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SPI 638: Are YouTube Shorts Helping or Hurting Your Channel?

We need to talk about Shorts. They’re like pants, but halfway … (just kidding!)

I’m, of course, referring to YouTube’s somewhat confusing answer to the growing popularity of TikTok.

When platforms launch new formats, posts that take advantage of them typically see a nice algorithm boost. That’s an opportunity I jumped on with Deep Pocket Monster, my Pokémon channel. So what were the results?

Well, it’s complicated. You see, some of my Shorts amassed over 15 million views. That’s bananas! But, if you listen in on today’s episode, you’ll hear how that actually ended up hurting my channel.

That said, YouTube has since addressed concerns like mine and committed to some incredible new features. So is now the perfect time to reconsider Shorts? That’s what we’ll explore today.

This can become a massive opportunity for creators to grow and bring in more revenue. Some people are even saying that the updates coming to YouTube spell the beginning of the end for TikTok!

Join me in this episode to find out more, and stay tuned because the results of my 30-day TikTok challenge are coming next week. Enjoy!

SPI 638: Are YouTube Shorts Helping or Hurting Your Channel?

Announcer: Welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he has an absolute hatred for chirping smoke alarms. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Right, how about the interview with Jason from Wednesday? Jason Feifer. This guy is incredible and he’s got analogies and I know I love analogies.

Anyway, if you haven’t listened to that episode yet, it’s the one right before this. But I wanted to continue the conversation, not from that episode, but from the episode prior, the prior Friday episode, where I was talking about TikTok. As many of you know, I’m on a TikTok 30 day challenge. At the time that this comes out, that will be done, but I’m not gonna recap the entire thing quite yet.

I’ll save that for the next episode cuz I’m currently still in the challenge at the time of this recording. But yeah, that, that’s coming next. So if you wanna know how my TikTok slash Instagram Reels slash, in a way, YouTube Shorts, which is the topic of today’s episode, how that goes overall in my assessment, and I’m already having some thoughts about just short form content and even social media in general, hit that subscribe button so you don’t miss that next week.

And we’re closing in at the end of the year here, which is pretty amazing. But I wanted to reflect on YouTube Shorts today, because Shorts is a very interesting thing.

They’re like pants but halfway. No, not, not those kinds of shorts. YouTube Shorts. YouTube Shorts was late to the game. As far as short form vertical video content is concerned, you have 60 seconds like you do on Instagram Reels. You have a little bit longer on TikTok, but it was, it came out later, right?

It came out after Instagram Reels, which came out after TikTok, which previously was Musically. So, they had some catching up to do, and in my opinion, they definitely rushed the launch of that. I remember when it launched because it was really exciting and my team and I at Deep Pocket Monster, we definitely wanted it to get in on that because very often, and I’ve talked about this here before, when a platform starts to come out with a new thing or a new feature or, you know element, or in this case a completely new side of it you kind of want to get in that because it could do some amazing things. But we also found that it did some not so amazing things. I mean, we published a few YouTube Shorts and we wanted to use the power of storytelling. We wanted to use quick cuts and some, you know, good videography to stand out from everybody else creating Shorts with just our phone.

So we, we created pre edited stuff that was then uploaded into Shorts and we got some views. And by some views, I mean, some videos have over 15 million views. But what we ended up finding was that early on, on YouTube specifically, because we care about the long form videos, that’s where we often get the biggest subscriber growth.

There’s higher revenue opportunities and it’s just you, you can build a deeper connection with people with long form videos. But the Shorts, we were hoping like, Hey, cool. People will find their Shorts and then they’re gonna see our, we’ll call ’em Longs or the regular videos. So Shorts versus Longs. Well, what ended up happening was the Shorts started to kind of overtake and even take the place of our Longs when it came to what videos were suggested to people.

