YouTube Shorts: 1.5 Billion Monthly Video Viewers, Google Claims

YouTube Shorts – the TikTok-like short video feature launched by YouTube almost two years ago – has become hugely popular. So far, it does not generate direct income. But YouTube touts the shorthand format as allowing creators to attract viewers for other monetizable content.

According to the video giant, YouTube Shorts now has more than 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users. That’s about three-quarters of YouTube’s total global base, which has more than 2 billion monthly logged-in users.

The figure is meant to be a flex showing the reach of YouTube Shorts – especially compared to TikTok, the Chinese-owned app ByteDance responsible for popularizing short videos. In September, TikTok claimed to have surpassed one billion monthly active users, while a recent estimate by researcher eMarketer forecast TikTok’s MAUs at around 755 million for 2022.

According to YouTube, with the launch of Shorts, channels that upload both long-form videos and short films (up to 60 seconds in length) see longer overall watch time and subscriber growth than creators who only upload long videos.

“Although we are only at the beginning of our journey with Shorts, we know that the product will continue to be an integral part of the YouTube experience in the future,” said Neal Mohan, chief product officer of YouTube.

In April, YouTube Shorts averaged 30 billion views per day, four times more than a year ago, according to Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. YouTube has been testing ads in Shorts and is focused on “closing the gap to traditional YouTube ads over time,” chief financial officer Ruth Porat told analysts during the company’s earnings call.

With the rise in the use of YouTube Shorts, YouTube has identified a growing class of “multi-format creators”, who use short and long-form video, live streaming and audio together to maximize their audience.

YouTube cited results seen by two creators adopting the multi-format model. Food and beauty designer Rosanna Pansino (13.4 million subscribers) has seen her views on her main YouTube channel double year-over-year since she began actively posting short films, which now represent more than 20% of its total views. Comedy vlogger Ian Boggs (5.2 million subscribers) has 4 billion lifetime video views on YouTube, and 73% come from his Shorts feed.

According to Tara Walpert Levy, YouTube’s vice president for the Americas, long-form content remains the best way for YouTubers to grow and engage viewers for the long haul. But, she said, YouTube Shorts offers “an exciting new way to be part of a viewer’s journey and introduce yourself and your entire portfolio to new audiences.”

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