Are YouTube Shorts Cannibalizing Long Form Content? — Yeah, Here’s Proof

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YouTube Shorts cannibalizing

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Photo Credit: KAL VISUALS

YouTube Shorts have amassed billions of views since 2021, but some staff are worried the platform is losing focus. Here’s the latest.

According to a new report from the Financial Times citing senior staff, many are worried that Shorts are cannibalizing its core business. YouTube Shorts draw away views from traditional long-form video content on the platform, according to the same staff. Some strategy meetings at the platform have discussed risks to long-form videos as they produce more revenue for the company than short-form video currently does.

TikTok has driven nearly every single competing social media platform to experiment with short-form video in some format. Instagram introduced Reels after beta testing the concept as a separate app in regions like Brazil in 2019 and 2020. The format has exploded among young people, especially since the pandemic. Gen Z is attracted to short-form videos which require less attention and are often offered up in a feed driven by a discovery algorithm that requires only minimal interaction to ‘train.’

YouTube has reported its first quarterly decline in ad revenue, with some senior staff expressing concern over internal company figures. Those figures suggest creators are not making as much long-form content anymore, which is partially driven by consumers no longer wanting to watch lengthy videos. Brands also would rather form a sponsorship deal that encompasses multiple short-form video blasts than an easily skippable segment of a longer video.

“Longer videos mean more opportunities to serve advertising and have a higher click-through rate on adverts to e-commerce sites, according to people familiar with YouTube’s business,” the Financial Times writes.

YouTube Shorts is offering new editing tools to try and attract creators to its platform. YouTube is enlisting the help of Google’s AI division, DeepMind, to design artificial intelligence solutions like faster video compression before a user posts a video to the platform.

Around 10% of creators currently use YouTube’s short-form video editing tools compared to other platforms like TikTok. Both YouTube and Instagram downrank videos on their respective platforms that feature the TikTok watermark.