As YouTube launches new ‘Top Songs on Shorts’ chart, Lyor Cohen says ‘Shorts and music are symbiotic’

YouTube has launched a new ‘Top Songs on Shorts’ music chart.

This is the platform’s first-ever Shorts chart which will include a daily and weekly version to showcase the most popular music on the short-form video platform in real time.

YouTube says that the new chart will highlight Shorts creation trends, and “provide new insights to enable artists to share their success across the platform with their fans globally”.

According to YouTube, as of September 2023, Shorts are averaging 70 billion daily views, up from 50 billion daily views in December 2022, and are being watched by over 2 billion logged-in users every month.

Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at Google and YouTube, told MBW that adding the Top Songs on Shorts charts “is really a natural evolution” for the platform.

He added: “These charts will help showcase the most popular music trending among creators, elevate the music trending on Shorts for the fans and track the transformation of regional Shorts trends into global hits. 

“This addition also reflects the most complete picture of an artist’s total reach and success on YouTube, across all formats.”

Commenting on the significance for artists and their teams of having a publicly available chart illustrating what fans are listening to in real time around the world, Cohen said, “It’s paramount”.

He added:  “One of the best ways to see what’s resonating is by paying attention to the fans in real time; from how they react at shows to how they interact with one another via live chat during a video premiere. Our new Daily Shorts Chart can provide that same effect, tracing the real-time pace of music culture. That is invaluable.”

In addition to global Shorts charts, available effective Monday (November 13), the launch includes region-specific Shorts Charts for 12 markets around the world including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. 

YouTube says that it is “continuously evaluating” new markets.

Alongside the new charts, YouTube has also redesigned its charts website to match “the look and feel of YouTube Music and Premium”. The website also features a carousel that showcases artists’ success on the global charts.

Meanwhile, today’s launch also includes new share cards that anyone can post on their social accounts. “Having this feature at everyone’s fingertips makes it easy for artists and fans to celebrate the success of a song together,” said Cohen. “It’s a cool opportunity.”

YouTube Shorts, a rival to TikTok, became available in the US in 2021 after launching in beta in India in the second half of 2020.

Since the global rollout of Shorts in July 2021, the platform has worked with superstar artists like BTS, BLACKPINK, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo and just last week Dua Lipa, to release new music on Shorts.

Earlier today (November 13), The Beatles joined the platform, making a selection of their music available on YouTube Shorts for the first time including their new song Now And Then.

“Shorts and music are symbiotic,” said Cohen, commenting on the role that music plays in the growth and popularity of the Shorts platform.

“Music supercharges the entertainment value of Short-form videos and short form videos supercharge the growth of artists and songs.”

“The addition of the Shorts charts brings the multi-format nature of YouTube into focus.”

Lyor Cohen, Google and YouTube

Commenting further on the launch of the new charts, Cohen stressed that the addition of the Shorts chart “brings the multi-format nature of YouTube into focus”.

Cohen added: “I said this earlier but I think the opportunity on our platform is clear.  It’s short-form leading to long-form, followed by reconsumption, fandom, and participation. It’s all here, in one place, with options for how and where an artist can tap in.

“I am excited for the broader music community to have that clearer picture. To see how their music consumption really impacts the success of their favorite artists at home and around the world, in real time.”

Last November, on the MBW Podcast, Cohen shared his concern about “short-form video that doesn’t lead anywhere”.

Cohen believes that, if left unchecked, the rise and rise in music consumption on this type of short-form video platform could become one of the music industry’s “biggest crises to date”.

“I called it a sugar high that doesn’t lead to artist discovery or create meaningful artist-to-fan connections, which are critical to breaking new artists and cultivating long-term, lucrative music careers,” Cohen said on Monday (November 13).

“At YouTube, we are curbing the sugar high by offering a nutritious meal and Shorts is where it starts. Fans can discover artists and songs via Shorts, easily create a Short with that song or watch the official music video, then listen to it on repeat as they dive deeper into the artist’s catalog on YouTube Music.”

Music Business Worldwide

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