YouTube Shorts have become one of the main ways people watch and engage with videos. As a fellow streaming enthusiast, I want to provide you with 20+ of the most important stats on the popularity and impact of Shorts.
These up-to-date statistics for 2023 will give you a comprehensive look at the explosive growth of short-form vertical video. By the end, you‘ll have a full picture of how Shorts are transforming YouTube.
Introduction to YouTube Shorts
Let‘s first do a quick overview of what Shorts are all about.
YouTube Shorts are short-form videos that are:
- Vertical videos optimized for mobile
- Up to 60 seconds long
- Created using the Shorts camera in the YouTube app
YouTube launched Shorts in 2020 as their version of short-form video which had become hugely popularized by TikTok.
Shorts are designed to be quick, entertaining videos that viewers can flip through while on their phones. The vertical orientation works perfectly for how we use our mobile devices.
Now let‘s jump into the stats!
Monthly Viewers: Over 1.5 Billion
The main statistic that shows the incredible popularity of Shorts is that over 1.5 billion logged-in users watch Shorts every month.
To give some context, YouTube has around 2.5 billion monthly active users in total. So Shorts alone are being watched by nearly 60% of YouTube‘s user base each month!
This shows how short-form video has become so mainstream and compelling for viewers. YouTube has found Shorts have among the highest engagement of any YouTube content.
Just within a couple years of launching, Shorts has become completely indispensable to YouTube. I expect the monthly viewer count to continue growing steadily.
Daily Views: 50 Billion and Counting
An even more jaw-dropping stat is that Shorts receive 50 billion views per day globally. This number has multiplied at enormous rates:
|Q4 2020||3.5 billion|
|Q1 2021||6.5 billion|
|Q3 2021||15 billion|
|Q1 2022||30 billion|
|Q1 2023||50 billion|
As you can see, daily Shorts views have expanded over 14x from just 2020 until today. This rocket ship growth demonstrates how popular short videos have become as a content format.
YouTube has been able to compete with TikTok by leveraging the sheer amount of creators on the platform. With so many top YouTubers now using Shorts, there‘s an endless amount of content for people to scroll through.
I expect we‘ll see daily views hit 100 billion by the end of 2023 or early 2024.
Viewing Platform: 72% on Mobile
Given how Shorts are designed for on-the-go watching, it makes sense that 72% of Shorts are viewed on mobile devices.
YouTube reported that Shorts viewing peaks during weekday commute times in the morning and evening when people are traveling. The short length and vertical orientation make them perfect for filling spare moments.
For creators, optimizing for mobile is absolutely essential. Most editing and trimming should happen directly on phones. And any text or graphics need to be designed for the vertical viewer.
Shorts were truly built to capitalize on the millions of people glancing at their phones throughout the day.
Length: 15-60 Seconds
When YouTube first tested Shorts in India, videos were capped at 15 seconds. This micro-video push led creators to tell full stories and deliver value in a hyper compressed format.
Now the maximum length for Shorts is 60 seconds. However, the majority of top performing Shorts tend to be shorter.
In an analysis by Zippyapp of over 10 million Shorts, they found:
- 72% are 15-60 seconds long
- 15% are 0-15 seconds
- 13% use the full 60 seconds
So while one minute is the limit, most creators stick to half that length or even shorter. The reduced time period allows rapid-fire content delivery that keeps viewers engaged.
Of course there are exceptions where 60 seconds makes sense. But restraint often works best!
Most Viewed Short: 560+ Million Views
In April 2021, the mega-popular 5-Minute Crafts channel uploaded a "foot soap" tutorial Short that swiftly went viral.
This 30 second Short shows how to carve a bar of soap into the shape of a foot. It‘s a simple but novel DIY idea that made it engaging for viewers.
To date, that single Short has amassed over 560 million views – that‘s nearly 1 view for every person in the United States!
This really demonstrates the immense potentialShorts have for going viral and getting viewed by millions. With over 1.5 billion monthly viewers, the right Short can capture widespread attention.
Top Viewing Countries
YouTube has released data on which countries have the most viewership of Shorts:
|United States||292 million|
India is by far the leader with nearly half a billion monthly viewers in India alone.
The reason is that Shorts first launched in India back in 2020. Its meteoric rise there led YouTube to expand it globally.
Indian creators have leveraged Shorts by integrating regional language content. This combination of local languages and short video is hugely popular in India.
The takeaway is that while Shorts are surging everywhere, they have especially flourished in certain countries.
Youth Viewership: 95% are Ages 18-29
YouTube has found that the viewership of Shorts skews very young. An absolutely staggering 95% of viewers are between ages 18 and 29.
After age 29, viewership declines but remains significant among 30-49 year-olds at 91%. Beyond age 50 is where things drop off sharply.
This matches the youthful audience on apps like TikTok. Gen Z loves short videos that pack entertainment, information, and trends into bite-sized morsels.
For creators hoping to succeed with Shorts, targeting young viewers with relevant content is crucial. Think meme trends, music, challenges, pop culture moments.
But some genres like cooking and DIY tutorials can still work great for older crowds. Know your niche.
Top Creator Earnings: Up to $10K Per Month
When Shorts first launched, monetization was unclear. But YouTube quickly introduced the $100 million Shorts Fund to pay top creators.
The best performing creators can now earn up to $10,000 per month through the Shorts Fund. To qualify, creators need:
- 10,000+ lifetime Shorts views
- 1,000+ channel subscribers
- Shorts that comply with content guidelines
Payouts are based on engagement metrics like views, likes, comments and more. So creators earning the most are consistently making viral Shorts.
While $10K is the top tier, thousands of creators are earning monthly bonus payouts. It‘s an awesome way for new creators to start monetizing with Shorts.
More Monetization Options
In addition to the Shorts Fund, YouTube has been expanding ways for creators to monetize Shorts directly:
- YouTube Partner Program: Creators can earn a cut of ad revenue from Shorts and videos. Requires 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours.
- Premium revenue sharing: Earn from viewers who are YouTube Premium subscribers.
- Super Chat & Super Stickers: Fans pay to highlight live chat comments and stickers.
- Channel Memberships: Fans pay a monthly fee for unique membership perks like custom emoji.
- Merchandise: Sell branded merch associated with your channel.
- Brand sponsorships: Popular creators can get brand deals for Shorts integration.
Monetizing Shorts is still evolving but these options are giving creators more ways to earn as views grow.
Ideal Types of Shorts Content
Now that you understand the key stats, let‘s discuss what types of content works best on Shorts based on these trends.
Fun challenges, stunts, and trends that viewers can compare themselves to and recreate. These inspire a "see if I can do that better" viewer mentality.
Quick tutorials for things like cooking, fitness, beauty, technology, and DIY projects. Educational content thrives, especially with Gen Z.
Lighthearted prank videos consistently perform well, especially involving family and friends. Keep pranks fun and positive.
Capturing honest reactions to food challenges, scary videos, gross stuff, and more. React content hooks viewers through shared experiences.
Behind the Scenes
Let viewers behind the curtain to see the work and skills behind jobs, sports, cosplay, and other interests. These are like mini-documentaries.
Short rapid-fire fan question videos are highly engaging. Viewers feel invested when creators answer their questions.
Key Factors for Shorts Success
Based on the statistics and trends we‘ve covered, here are the key factors I recommend focusing on to succeed with Shorts:
- Vertical orientation – Film and edit your Shorts in vertical for mobile.
- Concise runtime – Trim your Shorts to 15-30 seconds. Don‘t use the full 60 seconds without good reason.
- Text and effects – Include punchy text, graphics and visual effects. This adds polish.
- Hook viewers fast – You need to capture attention immediately. Do this with bold text and effects in the first 5 seconds.
- Interesting concepts – Find unique ideas or put your spin on trends. This helps you stand out in a crowded field.
- Mobile optimization – Ensure any text and graphics work on the smaller screen. Test your Shorts directly on phones.
Focus on these factors and you‘ll be primed for Shorts success!
The Future of Shorts
It‘s clear that Shorts have skyrocketed to become a pillar of the YouTube platform. They now drive a majority of overall watch time on mobile devices.
For creators, Shorts represent an exciting new channel to produce fun videos, grow an audience, and earn money. As YouTube expands monetization options, Shorts will offer even more revenue potential.
Personally, I can‘t wait to see what‘s next for Shorts. Will 1 minute videos become the norm? Will Stories and Reels stay relevant? Will a new short-form challenger emerge?
One thing is for sure: short-form vertical video is here to stay. YouTube Shorts have cemented that. The key now is to lean into this format and develop engaging content specifically tailored for Shorts.
I hope these statistics give you a clearer picture of how Shorts are shaping YouTube and social media. Let me know if you have any other questions!