YouTube in NewFronts 2023: are Shorts crucial for marketers seeking success on YouTube?

Published: May 03, 2023

min read

With IAB’s NewFronts 2023, the world’s largest digital content marketplace, having commenced on May 1, YouTube has rolled out new ad formats to its short-form feature Shorts as part of its presentation.

All the big names from the industry, including YouTube, Meta, Snap, TikTok, and Amazon, participated at this year’s IAB’s NewFronts. Liza Koshy, a YouTube star who made it big with longer videos, hosted the event.

With Shorts at the centre of its pitch, YouTube is attempting to persuade marketers that shorts are an effective way to build brands and drive sales.

Similar to Meta's reels, YouTube shorts do not generate as much revenue for the platforms as more developed ad products. The advertising revenue generated by YouTube was $6.7 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a 2.6% decline year on year. According to YouTube, 1.5 billion people log in and watch shorts each month.

Also, YouTube attempts to demonstrate to advertisers that it can create a safe environment in an otherwise chaotic short-video landscape. YouTube promoted celebrities' "I am your mother" dance challenges as examples of Shorts culture.

New Shorts Ad Placement Options:

Shorts is being expanded into the company's video reach campaigns, which make use of AI for displaying ads to boost reach and efficiency. Advertisers can now upload a 60-second vertical video to reach engaged viewers with the update.

Besides, YouTube Select, its premium ad presentation option, is also getting Shorts placement, which guarantees advertisements are displayed alongside the day's top trending content.

This allows brands to appear only next to a curated collection of popular Shorts videos. The YouTube Select Shorts line-up will be available in the coming months.

Furthermore, YouTube is allowing advertisers to have their ad appear first after a viewer begins scrolling through shorts.

TikTok, a major Shorts competitor, offers similar advertising tools.

What does it mean for marketers?

Indeed, the popularity of short-form video content has skyrocketed invariably in recent years. Statistics show the YouTube Shorts, which debuted in mid-2021, have 50 billion daily views, nearly doubling the rate it had a year ago.

Without a doubt, the explosion of short video content has significantly changed audience viewing behaviours, prompting brands to rethink their advertising strategy in order to align with audience preferences.

With YouTube pitching shorts more than anything else in Newfronts 2023 and adding new ad features for shorts, it is apparent how the company is prioritizing short-form videos on its platform. Particularly considering TikTok’s unstable situation in the western market, it is certainly a well-thought-out strategic move taken by Google with shorts.

And we see it as a positive move, and marketers should make YouTube a firm choice as it paves the way for a variety of ad formats for shorts to use and the ability to have their ads placed in the platform's most popular content.

Here are a few reasons why we think marketers must not overlook YouTube shorts:

  • As short-form video content can be quickly created, marketers can use it to align with current trends and events in order to gain audience attention.
  • By creating fun or some kind of challenge using hashtags, marketers can leverage Shorts to encourage users to create more user-generated content.
  • With a variety of new ad placements to choose from, Shorts ads can be used to maximize the exposure of brands and their products.
  • As short-form videos are often highly engaging, by putting in quality time to create content that resonates well with target segments, marketers can increase the engagement rate of their brand’s short-form video content.
  • By creating unique content for shorts, brands have the possibility of going viral. Which, in turn, can increase their brand's visibility, reach a wider audience, and gain more followers in a short time.
  • With short ad placement being expanded to video reach campaigns, marketers will be able to reach the right audiences at the right time and, hence, possibly reap better results.

In essence, it is high time for brands and marketers to direct their attention towards YouTube Shorts and add Shorts ads to their media mix. As YouTube is evidently prioritizing Shorts, brands are more likely to maximize their reach and conversions with it going forward.


Jasmine Jackson

Jasmine is a social media maven with a talent for building engaged communities. She's a natural storyteller and has a way of making complex ideas accessible to everyone. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and exploring new cuisines.


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