How to Get 4,000 Watch Hours on YouTube?

YouTube is a great platform for both advertisers and content creators. But while the platform’s growth has benefited many large companies, it has also drastically disadvantaged novice content creators by implementing strict monetization requirements. Today, your channel needs to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of video watch time in a rolling 12-month period to be monetized. 

If you’re struggling to reach these milestones, don’t worry, this article will share some cool tips for getting 4,000 or even more hours of watch time on your YouTube channel. 

Don’t be scared by the numbers

Four thousand hours of watch time may look like an unachievable number for beginners. But cutting down a large goal into small chunks can make it much easier to achieve. 4,000 hours of watch time is 240,000 minutes. If you divide them up by 12 months, you will get 20,000 minutes of watch time per month. You can achieve this number with one viral or a couple of mediocre videos. 

If you post one 2-minute video per month for a year, you will have to gain 10,000 views on each video to reach your goal; one 5-minute video will need to get 4,000 views; two 5-minute videos will need to receive just 2,000 views. Doing this math makes the goal look more realistic. 

Get more YouTube subscribers

Remember, the second monetization requirement is getting over 1,000 subscribers on your channel. If you are a beginner on YouTube, you will get most of your views from your subscribers, as your videos will not be shown in recommendations a lot.

Post more videos on YouTube

When we were doing our math at the beginning of this article, you probably noticed that the more videos you post, the fewer views each video will need to get. Here’s an extreme but funny example: if you had 240,000 1-minute videos on your channel, you would need only one view on each to reach the 4,000-hour goal. Of course, nobody is going to go overboard like this but it nonetheless shows you that you can easily get your channel monetized with a little creativity. 

Organize your videos into playlists

Playlists don’t just keep your channel organized but they also give you the benefits of the autoplay feature. When a user finishes watching any video from your playlist, the following video will start playing automatically. If the user likes your content or, for example, uses YouTube videos as a background for work or household chores, they will likely end up binge-watching the entire playlist. 

Test out different video lengths

There is no set advice on the ideal length of the videos you create. Some channels might be better off with a lot of short 2-minute videos, others might benefit from posting hour-long videos. It’s best to conduct these experiments on your channel yourself! Post videos of different lengths and observe which ones gain more views. 

Create good metadata

Metadata is a fancy word to describe the video’s title, description, keywords, customized thumbnail, and other features. It is essential to accurately describe your video to ensure that it grabs other users’ attention. And don’t forget to check that your metadata is in line with YouTube’s rules before uploading it.

Share your video on other platforms

To boost the watch time of your video, you can share it on other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Views from all embedded videos will still count towards your watch time.

Grasp the attention

Start your video with something engaging. Try inserting a short five-second intro, an exciting hook, or a catchy phrase in the beginning. But make sure that you don’t duplicate somebody’s content while doing that. 

Use video end cards

End cards offer similar advantages as playlists – they lead the user to other videos on your channel. 

Collaborate with others

In most cases, collaboration can boost the activity on your channel. Find somebody who shares the same interests and is willing to create great content together.

Buy YouTube views

The quickest way to get to your watch time goal on YouTube is to buy views. Just make sure that you’re choosing high or full retention YouTube views that will allow you to get to your watch time goal quickly. 

Frequently asked questions about YouTube watch hours

How does YouTube calculate watch time?

YouTube counts all the views for the last 12 months. For instance, they will count all the views starting from today and going back 365 days.

How many views do you need to get 4,000 watch hours on YouTube?

It depends on the length of your videos. You can look up the average view duration on your channel and then divide 240 000 minutes by this number. The number will show you the approximate amount of views you need to get.