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 Music Group Fivea technology-driven record label, distribution and rights management company.
It’s officially been a year since YouTube’s TikTok rival Shorts rolled out globally.
After an initial beta launch in September 2020 in India and a US rollout in March 2021, the platform expanded to Latin America, Canada and the UK in June 2021.
In July 2021, YouTube extended Shorts to all places where YouTube is currently available.
In a letter sent by YouTube’s global head of music, Lyor Cohen, to the music industry last week, the executive provided some updates on the platform’s progress over the past 12 months, noting that “short films are exploding on YouTube”.
That 30 billion views per day figure, Cohen writes, is on the rise 400% from a year ago.
Cohen also writes that Shorts “develops careers”:
He added that “official artist channels uploading both short and long videos see better overall watch time and subscriber growth compared to those uploading only long videos.”
Cohen cites success stories of artists on Shorts like JVKE, Madilyn Bailey, Cooper Alan, and EMELINE, who he says grew their subscriber base by 1.4 million, 480,000, 290,000, and 150,000 respectively. “all straight from Shorts”.
He also highlighted the connection between long-form and short-form content on the YouTube platform, noting that shorts are “redefining the scope of music on YouTube”.
According to YouTube, short films containing content sampled from long-form videos on the YouTube platform generated more than 100 billion seen in April only.
“In an age of abundant choice, YouTube Shorts helps fans outsource the soundtrack to their lives.”
Elsewhere in the letter, Cohen said “everyone knows our mission at YouTube is to become the number one revenue earner for the music industry by 2025.”
In June last year, Cohen claimed that YouTube Music was “the fastest growing subscription service”.
Cohen added, 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 where artists can build strong relationships with their fans and develop long-term careers.
“In an age of plenty of choice, YouTube Shorts is helping fans outsource the soundtrack to their lives. We need to make sure that once they find that soundtrack, they’re helped by prompts to dive deeper into music videos, interviews, live streams, etc. It’s essential that discovery on Shorts leads to consumption of long-form content, and therefore a more immersive fandom.
“We know that the path to success for artists has never been more demanding. Artists have different approaches to creating music, and the always-on cross-platform 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 still a work in progress, but the future is bright. We won’t stop until the discovery of music on YouTube leads to ticket sales, merchandise sales, and genuine 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 on the Shorts platform.
“The shorts have quickly become a staple of marketing strategies, social presence, and album campaigns on our roster.”
Kevin Lipson, Republic Records
Kevin Lipson, Executive Vice President of Global Business and Digital Strategy at Republic Records, said, “Shorts have quickly become a staple of our roster’s marketing strategies, social presence, and album campaigns.
“It allows both developing artists and global superstars to tap into their fanbases and future channel subscribers.”
Lipson added, “The constant flow of unique short video content is driving increased consumption across YouTube’s ecosystem, which is most important in taking fans on a journey of storytelling, from the first studio session to the video shoot, then to the world tour. Shorts is our guide in the vision of the artist who will shape pop culture.
“The shorts had a significant impact on both our label and management roster.”
Zack Gershen, Mtheory
Zack Gershen, Partner and Head of Digital Strategy at Mtheory, said: “Shorts have had a significant impact on both our label slate and management services. And that’s for a wide range of genres and artists, no matter where they are on the development spectrum.
Gershen added, “There’s of course the engagement on shorthand content itself, which we’ve all seen explode across the industry and social ecosystem, but equally encouraging is how it reinvigorated artist channels on YouTube.
“This was evident across multiple data points – percentage increase in long video views, growth in long video reach, and net subscriber gains. All of this makes Shorts another amazing way to engage with audiences. and another key tool within a growing suite of tools developed by YouTube.”
“We’ve already seen with our own eyes how Shorts has organically driven artist discovery, streaming and subscriber growth.”
Arjun Pulijal, Capitol Music Group
Capitol Music Group President Arjun Pulijal said, “We have already seen firsthand how 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 for the opportunities for world-building and connectivity that can go beyond an audio snippet.”
He added, “Unique short film 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.”
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