Last month, YouTuber Paddy Galloway released the findings of his very detailed study which aimed to understand the relatively new YouTube Shorts algorithm. The study analysed 3.3 billion views on YouTube Shorts, 33 YouTube channels in different niches with 5,400 shorts included. It was undertaken by both Galloway and lead analyst Chris Gileta.
Although they’re entitled ‘Shorts’ , longer Shorts – between 50 and 60 seconds – tended to perform better than shorter ones with 50-60 second videos receiving an average of 1.7 million views and 0-10 second videos averaging at 77k and 30-40 seconds at 690k. To be clear, “just making a long short isn’t the goal, making a short that holds people for as long as possible is” Galloway explained on Twitter.
Unlike on TikTok and Instagram, last month YouTube added a new feature which shows what percentage of users choose to view and how many choose to swipe away. This could certainly prove useful for creators reviewing what type of content to continue publishing. The best performing shorts were typically between 70 and 90% view rate. “Viewed vs swiped away is worth paying attention to, it’s important to make your first second really punchy and engaging to hook viewers early into the video. Treat your intro like a thumbnail” Galloway observed via Twitter.
The study found no secret sauce – good engaging content is what helped people stay
Despite his plethora of statistics, one rule of thumb remains clear; “Youtube will personalise recommendations of shorts (i.e look at watch history to see what someone likes) and show enjoyable shorts that hold attention well to them”.
Longer form content still tends to create more subscribers than Shorts. A Short will attract 16.9 subscribers from 10k views whereas a long form video attracts 22.7. Having said that, producing and positioning a Short takes less time than long form content and so that 5 subscriber difference can be made up for if you post one Short a day and one long form piece a week. However, this completely changes when filtering to channels with over 1m subs. Shorts outperform in terms of sub conversion. “Why? My theory is these channels are making better shorts on average that reach more viewers, and are using better call-to-actions inside those shorts.”
How Much Money do Shorts Make?
Since introducing the Shorts Fund in February the revenue made from views has improved though isn’t astounding. Before February 1st, the average RPM was $0.027 and since February first that has increased to $0.0612. “Well the RPMs are nothing to get too excited about […] I see this as promising, with time YouTube will likely improve this, but for now 6 cents seems to be the average”.
Is It Even Worth Giving Shorts A Go?
“A lot of people have claimed shorts are ‘’cheat codes” for subscriber growth (myself included) but does this hold up? […] I think so. If you can do them without taking away focus from your long form videos, go for it!” Galloway concluded.
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