What videos were people seeing on their homepage? They were seeing our Shorts now, which was fine, but they weren’t getting fed our Longs. And then our Longs, which we put a lot of time and care into started to get buried because these Shorts were taking off. It almost worked too well without consideration of how it would affect an overall channel.

And I’m in a Discord channel with a bunch of big YouTubers and a lot of us were complaining about the same thing. We were sharing a lot of data. These YouTubers have like a hundred times more data points and subscribers and views than, than we do, but we were seeing the same patterns. So eventually midway through of the year we stopped doing Shorts and we focused on not just Longs only, but doing better with the Longs, expanding outside of our comfort zone a little bit, getting out in public shooting a little bit now that we could do that again. And those videos just took off. I mean, Some of our 24 hour challenge videos and our Etsy buying videos and things like that, Walmart scam.

We, we did a little documentary sort of situation, a Flynnvestigation as I called it, looking into some scams that were happening on the Walmart platform. Millions of views and, and you know, our biggest video to date is one where I tried to complete a set within 24 hours. It has at this time over 5 million views.

And that one video alone is accounted for over 40,000 subscribers and $20,000 in revenue. So you can see why our Longs are really important to us because they do drive a lot of things for us. And how did that 15 million short do? 15 million views, maybe $400 in earnings and a lot of hate. And what I mean by that is this Short was starting to go viral and go into audiences that were not the target audience that I have. This was an audience that made fun of people who had Pokemon or who spent money on, as they said, cardboard with cartoons on them. And so I had to put on my little, you know, filter like, these guys don’t know you. They don’t know who you are.

They’re just using their own past experience to judge me in the video and the person who is the subject matter of this video who had gotten scammed, but yeah, so it was reaching audiences that didn’t really matter. Although it did account for some subscriber growth, like a, a fair amount. I mean, it’s going to grow with 15 million views.

We decided to stop these Shorts because the videos were just sabotaging our long form videos. And then as soon as we stopped creating those Shorts, those Shorts started to get outpaced by the Longs again, which is what we wanted. But recently, and by recently, I mean within the last month or so , there has been a lot of chatter and verified indication that YouTube is trying to help and make things better.

Mr. Beast, Jimmy has even gone out into some podcast episodes on YouTube to talk about how he was a big, big proponent of doing the following, which is now what is happening. That there is a separate area for Shorts within a person’s channel. Not everything is just kind of blended into one long, continuous stream of videos, but it’s categorized.

Here are your videos. Here are your Shorts. Here are your Lives. Soon we’re gonna see podcasts in there as well, so it’s better managed, but more importantly, the videos are now suggesting our Longs. We have yet to see this happen personally because we have yet to create YouTube Shorts. I’ve created some YouTube Shorts that were just repurposed videos from this TikTok challenge.

And you know, it’s, it’s the cool thing about Shorts on YouTube is there’s less penalty now for creating Shorts and playing the quantity game than there was when we first started, and how it could sabotage your Longs. So we are now converging to a point where the, how do we call it? The multichannel, the multimedia YouTube creator is probably gonna gonna get some love from YouTube very soon.

The person who has long form videos, they have Shorts and they have podcasts all on the same channel. I’m not, I’m not gonna say that’s the way to do it right now, but that’s where things seem to be headed and I’m gonna continue to pay close attention. The other big thing about the Shorts world that’s happening right now and why a lot of people are saying TikTok is dead, it’s definitely not dead right now, but that it will go, it will get there, is because YouTube just announced that they are doing a advertising rev share split with Shorts creators. This is what they do with their, what they call their partner program for anybody who has over a thousand subscribers and a thousand hours of watch time within the previous year, which sounds like a lot, but it’s, it’s not much. When when you’re consistent, you’re creating videos and a couple of them do, well, you can get there easy, but they do a rev share on our videos where they will sell advertising, companies will bid for those spots and the creator gets pretty significant share of that. 45% I believe is the case, and now that is gonna be blended into Shorts as well. So I’m curious to see how ads will show up alongside Shorts. It’ll probably be similar to Instagram Reels, where every once in a while you’ll see a sponsored vertically shot video that is paid and, and somebody paid to be there. I think it’s the creator who was who, who had the video right before that shares that revenue. And 45%, that’s more than TikTok. And again, at this moment in time, anything can change. TikTok can respond and Instagram Reels could respond.

