What YouTube have learned after a year of YouTube Shorts

Image Credit: SeanDoesMagic, Dental Digest, Jake Fellman

YouTube launched Shorts, their TikTok rival, one year ago. Here’s what the video streaming service has learned from short-form video so far.

YouTube Shorts is the platform’s latest feature, a feed of vertically scrolled, endless videos under one minute. The early beta launched one year ago in India and is now in over 100 countries, pulling in over 15 billion views per day. YouTube Shorts’s product lead Todd Sherman has shared key insights and spotlighted some communities that are growing on Shorts.

Creators getting started – and ones to watch

YouTube Shorts has brought in a new wave of mobile-first creators. Since September 2020 to September 2021, the average number of daily first time creators has more than doubled. Supporting these creators, YouTube has expanded the Shorts Fund into 30+ more countries globally, to start rewarding creators for delighting the community with Shorts.

YouTube have highlighted five creators making an impact across Shorts to keep an eye on:

Image Credit: YouTube

DankScole isn’t afraid to find humor in life, with family, relationships and more. After she started uploading content to Shorts in February, her channel grew by more than one million subscribers and 300 million views in just one month. Her fun, comical Shorts have only continued to charm fans as she keeps growing her channel.”

Image Credit: YouTube

“Nineteen-year-old college student Katie Feeney continues to shine with Shorts that people of all ages can relate to. From dorm life and studying to lifestyle tips, Katie’s Shorts are giving people something to smile about. It’s no surprise she’s generated more than 1.2 billion views since March!”

Image Credit: YouTube

“A lawyer turned creator, The Korean Vegan impresses us daily with her Shorts that show off delicious Korean vegan eats. In 60 seconds or less, she tackles health and wellness topics, while cooking some must-try recipes.”

Image Credit: YouTube

Dushyant Kukreja has gained popularity for his fun, comedic Shorts that provide his audience with some light reprieve, consistently landing him on YouTube’s trending tabs. Known for his conceptual life stories on Shorts, Dushyant today has more than 4M subscribers.”

Image Credit: YouTube

“Brazilian creator Léo Léo started posting Shorts in 2021, and since January has gained more than 1 billion views, plus has landed on the trending tab in Brazil, too. His goal is to bring smiles and fun to the world with his comedy videos about daily life.”

A place for any and every community starting to take off

In the same piece celebrating a year of Shorts, YouTube highlighted three communties making an impact on the platform.


First up, YouTube says magic is having a moment on Shorts. Whether its magicians showing off their latest tricks or demonstrating the slight of hand behind the illusion, magicians creating short-form videos can experiment with editing, narrative and grabbing people’s attention.

Dental lifestyle

Sometime the most mundane daily activies can lead to passionate communties on YouTube. This is what YouTube are currently seeing with dental content on the platform. Creators looking to make the topic fun and relatable for everyone with their unique humor and personalized touch, are finding audiences captivated by all sorts of videos such as toothbrush demonstrations, informational videos, the ins and outs of dentistry, and putting silly dental products to the test.

Minecraft animators

Gaming content has always been popular on YouTube, now many creators are experimenting with Shorts too, with videos of fun narratives, popular trends or detailed renderings of animated Minecraft gaining traction.

Music grows and BTS inspired

At the core of YouTube Shorts as a whole is of course music. Artists and fans are creating trends and connecting all over the world thanks to the millions of songs available on YouTube Shorts. Earlier in the year, YouTube partnered with global pop icons BTS for their Permission to Dance Challenge, encouraging people around the world to recreate dance moves from their music video with their own style.

“Early learnings as we build YouTube Shorts from the ground up”

As YouTube continue to build Shorts, they say they are focused on three key areas:

Building a creation experience that empowers anyone to create and find an audience; refining our viewer experience to make sure we’re helping people find Shorts that they’ll love and discover new creators; and determining more ways we can reward creators for the Shorts they make that delight the YouTube community.

The images below illustrate what YouTube have learned so far for creators, viewers and monetization.

With RouteNote we can help you get your own music on YouTube Shorts, TikTok, Instagram Reels, and all major stores and streaming services too for free.

Instagram Video Updates from head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri (video)

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, takes us through some of the latest updates to video on the social media platform.

In what feels like a weekly tradition, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri has uploaded another video talking about some of the latest updates to Instagram. This one concerns the announcement made last week by Facebook about Instagram combining IGTV and feed videos.

Mosseri talks about Instagram’s continued focus on video and new features such as tapping video for fullscreen, swiping for similar videos, 60-second video previews in the feed, and the company’s thoughts on the future of video on Instagram and more. Click here for the full updates to Instagram Video.

Instagram are combining IGTV and feed videos into ‘Instagram Video’

Image Credit: Facebook

Hoping to compete with YouTube, Instagram are cutting down on the number of video formats on their platform by combining IGTV and feed videos.

Instagram has too many video formats. From shortest to longest, creators can share videos on Instagram Stories – up to 15 seconds, Instagram Reels – up to 60-second looping videos, Instagram feed videos – up to 60 seconds, and IGTV – between 1 and 60 minutes. As Instagram grew and they implemented new video formats, finally it seems Instagram are cutting down by combining IGTV and feed videos.

Uploading to Instagram Video from your camera roll is done in the same way as feed videos. Simply tap the + icon in the top right corner and select POST. Instagram are also introducing new editing features such as trimming, filters, and people and location tagging.

Image Credit: Facebook

The combined video formats will be available in the new Video tab on Instagram profiles. Instagram says this move will make it easier for people to create, upload and discover new video content from creators they love. Simply tap anywhere on a video to enter fullscreen or keep scrolling to discover new video content from creators that may interest you. Users can continue to cross-post videos through Stories and share via direct message, great for promoting content with fans. Instagram says, “Video previews in feed will now be 60 seconds long, unless the video is eligible for ads — in which case, the preview will still be 15 seconds.”

Image Credit: Facebook

As a creator, I think there shouldn’t be a divide between video formats on Instagram; feed video and IGTV should be just video. When a person is looking for content to watch online they’re never specifically looking for long format or short format, they’re just looking to watch videos and be entertained. I’m glad I now won’t need to navigate to so many different surfaces to watch things on Instagram.


Instagram are also merging feed post insights and video insights, giving businesses and creators one combined metric. IGTV ads are now called Instagram In-Stream video ads. Eligible creators can still monetize long-form content, allowing brands to reach audiences engaging with long-form video. “For businesses interested in boosting their videos to reach more people, videos must be no longer than 60 seconds in length.”

Instagram says their creators love videos as a way to tell stories, entertain and connect with audiences. “We’re excited to see how creators on Instagram continue to make standout content that inspires people to create themselves.” No word on when this update will roll out to creators and day-to-day users.

Click here to find out how to monetize when your music is used in a video on Instagram.

Reels vs TikTok – Facebook Reels rolls out in the US

Image Credit: Facebook

TikTok rival Instagram Reels is coming to Facebook – with added potential for creators to be paid for making viral videos.

Facebook users in the US can now create Facebook Reels. The new feature is rolling out of beta on iOS and Android.

Facebook Reels let users make short-form videos with music and effects – basically the same as Instagram Reels… which are basically TikToks.

Reels are created on the Facebook app and shared in the user’s News Feed or Facebook Groups, reaching beyond existing followers in a dedicated Reels section. Users can hit “Create” in the Reels section to get started.

Image Credit: Facebook

Sharing Instagram Reels to Facebook is apparently being tested, so Instagram creators can have their reels recommended to followers on Facebook too.  

Interestingly, Facebook is also launching a “bonus program” across both Facebook and Instagram, so creators can earn money if their reels perform well on the platforms. Initially invite-only, the scheme will start in the US and expand worldwide. Facebook wasn’t forthcoming with the exact details of how the program works, but invited those interested to sign up for monetisation tools from this page.

Want your songs on Facebook and Instagram? Explore RouteNote’s free music distribution here, and start making money from your music.

TikTok does NFTs now – first collection announced

Image Credit: TikTok

Lil Nas X is the face of TikTok’s first NFT drop, with Grimes, Bella Poarch and more involved.

The very first TikTok NFT collection drops soon. Now you can “own a moment that broke the internet,” according to the video platform, by buying NFTs from TikTok.

The drop is inspired by six viral TikTok videos transformed into single copy NFTs. In keeping with the collaborative world of TikTok, the drops are joint ventures between famous TikTok creators and NFT artists.

