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Lyor Cohen posts some YouTube Shorts stat brags

By | Published on Friday 31 March 2023


YouTube music boss Lyor Cohen posted an update yesterday on all things YouTube Shorts.

That being, of course, the Google-owned service’s TikTok rival that ensures old-timers like me are now up to speed on all the latest TikTok trends and gimmicks, because those videos usually make their way over to YouTube’s super short-form feed pretty quickly, as TikTokkers push their TikToks to rival platforms.

Though, of course, YouTube Shorts is no TikTok clone full of TikTok content from TikTokkers who want to get their TikToks into the brains of people yet to embrace actual TikTok.

I mean it is. But it’s so much more. It’s a place where music-makers across the world can expand their reach, their audience and their fan engagement by making and inspiring great content. Or at least that’s what Cohen reckons.

“In January 2023, fan-created Shorts increased the average artist’s audience of unique viewers by more than 80%”, Cohen declares in his blog post. “This means fans on Shorts are nearly doubling an artist’s total reach, so artists can spend more time doing what they do best: making great music”.

“And not only are fans on Shorts growing an artist’s total reach by soundtracking their hobbies, day-to-day adventures, and more”, he goes on. “They are also becoming new fans by engaging with Shorts created by artists. Artists who upload Shorts are seeing outsized returns. In January 2023, artists active on Shorts saw more than 50% of their new channel subscribers coming directly from their Shorts posts on average”.

Keen to distinguish the TikTok-esque Shorts from TikTok itself, Cohen then reminds everyone that by being part of the wider YouTube platform, Shorts drives new-found fans to other content and experiences, and revenue generating opportunities for artists and their business partners.

“While Shorts’ growth has been a wow – generating 50 billion daily views as of December 2022 – I will continue saying again and again”, he declares, “that Shorts are the appetiser to the entrée. They are the entry point, leading fans to discover the depth of an artist’s catalogue, including music videos, interviews, live performances, lyric videos, and more”.

With the ongoing growth of Shorts, YouTube is also changing the way it reports streams on the platform. “As of this month”, Cohen explains, “Analytics For Artists’ total reach metrics from YouTube include fan-uploaded Shorts – in addition to official content uploaded by the artist and long-form videos uploaded by fans”.

“This new metric shows how many people your music is reaching across all formats”, he adds, “making it the most comprehensive snapshot of the size of an artist’s audience on YouTube. We also created a brand new Songs section in Analytics to help artists see how fans are listening to their music or creating with it, across all video formats, all in one place”.

Lovely stuff. “Only on YouTube can fans crank up the volume across every format including long form videos, livestreams, Shorts, and more”, he concludes, “let’s make it the best place for every single music fan together”.