Shorts are redefining the artist journey on YouTube
Jul 07, 2022 – minute read
Jul 07, 2022 – minute read
From day one, our goal has been to build Shorts with music in mind—a format that deepens the connection between artists and their fans and enhances the full music experience on YouTube.
Official artist channels uploading both Shorts and long-form video are seeing better overall watch time and subscriber growth relative to those only uploading long-form.”
One year after the global launch of Shorts, YouTube has now become a place where music and long-form videos thrive together with short-form content. While we still have work to do-and will continue to optimize Shorts for ALL artists—we want to celebrate our progress thus far and showcase how Shorts are reaching more people now than ever before.
Shorts are exploding on YouTube: Shorts are generating 30 billion views per day, up 400% from 1 year ago, with 1.5 BILLION monthly logged in users consuming Shorts.
Shorts are developing careers: Official artist channels uploading both Shorts and long-form video are seeing better overall watch time and subscriber growth relative to those only uploading long-form.
Shorts are redefining the reach of music on YouTube: In April of this year, Shorts containing content sampled from long-form videos generated over 100 billion views. Music on YouTube reaches users through official music videos, our music streaming app, user-generated content, livestreams, live performances, lyric videos, community posts and more. But now, we have all of those PLUS Shorts.
We’re passionate about working with artists at every phase of their career and helping them build their global fan bases from the very start. Emerging artists like JVKE and EMELINE and global superstars like BTS, The Weeknd, Post Malone and Halsey are proving that Shorts can build REAL connections with fans around the world.
With a mixture of DIY performances, collaborations and intimate Shorts showcasing his creative process and personal life, rising star JVKE has added 1.4 million subscribers to his official Artist channel thanks to Shorts since January. On his experience using Shorts, JVKE said:
“I have looked up to musicians on YouTube since I was 13, and the moment I reached the 1 million+ subscriber milestone on my own channel was a moment I'll never forget. Having the ability to combine short-form content on YouTube Shorts with long-form video has been a game changer for me and has helped me reach so many new fans with my music. I wouldn’t be experiencing this level of success without YouTube Shorts, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Emerging singer-songwriter EMELINE has used Shorts to grow her subscriber base by 150,000. She has also seen a 90% increase in long-form video views since she started posting Shorts on YouTube. On her experience using Shorts, EMELINE said:
“As an artist in 2022, the importance of short-form content is incredibly clear. Using YouTube Shorts regularly helped my song ‘Cinderella’s Dead’ take on a brand new life of its own and reach people around the world I might not have reached otherwise. Being able to engage with new fans so directly on the Community tab and keep them up to date on new music I’m working on with both short- and long-form videos in real time has been so cool. It’s truly inspiring for me to see how my music has connected this way and in such a short amount of time.”
Shorts have also played an important role for global superstars like BTS, The Weeknd, Post Malone, Halsey and more during critical music moments, from releasing albums and dropping new music, to premiering music videos, and even on tour. To launch Shorts globally, we partnered with BTS for the incredible “Permission to Dance challenge,” and just a year later, we are working with them again on the #MyBTStory campaign, celebrating their brand new anthology album, Proof. In a letter from BTS to the ARMY asking them to share their #MyBTStory memories exclusively on Shorts, they wrote:
“From our first concert to the world's biggest stages, to video premieres and album releases, you have been there for us and we want to relive these unforgettable BTS moments with you.”
I think short-form video could help crowdsource and make it easier for kids to find the soundtrack of their youth, but then you have to be prompted, and it has to lead you [to long-form content]...” Lyor Cohen Bloomberg Interview
Our Global Head of Music, Lyor Cohen, recently spoke with Bloomberg about why Shorts have become so critical for artist development. Lyor also echoed that sentiment in his latest letter to the music industry.
As we further develop and build Shorts with music in mind, we’ll continue to work closely with all of our partners across the business to ensure that YouTube is THE PLACE for their artists to build long-term, sustainable careers. We know how important these relationships are to our continued success. As Kevin Lipson, EVP of Global Commerce and Digital Strategy at Republic Records, shared:
"Shorts has quickly become a staple in our roster’s marketing strategies, social presence and album campaigns. It allows both developing artists and global superstars to tap into their fan bases and future channel subscribers." Kevin added, "The consistent flow of unique short-form video content is driving increased consumption throughout YouTube’s entire ecosystem—most importantly taking fans through a journey of storytelling, from the first studio session to the video shoot and then world tour. Shorts is our guide into the artist’s vision that will shape pop culture."
Zack Gershen, Partner and Head of Digital Strategy at Mtheory, offered similar sentiments, noting:
"Shorts has had a significant impact on both our label and management services roster. And that's been across a wide cross-section of genres and artists, regardless of where they are on the development spectrum." As Zack explained, "There is of course the engagement on the short-form content itself, which we've all seen explode across the entire industry and social ecosystem, but equally encouraging is how it has reinvigorated artist channels on YouTube. That's been evident across several data points—percentage increase in long-form video views, long-form video reach growth, and net subscriber gains. This all makes Shorts another incredible way to engage with audiences and another key tool within a growing suite of tools that YouTube has developed."
And Capitol Music Group President Arjun Pulijal also echoed these sentiments, saying:
“We’ve already seen firsthand the way that Shorts has organically driven artist discovery, streaming, and subscriber growth. We’re always looking for ways to bring the conversation back to the artist, and I’m excited by the opportunities for world building and connectivity that can go beyond a snippet of audio." He then concluded, "Unique Shorts content that lives in the same ecosystem as an artist's long-form videos lends itself to a more holistic and immersive experience for artists and fans alike.”
The momentum is real and the time is now for the music industry to join the FUN on YouTube Shorts!