YouTube has been prioritizing short-form videos, known as YouTube Shorts, in recent years. However, a new report from the Financial Times suggests there are internal concerns at YouTube that the focus on Shorts is negatively impacting their long-form video business, which generates more revenue.
Data shows creators are making fewer long-form videos, likely because viewers seem less interested in that format nowadays. This shift is problematic for YouTube’s ad revenue, since longer videos allow for more advertising spots and higher click-through rates to e-commerce sites. Advertisers also prefer placing products in short videos these days.
YouTube has seen drops in ad revenue for 3 of the last 4 financial quarters, though there was a slight increase in the most recent one. They have started cracking down on ad blockers and raised the price of YouTube Premium subscriptions in the US.
YouTube claims Shorts is meant to complement, not replace, other formats like long-form, audio and livestreams. But the internal data suggests the rapid growth of Shorts poses a risk of cannibalizing the more lucrative long-form video business.