The first NFT to drop will be Lil Nas X’s collaboration with Rudy Willingham, who went viral after creating a spot-motion video inspired by “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”. Another collaboration is between Brittany Broski – “Kombucha Girl” – and Grimes.

NFT stands for non-fungible token – unique digital data created by blockchain technology that shows that you own a digital item. Each one-of-one NFT will appear weekly on a drop site and made available on Ethereum. TikTok is inviting people to bid on the NFTs with money raised “largely” going to the creators – a way to reward and show support for creators, TikTok said.

Image Credit: TikTok

There’s also an NFT from virtual shoe and collectible creator RTFKT and AI robot rapper FNMeka, who has given NFTs away before in collaboration with energy drink company G FUEL. TikTok is a strange and wonderful place.

Nick Tran, Global Head of Marketing at TikTok said: “The creation that happens on TikTok helps drive culture and starts trends beyond the platform. As the creator economy continues to grow, we’re continually looking for new and differentiated ways to support our creators.

“Now, fans can own a moment on TikTok that helped shape the internet while supporting some of their favourite creators. We’re excited to see how our community and NFT communities engage with some of the internet’s most beloved cultural milestones.”

The NFTs will be powered by Immutable X with carbon neutral trading, good news considered the debate around the environmental impact of the NFT craze. Lil Nas X’s NFT drops on October 6th.

Want to get your music on TikTok? Release your songs with RouteNote for free today to upload your music to TikTok, and earn money every time your track is used in a new TikTok video. You and your music could go viral – hey, maybe one day you’ll have your own TikTok NFT. Find out more about RouteNote here.

How many people use TikTok?

Image Credit: TikTok

The app’s never been so popular, but exactly how many TikTok users are there?

How many people use TikTok? The social media platform has just announced it has hit a mighty milestone of 1 billion monthly active users.

Image Credit: TikTok

The past 18 months saw a surge of people turning to TikTok for entertainment and escape, whilst access to the outside world was restricted during the pandemic. Back in May 2020 the app had been downloaded two billion times. There are now over one billion people on TikTok each month around the world.


TikTok is also fast becoming the number one place for people to discover new music online. For artists with music on the TikTok library, one billion is a whole load of new potential listeners when their tracks are used in videos on the app. But how do you get your music on TikTok in the first place?

To get your music on TikTok, you need the help of a digital music distributor. RouteNote is partnered with TikTok, offering free unlimited distribution, helping artists put songs on TikTok. We’ve been supporting independent artists since 2007, providing a way to get your music heard worldwide without a record label or unfair fees.

With RouteNote, you can upload your tracks to TikTok and all the major streaming services around the globe from Spotify to FLO in South Korea.

What’s more, you’ll get paid every time your song is used in a video on TikTok, and keep 85% of revenue. Your music could be the backing to a global dance routine craze or viral cooking video.

With a billion users every month waiting to use your music on TikTok, don’t waste any more time. Pop over to RouteNote.com and upload your tracks for free today.

New pinned posts are perfect for TikTok music promotion

Image Credit: Franck

Rumour has it that TikTok is testing a helpful pinned videos feature. It could be a great way for musicians on TikTok to promote new releases.

TikTok is currently testing out a feature that lets users pin up to three videos at the top of their profile. The feature is something the video platform has been exploring for a while, but recent activity suggests it will become a permanent fixture on the app.

The pinned videos appear right at the top of the TikTok grid, so they’re the first thing users see when they visit your profile – a great way for artists to promote a new release.

It makes sense as an artist to choose posts relating to something you’re eager to promote – that way the very first thing fans see will be all things related to your music.

Other platforms such as Twitter already have a pinned post function. Twitter users often attach one of their most popular tweets.

As TikTok is testing allowing up to three pinned posts, there’s the potential to fill the top line of your profile with a choice of content.

Mix promotional content about a gig or new single with more information about who you are as an artist, or a video that shows your goofy side so fans can get to know you quickly.

Image Credit: Sam Schmir

TikTok is fast catching up with YouTube as the biggest place online for people to discover new music. Social media algorithms respond well to users trying out new tools, so getting involved in new features like pinned posts is a must for artists on TikTok.

Can you imagine your music as the soundtrack to millions of videos on TikTok? Use RouteNote to get your music on TikTok for free, and your song could be part of the next viral sensation. Find out more here.

