Will Shoppable Shorts become a viral sensation for YouTube?
YouTube in late 2020 launched its Shorts feature to keep up with a new generation of competing video services posting short-form content. Now YouTube has added an e-commerce element to Shorts, so customers can buy as the minute-long videos fly by.
The feature, which allows customers to buy products directly from ads running between YouTube Shorts, has been introduced to help platform owner Google keep revenue coming in as the digital advertising world faces a slowdown, according to Financial Times. Shoppable Shorts are live in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Brazil and India, and the platform is experimenting with an affiliate model to pay content creators who sell through them. Beginning early next year, content creators running advertisements on their Shorts feeds will receive a 45 percent share of the advertising revenue.
Short-form video has rapidly increased in popularity, with a Hubspot marketing report calling the medium the most effective and popular social media content form of the year. According to an Influencer Marketing Hub infographic, 73 percent of consumers prefer short-form videos, and videos in this abbreviated format are more likely to go viral and have the highest return on investment.
YouTube has been adding other non-advertising related features to Shorts as well to keep up with the expectations of users of other short-form video platforms. TechCrunch reports that YouTube had revised its music licensing deals and would be allowing users to include 60 seconds of music on their Shorts. The previous limit was 15 seconds, even though the videos themselves lasted up to 60 seconds.
YouTube has also been experimenting with other new e-commerce features such as livestreaming.
While Michael Martin, YouTube Shopping’s general manager, told Financial Times that the company has narrowed its focus on livestream shopping to target markets like South Korea due to its slow stateside adoption, YouTube has been having a livestream-heavy holiday this year thus far.
Early in November, YouTube hosted a 10-day livestreaming event called “From YouTube to You” in which content creators promoted holiday gifts and merch drops, according to DigiDay. The event focused heavily on the beauty category with Ulta Beauty, R.E.M. and Tula among those taking part.
- YouTube expands shopping features following digital advertising slowdown – Financial Times
- YouTube Shorts can now include 60 seconds of music or sounds, up from 15 seconds before – TechCrunch
- YouTube highlights its shoppable videos with holiday gift guide festival – Digiday
- The Ultimate Guide to Short-Form Video Content – Influencer Marketing Hub
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see shoppable ads on Shorts making it more likely that users will see YouTube as a place for shopping as well as watching content? How should retailers and brands evaluate this opportunity?