YouTube provides insights into the number of views for the new short format video format and explains whether this affects channel metrics like average view time.
YouTube Shorts was launched in September 2020 and is currently still in beta. The vertical 60-second format shares similarities with TikTok videos and other popular types of short-form content.
YouTube users in India have access to a short creation tool built into the mobile app. Users in other countries can contribute shorts content by uploading vertical videos (up to 60 seconds long) and including #Shorts in the title or description.
Short films appear on the side of a channel and on a carousel on the home page, where users can access and view short films as if they were viewing stories in other apps.
Previously it was unclear how views from shorts are counted in the analysis of a channel. The lack of information has created legitimate concerns about Shorts' views, which are dragging other metrics down.
Questions will be answered in a new video from the YouTube team on the Creator Insider channel. Here's what we learned about YouTube shorts in analysis:
Short data in YouTube Analytics
Creators can see how many views their shorts are getting in YouTube Analytics. Navigate to To reach Tab and then scroll down to Traffic source types Map.
As shown in the example above, YouTube is reporting on Shorts as a traffic source for video views. A view is associated with shorts when viewed by a user swiping through the shorts player.
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Views are not associated with shorts if they come from clicks on the home carousel. These views are associated with videos for browsing or suggesting.
This data can also be found in the Advanced Analysis section, although it appears differently.
Views of shorts are considered regular views
In YouTube Analytics, views of short films are counted in the same way as normal videos. They are not filtered out of the total number of views of a channel.
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In this case, views from shorts can affect channel metrics such as average view time and click-through rate.
YouTube confirms that views from shorts can decrease a channel's average viewing time. If a channel is increasing its video views but they're targeting 60-second video, it makes sense to reduce the average view time.
However, average viewing time is not a metric that affects channel performance in any way. The YouTube algorithm doesn't take channel metrics into account when deciding which videos to recommend.
One metric that can affect channel performance, at least monetary performance, is RPM. The developers fear that shorts can negatively affect the speed.
RPM determines how much money a channel makes from monetized video views. It is in the interest of the creator to keep this number high. However, if you don't have permission to run ads, it doesn't matter.
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The RPM increases or decreases depending on the number of views generated by monetized videos. Shorts are not eligible for ads. This means that they are counted as non-monetized video views.
In theory, that would pull the speed down. However, YouTue confirms that views from Shorts are filtered out from calculations for RPM.
A station's earnings are not affected by shorts. This makes sense for now, but eventually, YouTube needs to offer developers the opportunity to generate income from shorts.
Many would argue that the lack of revenue opportunity in shorts is hindering the format's adoption, but that's a whole different story in itself.
For more information on YouTube Shorts in Analytics, see the following video: