YouTube is focusing more resources into their new YouTube Shorts which is a short-form video platform designed to compete with TikTok. The new platform, YouTube Shorts, now averages more than 30 billion daily views, according to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. Alphabet is the parent company of Google which owns YouTube. And as Shorts viewership grows, the company is testing advertising to Shorts and focused on “closing the gap” with traditional YouTube ads, Porat said.
Between the Pandemic and the war in Ukraine, YouTube advertising revenue is down. So YouTube Shorts is one of their responses. Take a look and you can clearly see the appeal See YouTube Shorts. There are even unofficial YouTube videos showing you How to Resize Videos for YouTube Shorts (Convert Horizontal to Vertical Video). One user wrote “Thanks for the tips about repurposing older content vertically. I started a new art channel and the shorts are getting amazing results. I have found it easier to just shoot the vids specifically with shorts in mind when working with art in iMovie because of the vertical limits…”
You can easily see how this format could be addicting. I think it is a shame our collective attention spans have been reduced to a few seconds. But you have to admit it is a trend. TikTok Videos started as 15-second clips, grew to 60-seconds, and now 3-minute videos are being tested. The bottom line is that these are short videos. Unlike YouTube videos, these play automatically. But like YouTube and every other social media, they encourage endless scrolling. Sometimes it seems a wonder that our brains continue to function!
I wrote in my book Marketing With Digital Video that short videos are better and more effective. When I wrote that I was thinking of videos under 5 or 6 minutes. Ten-minute videos promoting a cause, a product or an idea were simply not as effective as shorter videos. One could argue that 30-minute TV shows (actually only about 20 minutes of screen time minus ten minutes of commercials and credits) disprove the theory that society prefers shorter videos. But this may not apply to younger viewers.
TikTok has been downloaded over 200 million times in the United States alone. It is available in over 150 countries and has over 1 billion users. As Walleroomedia says “If your brand’s target audience includes anyone between the age 13 and 60, you should be on TikTok right now.” Knowing how smart the Google people are, I’d bet YouTube Shorts will be around for a long time.