The abbreviated video-sharing platform competes with Instagram Reels, MX TakaTak and Moj in India. What makes it a viable platform for content creators and brands?
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, revealed during the first quarter earnings call that Shorts – YouTube’s short-form video sharing feature – now averages more than 30 billion daily views, up from 6.5 billion a year ago. On the other hand, Reels accounts for more than 20% of people’s time on Instagram, Meta reported in its first quarter earnings call.
YouTube has been quite aggressive over the past few months to break into the short form content category with Shorts. In 2021, it introduced a $100 million creation fund for Shorts, to try to attract content creators to the platform and also better compete with its rivals. The shorts are attracting attention around the world, with content creators from at least 50 countries already on board. It has also become very popular in India.
Gurpreet Singh, co-founder of One Digital Entertainment (a digital content and creators network), told Afaqs! “Considering the subscriber base, viewership, and content creators of various genres available on the platform, YouTube has been successful in building its short video platform.
According to Kalyan Kumar, co-founder and CEO of Social Catalyzers (a digital content marketing agency), on a DAU (daily active users) basis, more than 24-50 million creators (the equivalent of the entire Indonesian population ) are already using Shorts. This seems to indicate that he has already matched or “equipped” Instagram.
The banning of TikTok in India in June 2020, created a vacuum. Instagram Reels was introduced in the country a month later, in July. In September 2020, a beta version of YouTube Shorts was first introduced in India followed by other countries.
Pranav Agarwal, co-founder of Sociowash (a digital marketing agency), says, “Creators are exploring content across genres, with general interest taking the lead (up to 881,000 shorts), followed by people and blogging, gaming, entertainment, music & dance and food & drink, among the best categories. Following the surge in the content consumption model amid the COVID pandemic, there is great scope for courts footage, as far as creators and brands are concerned.
Influencers and content creators are optimistic
Indian content creators and influencers have tons of apps to choose from, like Instagram (Reels), Moj, Roposo, MX TakaTak, etc. These platforms support creators with creator funds. Moj has announced the “Moj for Creators” program, through which it plans to help increase revenue for creators. The company aims to help creators collectively earn up to Rs 3,500 crore by 2025, by adding new monetizable features to the platform.
YouTube is also working on updating its monetization options to make Shorts a more attractive choice for content creators.
Shahir Muneer, founder and director of Divo (a digital media agency), mentions that Shorts has become an important part of a YouTuber’s content strategy. Shorts and reels have an edge over other platforms because of the extra data and information they provide.
“Shorts is winning, in terms of views and followers, with the platform actively pushing for users to find its content, whether on their home feed or search results. India is a big market for shorts and the platform will only grow here,” adds Muneer.
Reels versus Shorts – is there an overlap?
While many established YouTubers upload both fresh and tailored content from other platforms, many new YouTubers focus on creating fresh content for Shorts. This gave rise to a new category of parallel creators, called “YouTube Shorts Creators”.
YouTube Shorts acts as a catalyst for long format videos. Kumar of Social Catalyzers says YouTube creators are simply starting with the basics by reproducing their previously posted Reels/TikTok videos.
“The first breed of Instagrammers was a bit different from YouTubers. For example, there weren’t many celebrities and influencers on YouTube, because the DNA of the two platforms was different. But now there are has synergies, at least on this feature. It’s not that the shorter content is created just for Shorts. Smaller, crisp “shorts” of larger content are being created. These can be used to market the most important content on his channel,” says Kumar.
Will brands choose shorts over reels?
On whether marketers are using Shorts for branded content, One Digital Entertainment’s Singh says, “Most brands rate these platforms based on the type of content or creator, their audience and purpose. brand.
Senior Google officials on the earnings conference call also said YouTube was working to test ads on Shorts.
Given its binge-able nature and high visibility, YouTube Shorts may appear to be a good option for brands, when it comes to ad placement. Unlike Instagram and Facebook stories, ads won’t disappear after 24 hours.
Divo’s Muneer points out that several brands have already added shorts, either as part of their standalone deliverables or as additional deliverables. However, he believes that brands will only take an active interest in Shorts after considering the market leader in this segment, i.e. Reels.
“Many D2C brands that are high on performance attribution were already betting big on YouTube. Brands will need to think about and work on the nuances of Shorts that enable different YouTube stack features, like getting ‘title, description, tags’ and a bunch of other technologies enabled by Google,” Kumar concludes.