TikTok was the first app to popularize short video content, which led other platforms, including YouTube, to follow the trend of short videos. However, according to data from Financial Times, YouTube’s management is concerned that short videos on YouTube Shorts are overshadowing the success of long-form content that has been generating the main revenue for the company for years. In fact, YouTube’s revenue from advertisements in long-form videos has been facing challenges due to the increasing popularity of YouTube Shorts. The internal metrics show that long-form videos are losing viewer interest and brands are increasingly partnering with YouTube Shorts.
Creators have expressed that YouTube Shorts has better reach and helps the channel to have good engagement. Shorts has also been designed to focus on mobile devices as smartphones have the regular YouTube app, making it more accessible. On the viewer’s side, there has been a shift in viewing behavior with less attention and more interest in short videos.
It is important to note that YouTube Shorts was not designed to compete with regular YouTube content. YouTube divides the revenue from advertisements with creators, giving them 55% of the ad revenue from regular videos and 45% for Shorts. Additionally, creators also receive additional revenue from brand partnerships. Brands have the decision-making power to choose how to promote their content. Moreover, creating long-form videos takes much longer compared to short-form videos.
However, both the viewers and creators are not solely responsible for this situation. YouTube itself also plays a role in this. YouTube provides essential tools for creating short videos to creators, and although reports show that less than 10% of creators use these tools, YouTube acknowledges that there has been a downgrading of content from videos that have crossed platforms from TikTok. YouTube is also trying to make Shorts popular even though it may not be suitable for TV-style viewing.