42+ million videos analyzed. 600+ customers surveyed. Get the full report for insights to use in the year ahead.
About our report
We followed video data trends in 2021, and it’s clear the dramatic increases in video creation and consumption caused by the pandemic are here to stay. Brands, and their audiences, have one resounding message: We. Love. Video. Enjoy this report and feel free to use the statistics listed here in any commercial or non-commercial capacity—all we ask is that you link back to this web page as the original source.
We analyzed user data from over 330K Wistia accounts and 42M+ videos uploaded to our platform from 2019-2021. We also surveyed over 600 customers to find out how they’re thinking about and planning their video marketing strategy for this upcoming year.
Total video uploads to Wistia
Average video length
While short-form video is still the most popular, there was a significant rise in long-form content. This likely means that brands are more comfortable with less editing (like in fireside chats and webinars), and that viewers are willing to spend more time with them.
“We’re scaling video production from a few videos completed last year to full-scale video production in 2022”Aaron Treguboff - Marketing Director at Fullbay
How often do you make videos?
Do you plan on creating new types of videos in 2022?
Number of Soapbox videos created
While HD videos (1080p) still accounted for most videos uploaded to Wistia, 4K video uploads shot up by 55%. This is the fastest-growing segment in the past three years. As more people shoot and edit in 4K, businesses are opting to share their highest quality work.
Businesses can customize the Wistia player color to match their brand or their content. However, when it came to sprucing up their player, most marketers—around 77%—chose to stick with the standard Wistia and Soapbox player colors.
New Wistia Channels created in 2021
Accessibility was more of a priority in 2021
Videos aligned with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility criteria
5% of videos uploaded to Wistia use captions
“We all took a step back when Covid pushed everything virtual. Video gives you an opportunity to connect emotionally…”Angela Lombardo - Sales, Marketing Specialist at APEX Analytix
Overall video plays
Video plays are up, up, up! From 2019 to 2021, there was a 77% increase in the amount of annual video plays. Audiences played a lot more videos in Q1, with consumption leveling off throughout the rest of the year.
Even as creation slowed, consumption increased
We clocked 14.6 billion minutes of video watched this year. That’s up from 12.2 billion in 2020, and up 121% from 2019! The two graphs above offer a key takeaway: even though slightly fewer videos were created, demand for video content was at an all-time high.
“Videos last. We want to invest more in video content that will remain relevant 12-18+ months.”Isaac Lawlor - Video Content Producer at Digistorm
Engagement rate by video length
This metric has not changed much over the last three years. Engagement rate stands identical to that of 2019 across video lengths. While there is a very slight decrease from 2020, stability here is a good thing.
Because average engagement rates by video length have been so consistent year after year, you can feel confident relying on these benchmarks to assess video performance (we do!).
- Less than 1 minute
- 50% average engagement
- 1 - 3 minutes
- 48% average engagement
- 3 - 5 minutes
- 49% average engagement
- 5 - 30 minutes
- 38% average engagement
- 30 - 60 minutes
- 25% average engagement
- More than 60 minutes
- 15% average engagement
In this section, you’ll see a few terms that may be new to you. We’ll be comparing Wistia’s three video lead-generation tools: Turnstile, CTAs, and Annotation Links. Turnstile allows you to capture email addresses with custom forms at any point throughout your video. Calls to action (CTAs) make it clear to the viewer what you’d like them to do next with full-screen cards that link to other content. And Annotation Links appear in the corner of the video, providing links to other pages or content without interrupting the viewing experience.
Lead-gen tools by type
Though full-screen CTAs remain the most common Wistia growth tool used by businesses, we noticed an uptick in videos using Annotation Links. This suggests that companies are opting to use video to nurture customers down the funnel in less obtrusive ways.
Placement of Turnstile lead-capture forms
Impacting conversion rate
Videos can and should be a part of your lead-gen strategy. We looked at a number of ways businesses customized Turnstile lead-gen forms last year to see how those changes affected conversion rate.
Turnstile conversion rate by position in video
Placing Turnstile forms mid-video makes sense! This tactic yielded the best conversion rates in 2019 and 2020. However, it was actually the least effective for 2021, which saw conversion rates of Turnstiles at the beginning and end of videos increase significantly.
Default vs. custom copy: Which converts?
Impact of “Skip” on Turnstile conversion rates
Asking for email addresses boosts conversion rates
Wistia integrates with the most popular marketing tools
Email integrations make it easy to increase conversion
Wistia users with integrations enabled
Marketers are getting more sophisticated in how they use video in their marketing efforts. We’re seeing a steady annual increase in the number of brands that integrate Wistia with their existing marketing tech stack to get the most from their videos.