Up 2/2012:

Edited together moments with no narration.

Boston College Minute Archive.

45 sec or less

Link to Video: Pizza Hat restaurant in #Baghdad [Opens in New Window]

Ajeed Kumar from #India slices pies at Pizza Hat restaurant in #Baghdad, #Iraq. #iraqfastfood

Live streamed moments, streamed from WSJ reporters around the world. No edits, no production.

Note to WSJ: Would be nice if you had embed code.

Wall Street Journal WorldStream.

90 sec

CBS This Morning Eye Opener. Your world in 90 seconds 9/26/12:

Captured clips from larger stories.

CBS This Morning on Facebook

Why does web video have a history of being short?
Web video was generally thought that it had to be 10 minutes or less. That's because YouTube had a 10 minute limit for a long time. That limit is now 15 minutes, and is up to 12 hours for certain users.

There are two schools of thought on web video length.

- Make the video as long as it needs to be to tell the story

- Make it short

Both are right.

As Long As It Needs To Be
These days with feature length movies being streaming in HD quality, no one can argue that a movie is too long and needs to be shortened.

Well.. they could argue that if it's a movie like Howard the Duck.

But, if the viewer is interested in the content, the video can be as long as it needs to be.

I consume most of my online video via links on social media from people I trust. That trust gives me an indication that my time is going to be spent on something valuable.

Otherwise, If I come across a link to a video and click play, the first thing I do is check the total run time.

If it's short, I can make the commitment to give it a shot. The video has got 15 seconds or less to get me engaged.

What are your thoughts?

Do you have examples of people who are doing short form video well?

Leave me some links.


  1. Thanks for the BC Minute shout out!

    I will say in terms of production, it's amazing how *long* 60 seconds is... Beyond our BC Minutes, we find the sweet spot for feature videos (ie. interview based pieces) to be between two and three minutes.

  2. Anonymous10:19 PM

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