What is YouTube Shorts?
Shorts is the YouTube equivalent of TikTok — a platform that lets creators upload short, shareable videos for the world to see.
YouTube rolled out the beta version of Shorts in India, back in 2020. The platform quickly gained momentum with fans: the number of Shorts creators in India has tripled since December 2020 alone. Now that Shorts is live in the US, the platform looks set to shake up the world of social media.
Shorts is a way for people to connect with a new audience using their smartphone and the Shorts camera via the YouTube app. Videos can be up to 60 seconds long. Users can then choose to spice up their clips by accelerating or slowing down their recordings, add captions, or add sound. YouTube has claimed that Shorts will allow creators to use audio from videos across its platform, which YouTube says “includes billions of videos worldwide”.
Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Publishing, Warner Music Group and Warner Chappell Music, Believe, Merlin, 300 Entertainment, and Kobalt are just some of the label and publishing partners already involved.
Why YouTube Shorts matters to musicians
As an independent artist, why does this matter to me? It’s just a video platform, right? Wrong. Users can also add music to their videos from millions of songs in the Shorts library, including any song distributed to YouTube Music through iMusician.
This is huge. With 2 billion viewers visiting YouTube every month, this is an opportunity not to be missed. The advantages of making your music available on Shorts are endless: you will expand the reach of your music, grow your fanbase, access the huge Shorts audience, and more. As Shorts continues to develop, the option to monetize Shorts clips may also come in the future.
How social media is shaping the music industry
Social media is changing the rules of how the music industry works. Short-form video platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts are catapulting artists into the charts, thanks to viral videos. If your music gets featured in one of these breakthrough videos, it could change your career, forever.
Music is a key element in sharable short videos. Remember “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X? That track blew up all thanks to TikTok. That song went on to become the longest-running No. 1 on the Hot 100 — earning Lil Nas X two Grammy Awards along the way.
These social platforms also operate differently from popular streaming sites: a song’s popularity isn’t based on how many times it has been streamed, but rather how many people have used it in their videos. Great news for smaller, independent artists looking for exposure. Platforms like Shorts offer a global stage for DIY musicians to be discovered. With the right song, at the right time, anything could happen.
Get my music on YouTube Shorts
If you currently distribute your music to YouTube via iMusician, your music is already available on YouTube Shorts. If you’re not distributing to YouTube yet – what are you waiting for? iMusician can distribute your music to YouTube easily, just choose the pricing plan that suits you.
If you started your release with iMusician on our Starter Plan and did not select YouTube, simply upgrade your release to Regular, Rockstar, or Pro Unlimited to distribute your music to YouTube. You will only pay the difference in package prices.
If you still haven’t started your first release, now is the time. Not only can you tap into Shorts’ audience, but you can release your music to over 200 music stores around the world.
Distribute Your Music to YouTube
You can view YouTube Shorts within the 'Shorts Shelf' in the YouTube app. Once you view a YouTube Shorts video, you can then scroll on to other YouTube Shorts videos that YouTube will suggest to you based on your previous watch history.
As a creator, simply hit the create button (+ symbol) within the YouTube app to get started with creating a YouTube Shorts video.
Yes, YouTube’s new short-form video platform, Youtube Shorts, is now live in the US for beta testing. YouTube plans to add more features and countries soon.
When viewed in the ‘Shorts Shelf’ section of YouTube, ads will not be shown on any YouTube Shorts content. However, YouTube Shorts can also be viewed anywhere else on YouTube such as within an artist's channel, and when viewed there, ads will be shown and the content will be monetized.
Yes, YouTube Shorts must be filmed vertically (a 9:16 aspect ratio) and must be less than 60 seconds long.
Stay in the loop
Keep up to date on all the latest music business news, tips, tricks, and education. Everything you need to grow your music business straight to your inbox.