YouTube today announced that it is expanding its Analytics for Artists tool by adding YouTube Shorts-related data to the “Total Reach” metric, which gives artists and their teams an overview of how their music is reaching audiences on YouTube. Before this expansion, the Total Reach metric only included official content uploaded by the artist and long videos uploaded by fans. YouTube says the new updated stat shows how many people an artist’s music reaches across all formats.
Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of music, said in a blog post that fan-made Shorts increased the average artist audience of unique viewers by more than 80% by January 2023. Additionally, artists active on Shorts saw over 50% of their new channel subscribers come directly from their Shorts posts on average.
The company is also launching a new “Songs” section in its Analytics tool to help artists and their teams see how fans are listening to or creating with their music, across all video formats. The new ‘Songs’ section shows artists their top songs from the last 28 days and which songs are used the most in Shorts.
“Shorts are the appetizer of the entree,” Cohen wrote. “They are the starting point, allowing fans to discover the depth of an artist’s catalog, including music videos, interviews, live performances, lyric videos and more. Watch Rema and Selena Gomez win big by using all the video formats available on YouTube. After surpassing the 60 million unique viewers of their official music videos and Shorts for Calm Down, fans uploaded Shorts with their song, taking their viewership to another level: 350 million unique viewers in January, an increase of more than 500 %.
In another example, Cohen noted that artist Oliver Tree uploaded 20 short films and four full-length videos linked to his song Miss You, after which his channel’s monthly viewers increased from six million to 75 million in more than four months. Users brought in another 1.8 billion views in January by uploading Shorts featuring the song.
By including YouTube Shorts data in the Total Reach metric, the company may want to encourage more artists to use Shorts to promote their new music, which would in turn lead to more daily views of Shorts.
Today’s announcement comes as Google revealed last month that YouTube Shorts is now viewed by more than 1.5 billion logged-in users each month and averages more than 50 billion daily views. While this is a noteworthy milestone, it’s worth noting that the number of views on Shorts lags behind Instagram and Facebook. Last October, Meta said Reels amassed 140 billion views daily across both social networks.
YouTube is looking for ways to increase Shorts viewership. For example, the company rolled out Shorts on TV last November. The move was seen as a way to help YouTube better challenge TikTok, which also rolled out its own TV app to various platforms last year.