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YouTube’s new metric shows an artist’s reach across all formats, including Shorts

YouTube announced today 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 across YouTube. Prior to this expansion, the Total Reach metric only included official content uploaded by the artist and long-form videos uploaded by fans. YouTube says the new updated metric shows how many people an artist’s music is reaching across all formats.

Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of Music, said in a blog post that fan-created Shorts increased the average artist’s audience of unique viewers by more than 80% in January 2023. In addition, artists who are active on Shorts saw more than 50% of their new channel subscribers coming 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 their music or creating with it, across all video formats. In the new Songs section, artists will see their top songs from the past 28 days and what songs are being most used in Shorts.

“Shorts are the appetizer to the entrée,” Cohen wrote. “They are the entry point, leading fans to discover the depth of an artist’s catalog, including music videos, interviews, live performances, lyric videos, and more. Look at Rema & Selena Gomez winning big by leveraging all the video formats available on YouTube. After they surpassed 60 million unique viewers of their official music videos and Shorts for Calm Down, fans uploaded Shorts featuring their track, taking viewership to another level: adding 350 million unique viewers in January, an increase of over 500%.”

In another example, Cohen noted that artist Oliver Tree uploading 20 Shorts and four long-form videos tied to his song Miss You, after which his channel’s monthly viewers increased from six million to 75 million in over four months. Users brought in another 1.8 billion views in January by uploading Shorts featuring the song.

By incorporating YouTube Shorts data to the Total Reach metric, the company may be looking 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 are now being watched by more than 1.5 billion logged-in users every month and averaging over 50 billion daily views. Although this is a notable milestone, it’s worth noting that the number of views on Shorts lags on Instagram and Facebook. Last October, Meta said that Reels garnered 140 billion daily views across both social networks.

YouTube has been looking for ways to increase viewership of Shorts. For instance, the company rolled out Shorts on TV last November. The move was seen as a way to help YouTube to better challenge TikTok, which had also rolled out its own TV app to various platforms last year.

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