MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a single data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution, and rights management company.
It’s officially been a year since YouTube‘s TikTok rival Shorts was rolled out globally.
In July 2021, YouTube expanded Shorts to everywhere that YouTube is currently available.
In a letter sent by YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen to the music industry last week, the exec provided a few updates on the progress of the platform over the past 12 months, noting that “Shorts are exploding on YouTube”.
Cohen cited a couple of Shorts stats shared by YouTube earlier this year. Firstly that the platform is now generating 30 billion views per day and that 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users are consuming Shorts content.
That 30 billion views per day figure, writes Cohen, is up 400% from one year ago.
Cohen also writes that Shorts “are developing careers”:
He added that “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”.
Cohen cites artist success stories on Shorts from the likes of JVKE, Madilyn Bailey, Cooper Alan, and EMELINE, who he says, have grown their subscriber base by 1.4 million, 480,000, 290,000, and 150,000 respectively, “all directly from Shorts”.
He also pointed to the connection between long-form and short-form content on the YouTube platform, noting that Shorts are “redefining the reach of music on YouTube”.
According to YouTube, Shorts containing content sampled from long-form videos on the YouTube platform generated over 100 billion views in April alone.
“In the era of abundance of choice, YouTube Shorts helps fans crowdsource their life’s soundtrack.”
Elsewhere in the letter, Cohen said that “everybody knows that our mission at YouTube is to become the No. 1 contributor of revenue for the music industry by 2025”.
Added Cohen, in the letter sent to the music industry last week: “What you might not know is how important fandom is to us. We want YouTube to be the place for artists to create sticky relationships with their fans and develop long-term careers.
“In the era of abundance of choice, YouTube Shorts helps fans crowdsource their life’s soundtrack. We need to make sure that once they find this soundtrack, they’re aided with prompts to dive deeper into music videos, interviews, livestreams, and more. It’s critical for discovery on Shorts to lead to the consumption of long-form content, and thus more immersive fandom.
“We know the path to artist success has never been more demanding. Artists have different approaches for how they create music, and the always-on, multiplatform strategy isn’t for everyone. That’s why we want to work together to build a platform that helps all artists reach new fans with different content formats.
”The vision is there, and it’s always a work in progress, but the future is bright. We won’t stop until music discovery on YouTube leads to ticket sales, merch sales, and true fandom.”
In a blog post published by YouTube alongside Cohen’s letter to the music industry last week, three senior music industry executives also offered their own comments about the Shorts platform.
“Shorts has quickly become a staple in our roster’s marketing strategies, social presence and album campaigns.”
Kevin Lipson, Republic Records
Kevin Lipson, EVP of Global Commerce and Digital Strategy at Republic Records, said: “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.”
Lipson 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.”
“Shorts has had a significant impact on both our label and management services roster.”
Zack Gershen, Mtheory
Zack Gershen, Partner and Head of Digital Strategy at Mtheory, said: “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.”
Gershen added: “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.”
“We’ve already seen firsthand the way that Shorts has organically driven artist discovery, streaming, and subscriber growth.”
Arjun Pulijal, Capitol Music Group
Capitol Music Group President Arjun Pulijal, said: “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 added: “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.”
Cinq Music Group’s repertoire has won Grammy awards, dozens of Gold and Platinum RIAA certifications, and numerous No.1 chart positions on a variety of Billboard charts. Its repertoire includes heavyweights such as Bad Bunny, Janet Jackson, Daddy Yankee, T.I., Sean Kingston, Anuel, and hundreds more.Music Business Worldwide