One year ago, we introduced YouTube Shorts in the Middle East & North Africa to further our mission to give everyone a voice and help creators and artists grow their audiences with short-form video. The launch of Shorts is helping empower the next generation of mobile-first creators and artists. And while we’re still at the beginning of our journey, Shorts are globally generating 30 billion views per day with 1.5B logged-in users consuming them every month.
As we continue to build this experience with creators, artists and their communities in MENA and across the world, we want to share insights on what we’ve learned so far and spotlight some creators and artists who are using Shorts in new ways to build their reach and revenue on the platform.
Allowing creators and artists to express themselves through short-form video When we introduced Shorts, we knew that we were bringing an important new format to YouTube. Since then, we’ve been hard at work innovating the product so creators and artists can make the most of YouTube across all video lengths and formats. Here are three key learnings we’ve had so far that will drive product evolution moving forward:
Creation is king
Creators and artists need best-in-class creation tools to easily make mobile content on the fly and connect with their communities in real time. Audio and video remixing tools like Cut and Green Screen help YouTube creators and artists put their own spin on the content they love from the world’s largest video library. This tool is yielding real results. In fact, in April 2022, Shorts containing content sampled from long-form videos generated over 100 billion views. Creation continues to be a big priority for Shorts, and we look forward to refining these tools and adding new features and effects so Shorts look more polished, fresh and fun. Discovery of Shorts should surprise and delight. We built Shorts to help inspire, entertain and amuse our community of viewers, creators and artists. As the product continues to grow, we’ll aim to find new and creative ways that the community can uncover the content they seek from creators they love and surprise them with Shorts they didn’t even know they were missing.
Looking forward, we’re focused on improving our recommendation algorithm and will introduce new ways to connect with trends and the broader Shorts community on the platform. Monetization is key to creator and artist enthusiasm and success. YouTube is a platform where creators and artists in MENA can monetize in 6 different ways to build successful businesses. Shorts is a new way to watch and create on YouTube, so we’re taking a fresh look at what it means to monetize and reward creators for their content. As a first step, we launched the global $100M YouTube Shorts Fund. The fund has already paid thousands of creators and artists — and over 40% of creators and artists who got a check from the fund last year weren’t in the YouTube Partner Program. We’re actively testing ads formats for Shorts, and are working on our long-term plan for creator monetization - we'll have more to share soon.
Community is core to a creator’s experience
Providing a helpful and supportive environment for creators and artists is an essential part of the YouTube experience. Our newly launched YouTube Shorts Creator Community helps educate, uplift and amplify Shorts creators around the world. Helping provide opportunities to expand creator connections and guide creators on Shorts, the Community helps drive a creator’s growth, engagement, happiness and success.
Keeping YouTube Analytics up to date with new formats
Data and insights from YouTube Analytics helps creators and artists craft the content strategy that works best for them. Building on the experience creators know and love, this spring we rolled out a new design which allows creators to see insights and performance data for specific content across our different video formats: VOD, Live and Shorts. This allows creators to individualize and optimize their content strategies more effectively to make the most of the platform for both reach and revenue opportunities.
Making a product with artists and music in mind
The path to artist success has never been more demanding, so we’re designing products like Shorts to make YouTube THE place for artists to connect with their fans and grow long-term, sustainable music careers. It’s critical for discovery on Shorts to lead to the consumption of long-form content, and thus more immersive fandom. While it’s only been a year since we launched, momentum is growing. We’re seeing Shorts redefine the reach of music on YouTube, and Shorts are helping to develop artists' careers. Artist and creator channels uploading both Shorts and long-form are seeing better overall watch time and subscriber growth relative to those only uploading long form. We see this as a unique differentiator and opportunity as the only platform where artists and creators can create content strategies that are right for them across various video formats while building community and ultimately earning money from multiple revenue streams.
Meet some of the creators and artists in the MENA region who are making a splash with Shorts and becoming multiformat mavens.
Azza Zarour (UAE) Azza is a passionate YouTuber, who used Shorts to continue sharing her stories with her community after having a baby. Despite having less long-form videos, Shorts allowed Azza to grow her subscribers by 43%. Azza says: “YouTube Shorts really gave me a new avenue of content and helped me grow my channel.”
Fatoom Dabaneh (Jordan) K-pop is growing in popularity across the region and K-Pop fanatic Fatima or as her audience call her Fatoom, was able to find her niche by recreating her favorite elements of K-pop culture and sharing it with her community. Fatoom was even featured in BTS & YouTube’s permission to dance challenge . Fatima notes “YouTube Shorts helped me grow my channel faster and reach my favorite band BTS by spreading the videos widely in the world, thank you YouTube Shorts for this wonderful opportunity to realize one of my dreams to succeed in this field".
Shorts has had a wonderful first year in MENA, and we can’t wait to see what the community will do with the product in the year ahead!