Why Viewers Rarely Like Your YouTube Videos?

What is the general percentage of users who watch a video and then post their reaction, hit a like or dislike? Why viewers rarely like your videos? Well, there are several answers to these questions, but one of the most prominent one is that people are lazy in their nature :)

YouTube Logo 2018

YouTube Logo


Thankfully, we are not living in a Black Mirror‘s “Nosedive” episode yet, where everything and everyone is judged by their “popularity score” and votes. Or, do we already? I guess it is too late. Oh, well…

Anyhow, even a simple thing like hitting the thumbs up/down buttons can be a considerable effort once you realize an average user watches 3-5 videos per day, and sometimes even more. Also, consider the fact that all modern smart TVs come with YouTube app pre-installed, and liking a video is not usually someone comfortably does with their tiny remote! Normally, you can’t expect from anyone to be constantly bothered with such a “trivial” and “irrelevant” thing like voting. Of course, we are discussing extreme cases here, but there are many other reasons why someone will/won’t or should/shouldn’t like/dislike some video:

  1. Voting (at least in case of YouTube) is (usually) private, but in some websites (like Facebook) is public. Some users do not wish to publicly reveal their particular opinion about certain content, author or topic.
  2. Viewer can feel indifferent about particular content or topic, thus not posting any like/dislike reactions.
  3. Viewer, in case of high participation / watching activity, can become fatigued by a repetitive nature of voting task, so it may simply stop doing it, saving the effort only for the really great videos (extremely exciting, exceptionally useful, original, funny…).
  4. Some users never vote, as a result of personal beliefs and principles. No matter what, you can’t make them vote. Period.
  5. While it may sound far fetched, some users are not actually aware of the possibility or option to like/dislike something (post, picture, video…). While this may generally be a “generation” phenomena, there is no line between ages and users, like some physical set-in-the-stone border line.
  6. By hitting a like button, you might affect the recommendation bot (today powered by AI – Artificial Intelligence and mathematical models of neural networks). Some users are aware of this and probably for this reason don’t vote (or downvote). But, majority of viewers do not think about this… yet.
  7. Any other reasons? Please post yours in the comments section below :)

There are some interesting questions as a result of above. For instance, imagine if all users who ever watched your video(s) left a vote, would your video’s  like/dislike ratio increase or decrease? Well, as there is not enough data to scientifically answer this question in any meaningful way, one can only project the desirable answer. But, for all practical purposes, you should assume that it would remain exactly the same (as already is).


To accurately answer this question on a global level, as an absolute average to all the currently published videos and their cumulative votes (total likes+dislikes), you would have to be a CEO of YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, DailyMotion or any other social network video service itself. But, we can still post you some stats from our channel and videos – why not?

YouTube Like-Dislike Dilemma Comic

YouTube Like-Dislike Dilemma Comic

Tech / Hobby oriented channel

N Total Views (in thousands) Total Votes (likes+dislikes) Voters : Viewers Ratio [%]
1 330k 440 1.33%
2 215k 470 2.18%
3 115k 88 0.77%

As we can see from above data, roughly less than 2% of viewers are likely to engage in the voting process. While, the data is very limited and used for illustration purposes only, you can still safely bet on any uknown or unseen video that votes will be less than 5% from the total viewership.

In general, popular culture videos (important sport events, finals, funny clips, songs / music spots, movies) have higher reaction ratio (usually from 2% to 10%, with an average around 5-6%), while technical, scientific and educational videos have far less reaction percentage.

Of course, there are many, many factors which are hard to count into any exact and meaningful mathematical formula, but you can just for fun observe views/votes ratios for some videos you’ll watch next and see how close or far from this conclusion particular videos are.


Comments and subscriptions are definitely more engaging than simple up/down votes. And, just as reaction engagement, they are highly dependent on the content itself. For example, is the video controversial? Provocative? Unique in any particular way? Original? Brilliant? Exceptional? And so on…

For reasons above, it is impossible to draw clear conclusions about why some videos receive way too many comments, and others are like none-existent, left alone and forgotten. It’s definitely interesting story, but it will have to wait for another time, and another blog post.


We posted above few observations from selected channels and categories only, but that doesn’t give us the full picture. If you are into big data and visualizations, you should definitely check this page here. If you don’t speak code, just scroll down and check charts and commentary (observations). We find numbers really interesting :)



    1 Comment

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  2. 1. elektropumch

    Other reasons? People are lazy and selfish

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