The rise of YouTube Shorts
The first big YouTube trend for 2023 is the rise of YouTube Shorts. In August, the leading research institute Pew Research published a study on the social media use of US teenagers. The survey received a lot of media attention with the decline in Facebook use (still only 32%) and the popularity of TikTok (67% usage) being particularly highlighted. But the real outlier was not TikTok, it was YouTube. 95% of all teenagers use the platform. By far the most of any platform.
One of the commonly used features by teenagers and other users are Shorts. The short vertical videos of up to 60 seconds that have their own prominent place on the platform. Since its introduction last year, the usage of Shorts has increased significantly. More than 1.5 billion YouTube users watch Shorts every month. That’s 75% (!) of all users of the platform. And YouTube continues to develop and further integrate Shorts into the app. For example, users can easily post clips from longer videos as Shorts. Next to this, Google is going to monetise Shorts videos, like the longer regular videos, through ads. For creators, this is an important incentive to focus more on Shorts.
For brands and publishers, it is also worth giving Shorts a place in their YouTube strategy, as they are lagging behind individual creators. At this moment, 95% of all short-form views are realised by creators. There is therefore plenty of room for brands and publishers to take advantage of Shorts and generate views.
Does the younger generation only watch short videos of up to one minute these days? Definitely not. This interesting analysis by YouTube’s Culture and Trends Insights team shows to what extent Gen Z watches long-form videos on YouTube. For instance, the majority of young people search for in-depth content about favourite TV shows and series on YouTube. In addition, watching Shorts and TikTok reinforces watching longer videos. The survey shows that 59% of Gen Z watch longer versions of videos they discover on short video apps.
But it’s not only teenagers who watch Shorts. They are popular among all age groups. If we look at the demographic distribution of viewers of Dutch-language Shorts over the past year, we find that Shorts are most watched by the age group 25-34. It also shows that slightly more men than women (60% to 40%) watch Shorts.
The growing popularity of YouTube on Connected TV
What continues to grow is the use of YouTube on the big TV screen in the Dutch living room and bedroom. With the emergence of Connected TV, YouTube videos are increasingly common on TV. More than 5 million Dutch people stream YouTube on their TV screens today, and logged-in users watch an average of 2 hours a day of YouTube on their Connected TV. More than half of the viewers watch content longer than 20 minutes.
An analysis of our customer data (the dataset includes dozens of channels with more than two billion views) shows that a quarter (24.9%) of YouTube views in 2022 are now generated on TV screens. Only mobile phones are a more popular device (54% of all views). Due to this huge reach on TV, especially with rising GRP prices, YouTube is increasingly becoming a full alternative to TV ad campaigns.
Increasing possibilities for video commerce
Another trend we highlighted early this year was Video Commerce: YouTube aims to narrow the gap between discovery and purchase with the integration of video and shoppable content. In the past year, they have taken some big steps to make this happen, including:
Integration with Shopify: In July, YouTube announced a partnership with the e-commerce giant Shopify. This allows channels to easily integrate their product offerings with their videos, making it easy for creators and brands to showcase their products on YouTube. The partnership allows qualifying channels to showcase their merchandise and products directly within YouTube, to YouTube’s billions of users in multiple locations. In this article about YouTube shopping, we explain exactly how this works.
Streaming services will soon be able to sell subscriptions via YouTube, The Wall Street Journal recently reported. The idea is that through new YouTube channel stores, consumers can watch trailers of shows or films for free on YouTube and then easily pay to subscribe to the service. This way, streaming services will not only be able to reach viewers in mass but also convert at the same time on the same platform.
Online courses could soon be sold directly through YouTube. This is something that YouTube announced recently. From next year, qualified channels can start to offer free or paid courses. Viewers who choose to buy a course will be able to watch the video ad-free and play it in the background. Courses will come in beta in the US and South Korea first, before expanding to more countries. 93% of all YouTube viewers use the platform to look up information. Previously, creators and brands could use YouTube to give them the information they need but had to convert them through another platform. That will soon no longer be necessary.
Huge opportunities for brands
YouTube offers huge opportunities to reach your target audience on a large scale, inspire them and grow your brand. The above trends only increase the opportunities even more. As a marketer, what are you waiting for?
In our brand new white paper ‘YouTube for Advertisers’ amongs other things, we’ll dissect some of the biggest advertising trends for 2023. Download your white paper here.
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