YouTube Shorts is an amazing way to reach new audiences and get creative with your online presence. Here’s what you can do as an artist.
YouTube Shorts offers an amazing potential for artists and creatives of all shapes and sizes to reach new viewers and connect with fans in brand new ways. Taking after the TikTok, Shorts transform the wealth of video content on YouTube into short, easy-to-watch, and fun videos that are great for casual entertainment or a quick watch.
In the short time since Shorts have launched, they’ve become a huge part of the veteran video site and gain billions of views every single day. Especially now whilst YouTube are prioritising Shorts videos to build the format and get YouTube users watching them, there is huge potential in reaching a much bigger audience with very little effort.
So, come and explore with us the potential in YouTube Shorts and how you can take advantage of them to grow your following.
Click below to head straight to the section you’re interested in:
- What are YouTube Shorts
- How to upload YouTube Shorts
- Where to find YouTube Shorts
- How Shorts can help your music get discovered
- How to get your music in YouTube Shorts’ Audio Library
- How to use Shorts to promote your music
- A release strategy using YouTube Shorts
- How top artists use YouTube Shorts to promote their music
- YouTube Shorts FAQs
What are YouTube Shorts?
Shorts are YouTube’s answer to the short-form fun that is taking the world by storm on TikTok and Instagram Reels. With Shorts, viewers don’t have to leave their favourite video website to take part in short and easy to watch videos, optimised for smartphones and watching whilst on the go.
They are videos of up to 60 seconds which are either vertical (9:16) or square (1:1) ratio, making them easy to watch on phones and tablets. Content on Shorts can be anything from little comedy skits and jokes to educational snippets and bite-sized facts, dances and music trends to insights and advice.
How to upload YouTube Shorts
There are a number of ways you can upload YouTube Shorts and it depends on the content you’re looking to upload and where from. Shorts was designed with simplicity in mind, allowing anyone to use YouTube’s new in-app camera and editing tool available for on-the-fly recording. Recording with this tool means that users can immediately upload their Shorts straight after they’ve filmed it.
From the editing tool creators can add music to their videos, effects and filters, adjust the speed of it, and more to create the effect they want with a simple phone recording.
You can also upload Shorts the same way that you would normal YouTube videos, with all of the editable functionality with descriptions and thumbnails on offer. If your video is under 60 seconds long and in the compatible aspect ratio then uploading it normally will allow YouTube to pick it up as a Short automatically. Some recommend adding the hashtag ‘#shorts’ to your title to get recognised even more quickly.
You can also create Shorts from existing videos which are eligible for being sliced and made into clips. Videos which have been marked by the creator as approved for making clips from will show an option underneath the video to Clip it. This is only available on certain videos for the time being.
Where to find YouTube Shorts?
There are a number of places where you can find all of the Shorts on YouTube, whether you’re looking for the ones that you have created and uploaded or the Shorts of others.
Channel pages: Shorts will show up on the feed of channels. You can find your own Shorts in your video list on your channel and any other creators. You can also scroll down a channel’s homepage to see a collection of their Shorts at the bottom, separated from their regular videos.
YouTube’s homepage: On mobile devices, as you scroll down a sliding feed of Shorts will be available to explore based on trending videos and your tastes.
The Shorts tab: A Shorts feed is available on the bottom tab of the mobile app.
Subscriptions: When the channels you’re subscribed to upload Shorts videos then they’ll show up in your Subscriptions feed.
Searching: You can search topics and videos like usual and Shorts will be included in the search results.
How Shorts can help your music get discovered
Shorts offers a great opportunity for creators to get discovered and the potential for artists to use the format to reach new audiences is huge. For a start, creating Shorts yourself is a fantastic way to engage with audiences through a format that YouTube is prioritising currently and that engages with large audiences of viewers quickly.
Getting involved by creating your own Shorts opens up a huge opportunity to be watched by new viewers on the many places Shorts are displayed across YouTube. You can use them creatively to promote your music/artist personality in unique ways like behind the scenes videos, snippets of upcoming content, talking to fans, and whatever else you can come up with. Even just making a skit unrelated to your music can open you up to a big new audience that then have eyes on your content.
