YouTube Shorts or Perhaps the Short of It and the Long of It

Ladies and gentlemen, gather around for a tale of pixels, videos, and the modern-day quest for our collective attention span. You see, once upon a time, in a virtual kingdom not so far away, there lived a platform called YouTube. It was a place where long-form videos ruled supreme, and viewers settled down for epic narrative sessions that were occasionally interrupted by a message from one of our sponsors. But, lo and behold, a disruptor named Shorts appeared on the scene, and things quickly became short and snappy!

Consider this: YouTube, the internet entertainment behemoth, was going about its business when TikTok, the nimble ninja of short videos, decided to enter the fray. The globe was suddenly flooded with bite-sized videos, and YouTube couldn't help but join in. What began as a "me-too" defensive maneuver has now grown into an epic conundrum.

Insider whispers suggest that YouTube's beloved ad revenue from its traditional, long-form videos is now facing an existential crisis thanks to the soaring popularity of Shorts. These micro-videos demand less of our precious time and attention, and that, dear friends, is causing YouTube's coffers to feel a tad light. YouTube appears to have made less money in the last three quarters compared to its glory days. Internal stats suggest to disinterested viewers, while brands are swiping right on Shorts content deals.

So, what is causing this dramatic shift in viewer and advertising loyalty? Shorts are the audiovisual equivalent of snack-sized food. They take little upkeep and almost no time commitment. Creators have even admitted to the Financial Times that Shorts are more relatable to audiences, which, as you might expect, leads to higher engagement.

Plus, they're designed for mobile devices, and let's face it, our smartphones are practically attached to our hands. With Shorts, the following video is just a swipe away, making traditional YouTube videos feel like trying to read a novel in a world of tweets.

When it comes to YouTube content creators, it's not always smooth sailing. The relationship between YouTube and Shorts can be a bit complicated. While they are generous in rewarding creators with a 55% share of ad revenue from traditional videos, the cut offered for Shorts is slightly less appealing at 45%.

However, despite this slight difference, there are still great opportunities to monetize your content on the platform. But here's the exciting part: content creators now have the opportunity to monetize their work through brand deals. This means that advertisers have a say in choosing whether they want to support short and snappy content or go for something more extravagant and luxurious. It's a win-win situation for creators and advertisers, allowing for more creativity and diverse collaboration opportunities.

But wait, there's more! YouTube played a role in this unfolding drama by equipping creators with all the tools they need to make Shorts. Reportedly, less than 10% of creators have even bothered with these tools, despite YouTube's attempts to discourage cross-posting with that infamous TikTok branding. They even tried to push Shorts on platforms where it's about as fitting as a tuxedo at a beach party, like your TV.

YouTube is currently caught in a bind. It understands that it must support Shorts in order to remain relevant, but it also cannot ignore the diminishing revenue from its long-form videos. So, what should a video-sharing site do? They could start monetizing Shorts more aggressively, or they may consider spinning Shorts off into its own app. Whatever road they take, one thing is sure: YouTube's pursuit of your valuable screen time is far from ending, and it's growing shorter by the second!

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