Viewer curiosity = 10Xing your videos

July 9, 2021

You probably can’t pronounce their name, but Kurzgesagt just dropped a video with 25 MILLION views.

They’re a bit of a smarty pants channel using animation, graphic design and voice over to gain 17,000 subs and 2M+ views a day.

Breaking down complex topics into simple to understand educational videos is their bread and butter, and it’s earnt them a whopping 15M+ subscribers..

And when I talk about complex topics, I’m not kidding! We’re talking…

Explaining Black Holes…

Unpacking European Democracy…

To discovering Aliens… Oh yes, and that is our video breakdown for today!

First, get your audience interested in your message

Kurzgesagt are masters of storytelling, so it’s only fitting they would answer the big question “Do Aliens exist?” in their own unique way. 

The first thirty seconds we are shown a mind bending amount of numbers to set the scene of how big the Cosmos really is. While the universe is huge, it’s also filled with a huge amount of planets.

Kurzgesagt piques our curiosity with scientific facts: mind bending numbers about the size of the known universe (100,000,000,000 Galaxies, each with 100,000,000,000 stars).

 Because of the size of the universe, we can’t rule out Aliens existing!

They then ask the question we’re all thinking. “If there are so many planets in the universe, shouldn’t there be Aliens everywhere?”  This is all accompanied with clever animation and scene transitions that compliment the script.

Remember our core editing principle #4 AUDIO? These guys nail it at 00:42 with the sound of an Alien’s giant ears flapping! This combined with the curious and playful music track all keeps us hooked.

  1. Educate on the basics before getting complex

Around the one minute mark we’re introduced to the problem. Us humans & our clunky technology has limitations, wouldn’t you know! Our spaceships can only travel so far, and the same goes for our telescopes! 

We’re also shown the rules of our known universe:

  • It’s always expanding
  • It’s so vast that our spaceships can’t reach 99.9% of it
  • The Milky way is our home galaxy which contains 400B stars
  • The Milky way has 20B+ Sun-like stars
  • ⅕ of these have earth-like planets in their habitable zones
  • If only 0.1% of those harboured life, there would be 1 million planets with life in the milky way

These form the scientific basis so that we can understand the more complex ideas to come.

Around the 2:00 mark we’re asked:

  • what would a single advanced Alien civilization look like? 
  • And if one existed, wouldn’t we have noticed them by now?

This time, we’re rewarded for watching with an answer. There are three different categories for Alien civilizations… 

(If that doesn’t make you want to watch this video, I don’t know what will!)

  1. Set the stage for definitions and concepts Once we know enough, then explain the complex topic

The second half of the video shifts the focus to what us humans are capable of to prepare us for “The Fermi Paradox”.


K Asks the questions we’re all thinking:

  • If advanced alien civilizations are so smart, why should we be able to see them in the first place?
  • How long would it even take humans to colonize our galaxy so we can see them? (It’s 2 million years btw)

K also throws back to the known universe rules: 

  • IF the milky way takes millions of years to colonize
  • AND there's millions of planets to colonize
  • AND Aliens have had much more time to do that already

Then where are all the freaking Aliens?!?!

Once we reach the point of no return, our video topic is finally introduced.

The interesting thing is, the complex video topic “The Fermi Paradox” is not introduced until over half way through the entire video! (3m:28s out of a 6-minute video to be exact!)

Why would they wait that long? Well, they haven’t been waiting. 

We have been learning about the basics, before diving straight into the more difficult to understand subject matter.

And again, it's curiosity that keeps us watching. Curiosity directly relates to audience retention. 

Keeping us hooked right up until the halfway point means that your video will have well over 50% retention rate (Meaning viewers watched over 50% of your video)

If they had just dropped a “definition of the Fermi Paradox '' upfront, your eyes would probably glaze over. I mean, that’s.... 5 syllables. COME ON GUYS IT'S 2021.

YouTube loves this.

K is implementing a genius strategy to keep viewers hooked for longer and your video will perform much better for it.

YouTube loves this.

Leave "comment generating" material for your audience

The video ends on a very different note. Another question. What if Aliens DO NOT exist? Is that a little terrifying that we might be all alone in such a big cosmos?

The implication of that is that... all the aliens died.. Through some unknown event that typically befalls most civilizations, and therefore must be in OUR FUTURE!

Doesn’t that mean that we should try to save our planet? Because if we don’t, there might not be any life left in the universe?

If you're doing comment material right, your comment section will look something like this:

Just remember that you can’t explain a complex topic without first laying the groundwork.

You must educate your audience enough at the beginning, so they will understand enough to stay until the end.

The most amazing part about this video? They did all that in just 5 minutes!

When you break it down we spent:

  • 1-minute becoming interested
  • 2-minutes learning the foundational knowledge required
  • 2-minutes learning about the complex topic
  • 1-minute being prompted to discuss & take action

Kurzgesagt has publicly stated their videos each take 1200 hours to make! That’s from concept to uploading the final result.

Creating great content takes time, but the most important part is knowing the best way to deliver your message.

Until next time,

The Dragonfruit Media team

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