Then there’s the Audio Library, a massive source of potential for tracks to go viral and for artists to be heard by listeners who’ve never heard them before. The Audio Library allows any creator to explore YouTube’s music library and select a track to use as the soundtrack of their Shorts. This library is open to all creators and gives tracks the potential to reach millions of viewers when Shorts get viewed.
Each YouTube Short which uses a track from the Audio Library features that tracks icon in the bottom right. Viewers can tap this to go to the sound page for that track which shows more videos using that song. There is also then the option for fans to head straight to the music video for that track or create their own Short using the song.
How to get your music in YouTube Shorts’ Audio Library?
At RouteNote we can add your music to the YouTube Shorts Audio library for free. First up you’ll need to create a free account and then upload your music. Select YouTube Music as a store to ensure that your music is sent to YouTube’s library.
Once your music has been approved, fill out this form to find out if your track is eligible to be made available in the YouTube Shorts library: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeNQWHN3RykE3liAZKH925PAI8qABR_haXA3Ytd2U1QRcFaIA/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0
How to use Shorts to promote your music
Use your music in Shorts
There are numerous ways that Shorts can be used to promote your music and your artist brand. One method to explore is using your own music to create Shorts, where you can then record anything to engage viewers: dance around, cartwheel into a hedge, skate off a large ramp, fall over in a comical fashion – whatever feels appropriate and entertaining. Treat it like a mini music-video that you can use to promote your track by showing every viewer a snippet of it.
Start a trend
Similarly, once your songs have gone live then encourage your fans to create Shorts with your music. Getting people sharing your music and setting it to videos they’ve created is a fantastic way of creating unique and varied content around your music. You can encourage people to get involved by creating a trend: come up with a unique dance for your song or do something silly that people can recreate in their own video.
Using a hashtag is a powerful way of starting a trend and keeping all the content connected. Make sure to come up with something unique that won’t be competing with other content and then encourage participants to create their own Shorts and use your hashtag to build a feed of fun and interesting videos that all link back to your track.
Find out how to get your music in YouTube’s Audio Library in the section below so that Shorts creators can use it in their videos.
Offer some valuable insights
Another great way to use Shorts to reach audiences is to take a step back from your own music and create engaging content beyond it. Any content that appeals to viewers is building your brand and gaining you increased recognition. Why not explore your creative process in a Short, appealing to likeminded music creators? Or you could provide some advice on the trials you’ve faced as a musician and how you’ve overcome them.
Pull back the curtains
You can make the most of anything you’re doing by recording it and sharing it. Going into a practice session? Why not record a snippet and share it with fans to show what you’re working on. Getting merch ready for a tour date? Share what you’ve got on offer in a Short and show fans what they can get whilst promoting your upcoming gigs at the same time.
Anything you’re doing will be interesting if you have dedicated fans who love your music. People love being able to relate to the people they look up to, and seeing behind the curtain at what happens beyond the music can be a great way to connect with audiences in a personal way that offers them some deeper value – though if this doesn’t work for your artist persona, then fair enough!
A release strategy using YouTube Shorts
Here’s some inspiration for using YouTube Shorts to promote your next release with an example schedule and strategy for combining a new release with Shorts content for maximum engagement. These tips come straight from YouTube themselves, so take notes!