But this is gonna be big, and this is why a lot of people are flocking over to YouTube Shorts now to do these vertical videos, and there’s potentially gonna be a lot of money involved. So if you could imagine more money now for shorter videos, and there is a partner program that you can get involved with that involves Shorts that’s outside of the 1000 hours or a thousand subscribers, 10,000 hours I think. I think I misspoke earlier. For long form video partner program, it’s 1000 subscribers, 10,000 hours of watch time, and I believe it’s 10 million views, 1000 subscribers for, for Shorts. Which again sounds like a lot, but if you have just a couple, I mean, again, I had one short hit over 15 million.

Another one is like at nine and seven, and for a while they weren’t paying anything. But now imagine those many views. Imagine the advertising revenue that comes with those views, and it’s probably gonna be different than what we’re seeing with Longs, but much better than they are now with the currently, Shorts can be monetized through a fund, a creator fund that gets split between creators based on their, their views from the previous month and, Even with the 15 million view video and it’s peak month along with other Shorts, I mean, $300 was the most I made.

And compare that to, you know, the last trailing 28 days of Deep Pocket Monster, $45,000 in advertising revenue. A lot of that getting reinvested back into the channel and product and whatnot. But it doesn’t compare. Now it might compare now if I have Longs plus Short, maybe that doubles the revenue. I don’t know.

This is what people are talking about, but I’m just thinking about it. But not only does it double the revenue just from the addition of Shorts and the fact that Shorts can now potentially help bring more video views to your Longs. I mean, you can have two and a half, three, five, maybe 10 times the income.

I don’t know. I’m just speculating, and this is what’s exciting and this is why Shorts are likely going to be a major component of not just what I do, but for many creators. So it’s something to think about. Some, if you didn’t know those things, those things are happening. There’s a lot of news, news articles that go into more detail about that.

YouTube has published some content specific to what is happening in in February. February of 2023 is when all that’s supposed to go down the rev share splits, and by then there should be some really good indication as to whether or not our Shorts can help us get more video views for our Longs, which again, is the goal.

So they’re creating what’s called a bridge between Shorts and Longs. This is a big differentiator. Different, why did I say it? Like that differentiator. A big differentiator between what YouTube has available for creators and then a, instagram Reels, and yes, they have Instagram video, which nobody watches, it seems.

And then TikTok, yes, you can publish longer form videos there, but the nice thing about the long form videos on YouTube is the search engine authorization, the just browse and view history of people to be then recommended those videos of yours. And then if again, people are finding those Shorts and then finding your Longs, that, that’s a beautiful scenario and I’m excited for that.

So, so get ready. Something to pay attention to, wanted to pass that forward to you and that, and that’s just what’s what I know right now, so I, I hope this is helpful. And I wanna thank you again for all the support for the TikTok challenge. I’m sure, again, I haven’t published the episode at this time, but last week’s episode, which of course I’m talking about the future now.

The time warping here is funky, but I know that people are gonna be talking about that nasty microphone episode. I’m looking at it right now. It is still clean. That was literally years of gunk on there and I’m fine. I’m fine everybody. I’m fine. That was nasty. Okay. Thank you so much. We are approaching the end of the year here.

I wanna wish you and your family and your loved ones all the best, all the happiest moments to come and the health that you have will maintain in just all good vibes, all good things coming your way. Thanks for, for listening to me ramble here. I appreciate you and much love. Cheers everybody. Take care, and I’ll see you the next one.

Bye for now.

Thanks for listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Our senior producer is David Grabowski. Our series producer is Paul Grigoras, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media. We’ll catch you in the next session.

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