You don’t have to be an amateur filmmaker to succeed on YouTube. Thanks to YouTube Shorts, you can get your music in front of new people every day, and all you need is a smartphone.
What Are YouTube Shorts?
YouTube Shorts is YouTube’s short-form, vertical videos that are no longer than 60 seconds each. On the YouTube app and on the site, there’s a “Shorts” tab where people can start watching and scrolling. Viewers watch Shorts similarly to the way they watch TikToks and Instagram Reels – the algorithm feeds them videos it thinks they’ll like based on their previous activity, not necessarily videos from people they subscribe to.
This is good for musicians because it gets your content (which features your music) in front of total strangers. And that means there’s great potential to grow your fanbase.
Why You Should Post YouTube Shorts as a Musician
Today’s content-drenched internet world favors short-form videos. This may change in the near future, or maybe not. But we know TikToks, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts are what people are consuming right now and, therefore, what creators are focusing on.
But what makes Shorts different from TikToks and Reels?
First, YouTube is already the biggest video platform on the planet and has been for many years. Up until September 2020 when Shorts launched, YouTube was mainly for longer videos. But YouTube now has both short-form content and longer videos, so it offers more than TikTok and Reels.
Similar to TikTok, Shorts gives you access to a library of music you can legally use in your videos. This means, as a musician, you can distribute your music to YouTube through your digital distributor then easily add it to your Shorts.
Also, a lot of people use YouTube as their main music streaming platform, so you need to be where the people are. Or else you could be missing out on connecting with new fans.
As of June 2022, YouTube said it has more than 1.5 billion monthly logged-in Shorts viewers. And as of April 2022, YouTube boasted 30 billion daily views.
So why wouldn’t you be posting YouTube Shorts?
On top of all this, I have a bit of anecdotal evidence. I started posting Shorts promoting my music at the end of September 2022, and can I just say…wow. Already a huge benefit for me as a musician.
I had roughly a 1,000% increase in watch time, subscriber growth, and views.
For context, I was not getting many views before posting shorts and I’m still not getting crazy numbers. But before I started posting Shorts, I was getting 20-60 views per video – now, some of my most recent Shorts have gotten between 1.1k and 2.4k views.
But most importantly, people are discovering my music through these Shorts and leaving comments asking where they can stream the song. So why wouldn’t I keep posting Shorts?
Focus on Likes and Comments, Not Views
I want to highlight something here – YouTube Short views are not the main metric you should use to measure your success on YouTube. Because, as one person says in this video, a Shorts view is not the same as a regular YouTube view.
People are scrolling through tons of videos on Shorts, and watching your Short is simply a first impression. Likes and comments are how you measure the quality of that first impression. Views are simply a good indicator of how many people YouTube showed that video to.
When someone likes or comments on your video, it’s more likely the algorithm will show them your future videos. And the more someone sees you pop up on their feed and engages with your content, the more likely they are to go stream your music.
So pay attention to your likes-to-views and comments-to-views ratio.
How To Post a YouTube Short (Walkthrough)
Posting a YouTube Short is super easy. Here are the steps:
- Sign into your YouTube account
- From the dropdown menu in the top-right corner (where your profile picture is), go to YouTube Studio
- In the top-right corner, click the Create button
- Upload a video that’s less than 60 seconds (can be square or vertical aspect ratio)
- In the description, use the hashtag #Shorts (you can also use #Short, #shortvideo, and #shortsvideo)
- Add other relevant hashtags
- Publish the video
What Type of Content Works on YouTube Shorts?
The type of short-form content that works for someone else may not work for you. Regardless, the content you post on Shorts can also be the same content you post on TikTok and Instagram Reels. You can recycle content and it can do well on all the short-form content platforms.
To learn how to make short-form content that works on multiple platforms, check out this walkthrough.