Use Shorts as a creative platform for your music and brand, not just a place to broadcast messages
- Utilise the 1 minute mobile (between 9:16 ratio and 1:1 ratio) format to creatively grab attention with storytelling content
Announce your upcoming release
- Share a live performance of the unreleased song
- Posting how-to Shorts content may help fans learn more about your music or show how you put a track together
- Use relevant hashtags specific to you and your music
Connect to audiences with behind-the-scenes content
- Try pulling back the curtain and showcasing content from recording sessions, backstage or on the road
Encourage fans to make their own Shorts using your music
- Take a look at the sound page to view all the Shorts using your release
- View the most popular Shorts using your music
- Thank fans who created Shorts in their comments
Use Shorts Analytics to measure the performance of your Shorts content and make informed decisions for the future strategies
- Click on the Analytics button to display performance stats for the Shorts that you have created such as views, likes, and average view duration
Continue posting Shorts with your music and engaging with fans on your Shorts
How top artists use YouTube Shorts to promote their music
Artists of any size can use YouTube Shorts to get the word out there about their music. Ed Sheeran has proved that even if you’re big enough to be known the world over with big marketing campaigns behind your music, you can do something as simple as creating Shorts to reach huge audiences in the same way.
In a series of Shorts; Sheeran stepped into an Ice Bath for Shivers, having a dance party on his own for Be Right Now, taking an outdoor shower for Stop the Rain, playing a mini ukulele for Sandman, and hanging out at home with his family for First Times.
Taking inspiration from Ed, you can get involved with Shorts by having fun to your music whether you’re huge and established or a smaller artist gaining a local audience. Sheeran’s videos were made with ease and encouraged his fans to get involved and create their own videos using hashtags. It’s that simple to get people talking.
YouTube Shorts FAQs
Here we will answer the most common questions relating to YouTUbe Shorts as a creator, viewer, and a music artist. If there’s anything we haven’t covered, leave a comment below the post and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.
What is the YouTube Shorts aspect ratio?
The aspect ratio of shorts is 9:16 although videos of 1:1 ratio will also be accepted as Shorts if under 60 seconds long.
What resolution are YouTube Shorts?
Shorts must be a minimum resolution of 600 x 600 and a maximum of 1080 x 1080.
Does a video under one minute automatically count as a Short?
If a video is in 9:16 or 1:11 ratio and is under a minute long then it will automatically be recognised as a Short and featured in the sections where YouTube features Shorts.
Why isn’t my song available in the Audio Library?
If your content has been uploaded for Shorts through RouteNote and isn’t available in the Audio Library, it may be because it wasn’t eligible. Some tracks won’t be eligible for certain territories or because of the rights involved in them. If you believe your music should have been eligible for Shorts but isn’t available in the library then get in touch with our support team via a support ticket on the website or at email@example.com.
Will subscribers be notified when a Short is uploaded?
Subscribers who have their ‘bell’ notifications turned on for a channel will be sent “personalised Shorts highlights notifications”. ‘Belled’ subscribers will receive up to three notifications a day for non-Shorts videos on a channel and a maximum of three personalised Shorts highlight notifications across all of the channels they’re subscribed to.
Can everyone linked to a channel create Shorts?
Only the primary owner of a channel can upload Shorts. YouTube have plans to update the Shorts potential across channel permissions.
Do Shorts show up in analytics for artists?
You can see analytics for your Shorts videos the same as the rest of your content in your channel’s analytics dashboard. On your individual Shorts you can select the ‘Analytics’ button to bring up a display of performance statistics for that video in particular.
How many views do YouTube Shorts get?
Earlier in 2021, YouTube CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that YouTube Shorts videos were receiving over 15 billion views every day. That was in July and was double the number of daily views they reported in March, so one can only presume the figures to be more significant than 15 billion now.
Are RouteNote partnered with YouTube Shorts?
Yes, we work with YouTube to get artists’ music on YouTube Shorts on their own terms. As mentioned above, you will need to upload your music to YouTube Music through RouteNote on either Free or Premium distribution. Once your music has been approved you can fill out our form to apply to have your music added to YouTube Shorts.
Where is YouTube Shorts available?
Shorts are now available globally wherever the YouTube app is available. YouTube is available in nearly every country in the world but is not available in China, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Turkmenistan whilst other countries have restrictions on YouTube.
What is the YouTube Shorts fund?
At the time of writing, YouTube are offering a $100 million fund to rewards creators who make original and enjoyable Shorts content. They’re reaching out to numerous creators every month to let them know if and when they qualify to receive rewards from the fund.