Is Twitch close to signing a licensing deal with publishers for music on Twitch?

In great news for artists, labels and streamers, Twitch is apparently nearing a licensing deal with NMPA to pay artists for music on Twitch streams.

Twitch has long been criticised for its lack of an effective music licensing system to direct revenue to the artist when copyright protected music is used in streams. But now Twitch and the US National Music Publishers’ Association are close to securing a music licensing agreement that could solve that problem.

According to Billboard, the parties are yet to sign on it, but a deal may be announced as soon as next week. Currently, as there’s no system like YouTube Content ID on Twitch, music is pulled from the platform after rights holders issue takedown orders. Streamers have to contact artists and labels for permission, use copyright-free music, or simply not use music at all in their streams.

Under the safe habour deals of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, music can be uploaded provided it is removed at the rightsholder’s request. Twitch doesn’t have music licensing deals with any of the major labels, but does have deals with performing rights organisations like ASCAP and BMI.

NMPA have long argued that Twitch has the resources to pay artists fairly when their music is used in streams, considering it’s owned by the gigantic Amazon. Twitch has continually maintained that a solution is on the way. In place of a traditional licensing system Twitch introduced partnerships like Soundtrack, which gives users copyright-free music, and let artists track their stats through ForTunes.

Whilst Twitch has been stalling, the NMPA has been slapping DMCA takedown orders on unlicensed music on the platform, which has led to awkward instances like Metallica’s feed being switched out with a peaceful Zelda-esque soundtrack.

A deal would hopefully put an end the ongoing saga of music licensing on Twitch – and in favour of artists and for the streamers who use their music.

At RouteNote we cover every possible avenue so you can generate revenue from your music, for free. Once you upload your music to RouteNote distribution you can earn money from YouTube Content ID; on social media like Instagram; from streams on Spotify and all the major platforms around the world – all without being charged a penny. Find out more here and upload your music today.

Learn how to make money from a YouTube channel with the first-ever podcast by YouTube

Image Credit: YouTube

YouTube is launching its first podcast “The Upload: The Rise of the Creator Economy,” sharing secrets from its successful influencers on starting a business YouTube channel.

YouTube is heading into a new game with its first ever podcast. In the new series influencers will share the secrets of how to make money using YouTube and build a successful business using the platform.

The podcast, titled The Upload: The Rise of the Creator Economy, is the first-ever from YouTube. Being a podcast, it’s a step away from YouTube’s traditional video format.

Each episode in the five-part series will go behind the scenes of the business of a YouTube creator, featuring an interview with a different influencer who has been successful in building a thriving business. It will explore how the platform works and how people make money on YouTube from humble beginnings recording in their rooms.

The Upload is a smart way for YouTube to show how its creators are blossoming on the platform, and inspire new creators to get serious about making money on YouTube. Hosted by journalist Brittany Luse, the first episode features creator Lilly Singh. Later episodes will feature Emmy Cho, the Lau Family, and Caleb Marshall.

Despite being the first podcast by YouTube, it isn’t exclusive to the platform and will also be available outside of YouTube on services like Spotify and Apple Music and on smart speakers.

New episodes of The Upload will be available each Wednesday starting September 22nd.  You can subscribe here.

A quarter of YouTube viewer hours are spent on music – around 250 million hours of music globally per day

Image Credit: Azamat E

A YouTube exec says that 25% of all watch time is now attributable to music, totalling around 250 million hours of daily music on YouTube.

The Google-owned video-sharing platform’s Chief Business Officer (former Netflix VP of Content) Robert Kyncl reported the stat at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention sponsored by YouTube. The event earlier this week titled “Broadcast Britain: Reshaping Britishness on the Global Stage” featured speakers such as TikTok’s former CEO Kevin Mayer. Former Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden was booked, however after his exit from the post earlier this week, Media Minister John Whittingdale stepped in.

Along with 25% from music, Kyncl reported a further 25% comes from media companies, while the remaining half is user-generated content. During Alphabet’s Q2 2021 earnings call, Google’s SVP & Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler said that YouTube sees “a billion-plus hours of video watched every day.” This means that approximately 250 million hours of music are consumed on YouTube daily around the world. Additional, a substantial portion of YouTube’s creator content features music and music-related media, even if it’s not the focus of the production.

It’s also worth noting some of YouTube’s other key stats from this year: