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YouTube Shorts expand to smart TVs

Kerry Flynn
Nov 8, 2022
Illustration of the Youtube and TikTok app logos battling in a comic book style.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

YouTube Shorts are now available to play on some TVs.

Why it matters: YouTube consistently ranks as a most-used streaming service. This product, a TikTok clone offering short-form vertical videos, further entrenches its status as it competes with TikTok for time spent across mobile and TV.

Driving the news: YouTube announced Monday that Shorts has launched on smart TVs (from 2019 or later), gaming consoles and streaming devices.

  • Akin to swiping up or down on a phone, viewers use their remotes and navigate up or down to view Shorts. The TV screen only shows one video at a time in the center of the screen and retains its vertical format.

State of play: Nielsen's rankings for September listed YouTube as the most used streaming service, usurping Netflix.

  • But YouTube and other social media platforms have chased TikTok as it leads the pack in short-form video innovation. In fact, TikTok launched a TV app last year.
  • YouTube expects the majority of Shorts viewing to happen on mobile but hopes the TV apps will attract "new audiences," Sarah Ali, senior director of product management leading the YouTube Shorts, Creation and Community teams, told Variety.
  • Other short-form video apps are sprouting up on TVs. Giphy launched one Monday that's exclusive to Roku, which also has its own short-form video hub.

💭 Kerry's thought bubble: A key element of the short-form video race is not just where these platforms make their content available but how much they pay content creators. YouTube is planning to launch a new revenue-sharing model for Shorts early next year.

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