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Optimum play time for a video clip
Searched but didn't really find a post that addresses this.
I'm often being given video clips to play. Almost always, the clips are not professionally done. More likely they are created by one of the church staff using a Sony Bloggie or a Flip camera. I typically advise that the duration should be no longer than 90 seconds. This is more of a "gut and observation" feeling about them than anything else. I've noticed that beyond 90 seconds, the congregation begins getting antsy and it just seems "too long". Attention is lost.
Does anyone here know of a web site or authoritative source I can point folks to for this? I really don't want to sound like a tyrant, but I do feel it's an important aspect to consider. Just today I was presented with one that is about three and a half minutes long. So thought I'd post here to see if anyone has suggestions before I come back with a reminder that the duration should be shortened and here's why.
advTHANKSance for any info. Blessings... Rick
I found this blog post with a little Google-fu: http://www.labnol.org/internet/optim...f-video/18696/
The short (NPI) of it is that the shorter the YouTube clip, the more likely people are to watch it all the way through. Their data suggests that there's a significant falloff in video completion rates for clips longer than 2', after which it plateaus at about 50% until the clip becomes longer than 5'.
With a captive audience, this may change a bit; the video clip is part of why they're sitting there, and so if the video is captivating it will probably hold an audience's attention longer. However, if it's an intro video to a sermon etc, people will very quickly start to wonder when it will end and they'll move on to the REAL message. So, depending on the exact video your estimate of 90" is pretty close; you may be able to stretch certain videos to 2-3 minutes but your audience's attention will start wavering.
Also, this data may be skewed toward longer attention spans because the data does not show that viewers paid attention to the running video, only that they didn't navigate away from the page. This means that one of the primary uses of YouTube - listening to free music - is probably artificially bumping up completions of videos 3 minutes or less (the length of the average song is 3'30") while the person "watching" is just listening to the song, not actually "watching" the video.
For us, the ideal video length is broadly defined by the time absolutely needed to deliver the message, and then sometimes more tightly defined by what the pastor approves.
The shortest we have run is 25 seconds. It did everything it needed to do.
Thanks for the info, folks.
In this particular case, the video is basically an advisory commissioned by the senior minister in a misguided attempt to entice folks to make donations using a new kiosk that's been installed. The video is supposed to show how simple and modern it makes the donation process.
Attendance is down which also means collections are down. So nearly $3,000 was spent on this means of offering a way to donate that is more "up to date". Then another couple of hundred on a Sony Bloggie camera to record the training/advertising video.
Of course I could be wrong and I really hope I am, but methinks it will be a very long time before a ROI is observed.
Producer, Bethel Sarnia - Freelance Operations, CTV
There are many factors that goes into determining what the attention retention rate is on a particular piece of video content. Some researchers have determined that the most important factor is the quality of the writing. If the writing and audio is good people tend to pay attention for longer periods of time even if the visuals are poor. If the writing/audio is poor but the visuals are good people tended to watch for a shorter period of time than the first scenario. To make matters even more difficult the playback medium has a lot to do with the results. Theatrical/auditorium/church audiences watching on a projection screen tended to have the greatest tolerance for sub-par content and TV and web-based distribution has the shortest retention. Radio falls in the middle.
To answer your question, the gold-standard for television broadcast story creation & production is CBS 60 minutes. In a hour show only three stories are offered. Each about twelve minutes. Mind you, that is with the best writers, reporters, videographers and audio people there are.
For scenario as you describe, if the goal is to make the congregants be aware of the new kiosk, that should take no more than :30 to :60 seconds including a compelling tease to have them try it. If the purpose is to train the congregants on the use of the kiosk, that probably cannot be done in :30 to :60 seconds and I would argue that running a “training” video in the middle of a church service (at any length) is probably not a good idea.
New York City by day & Monmouth County, NJ by night
This really hurts organizations that depend on free will offerings, because if you used to make $40/hr full time and now make $4 an hour part time, your not going to be giving as much even if you still tithe....
Out of curiousity, what sort of 'kiosk' has been put in place? Is it a specialized machine, or more like a stand with a debit/credit machine on it? Do you have a picture of it?
Producer, Bethel Sarnia - Freelance Operations, CTV
Good comments, all; but the source/origin of the video sweeps away your strongest argument: "we don't have enough time in our services for more than 90 seconds unless OK'd by the Senior pastor ..... and at least three lay committees and the assistant to the church's plumbing contractor - in person."
It seems to me that if the machine/kiosk is so complicated that it takes training to use it, there's a pretty good chance someone made a bad choice!
= = = =
"Swipe.... Choose "debit or Credit"... Punch in your PIN. Please wait for your receipt" *
= = = =
If your pastor believes in church using marketing concepts: remind him: "features tell, benefits sell."
A key feature of a giving kiosk is that it is fast, a perceived benefit is that one will save time.*
If the video is 5-10 times longer than an actual transaction, the video is going to scare people away from using it!
* My rough draft shooting script:
Establishing shot of someone at a slot machine: 3 seconds
Close up of losing combo on machine: 3 seconds (Maybe a faked slot showing "666" coming into alignment?)
Close up of face in agony. - 2 seconds
Cross-fade to gates of hell (or maybe a shot of a credit counseling service?) 2 seconds
Fade through black: 2 seconds
Location establishing shot of the church giving kiosk, with zoom in: 4 seconds
Close up of card swipe: 1 second
Close up of numbers being punched: 2-3 seconds
Close up of receipt printing out: 2 seconds
Cross fade to gates of heaven swinging open....5 Seonds
About 25-27 seconds
[Alternative: Explanatory Voice Over with shots of people in pews, squirming as woman fishes in purse for checkbook, fishes for pen, first one doesn't work, fishes for pen again, fills out check, screws up, voids check, etc... quick cuts to kids squirming, someone doing her nails, someone pulling out a cross word puzzle, cut to plate passing to man who starts patting his suit coat pocket for his checkbook...
Cut to establishing shot of kiosk, etc.
Finish with shot of family taking leisurely stroll out to the parking lot, one person to another... "We have plenty of time to get home and get started on the afternoon, dear...."