YouTube gives insights on ‘Video Playback Speeds’ Usage

Owing to the continually reducing attention spans of today’s audience, they tend to fast-forward everything – TOPS YouTube Videos!

YouTube recently released a report that analyzed how religiously is the playback speed feature being used on the platform.

The company revealed that the vast majority of the time, i.e. more than 85% of the time, people choose to watch videos faster than the default speed.

According to YouTube: 

“YouTube users saved an average of over 900 years of video time per day when watching at faster speeds.”

Ranking these playback speeds, YouTube reports that 1.5x is the most used variation, with 2x ranking next and 1.25x hitting the 3rd position.

“Whether it’s speeding up the latest creator vlog to wrap up while on a commute or slowly following along to a cooking tutorial, every day our viewers are choosing to watch YouTube at the speed that works for them.”

Apart from that, the company also gave insights on the viewing behaviors at different time periods – maximum usage of playback speeds being at night! The spike starts around 11 p.m. of their local time.

1. Starting at 6 am, playback speeds weren’t used as often, but users started to dabble with faster speeds as their day progressed.

2. Slight dip in usage around dinnertime, between 7 pm and 8 pm, before picking up again later in the evening.

3. Users watching videos on 1.5x started spiking between 9 pm and 1 am in their respective time zones.

It is interesting to note that YouTube has even received requests to add 3x, 3.5x and 4x playback speeds.

Other than that, the device on which the video is being played also impacts the intensity at which playback speeds are used.

People usually spend the longest time to watch YouTube at normal speeds on a smart TV, whereas they spend the longest watching videos at 2x speed on


Well, yes! It can be overwhelming to create video content that keeps viewers engaged throughout. We all, at some point, or the other, speed up videos on YouTube.

That’s probably why social media apps all over the internet are putting more emphasis on short form video content.

With lower attention spans and people wanting to consume more and more content in less time, this feature somewhat makes sense.

But other than that, people might be fast forwarding because they do not find your content very interesting and perhaps unnecessarily long.

So, Brands, Influencers and all you Creators, you need to look for innovative ways to manipulate playback speeds to better cater to this new viewer behavior.

Plus, try A/B testing of your content. Ensure that your content is engaging for maximum people around.

Get the complete report here.