YouTube introduced Shorts in 2021, months after its release in India. The feature came as an answer to TikTok, which had already taken the world by storm. While YouTube is still ahead of TikTok in terms of popularity, the company’s Shorts service is nowhere near TikTok. But YouTube is making constant efforts to catch up in the short video format. Recently, YouTube introduced a feature for Shorts that allows creators to use clips from billions of public YouTube videos. The feature is a build-out of the existing remix feature that lets users sample out audio for their Shorts posts. Since this is a new feature, we reached out to some popular YouTubers to find out their opinion on the feature.
An overview of the new Shorts feature
The new video sampling feature from YouTube Shorts aims to popularize the service. Also, it is an answer to TikTok’s popular Stitch feature. Through this feature, Shorts creators can splice 1- to 5-second clips from public YouTube videos. When a short is created using clips from long videos, the original creator gets credited via a link. All the videos on YouTube are available for remixing by default. Hence, creators who don’t want their videos to be used for the particular feature have to opt out of it manually in YouTube Studio.
That said, Shorts videos cannot be opted out of this feature. The only way to you can restrict your videos from being used is by deleting the Short. This will not only remove the sampled audio or video but also delete all Shorts that used the sampled video or audio content. This is problematic for content creators as they might lose videos at any time. Imagine losing a Shorts video that has around 10 million views due to this unfair policy.
Almost all public videos are eligible for remixing except for Music videos with copyrighted content from YouTube’s music partners. Unlike YouTube, Shorts doesn’t have a robust payout system. So YouTube’s $100 million Shorts fund is the only way to earn at the moment. Through this program, YouTube allows thousands of creators to claim a payment from the fund. The payouts are based on viewership and engagement and mostly range from $100 to $10,000. Sadly, the original creator does not get any compensation from their remixed clip. YouTube told TechCrunch that it is working on a long-term monetization model for the platform that will be released in the coming months.
Creators will be able to track spliced videos in YouTube Analytics. Also, the platform will start sending notifications for remixed videos soon. The remix feature is currently available for iOS, while the Android roll-out is still in the pipeline.
What do YouTube creators think about this new feature?
The Splice video feature could be a game-changer for YouTube Shorts. It will allow creators to reach a completely untapped audience. Also, Shorts can be a medium to engage viewers with their long-form content. So let’s hear from YouTubers as to what they think about the new remix feature for YouTube Shorts.
Do you create videos for Shorts on YouTube and how often?
Jaime Rivera (PocketNow): Not yet.
Michael Fisher (Mr. Mobile): Unfortunately, I don’t use Shorts and don’t have any plans to use it in the future.
Pratik (Techwiser): We currently do not create Shorts, but it is something we plan for the future.
Utsav Techie: Yes, I have a separate channel for Shorts.
YouTube has released a new feature for Shorts that allows users to splice in public YouTube videos. Do you think this feature will be useful to you?
Jaime Rivera (PocketNow): For fair-use content and reactions, definitely.
Michael Fisher (Mr. Mobile): I find the vast majority of short-form content (be it on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok) to be extremely low-value.
Pratik (Techwiser): Generally, we don’t use other channels’ footage. And for years, you have had the option to download a YouTube video and use it. So, we don’t see ourselves using this feature quite a lot.
Utsav Techie: I think it is like a free advertisement for the channel if someone is using Shorts from my video.
As per Google, “Some videos may be unavailable based on who has claimed copyright ownership or their privacy setting. For example, videos claimed by a third-party copyright owner and private videos can’t be used. We also allow creators to limit the use of audio from their long-form videos in other’s Shorts.” So technically, there’s no way to stop long-form videos from being remixed if they are set to public.
Will you allow your videos to be used for Shorts?
Jaime Rivera (PocketNow): I don’t think you can decline this, given how it falls under fair use laws.
Pratik (Techwiser): We do provide the option to splice some of your live streams. People can make smaller clips from it.
Utsav Techie: I allow my videos to be used for Shorts.
Do you feel this new feature is a threat to original content creators on YouTube?
Jaime Rivera (PocketNow): Not at all. It’s one of the backbones of how news is covered.
Michael Fisher (Mr. Mobile): Original Shorts can be compelling, but 95% of the stuff I’m served is just stolen clips from other creators, down-rezzed, and matched with out-of-context music or AI-generated captions. I prefer thoughtful, long-form content (whether I’m creating or consuming), so, at the risk of becoming irrelevant to a whole new generation of consumers, I don’t plan to use any of these new YouTube Shorts features.
Pratik (Techwiser): I’ve seen fellow creators’ videos being put up in Shorts for views. So, I feel YouTube will sort of manage copyright better.
Utsav Techie: I think it is like a free advertisement for the channel if someone is using Shorts from my video. It won’t harm as it gives more reach to the original Creator. Even the ad revenue is very low, so it is not sustainable for anyone who is just copy-pasting without having an original identity.
Do you prefer TikTok or YouTube Shorts? Why?
Jaime Rivera (PocketNow): TikTok. It simply has a far better discovery algorithm.
Michael Fisher (Mr. Mobile): Mr. Mobile doesn’t use either of the two and rather prefers long-form content.
Pratik (Techwiser): We have been critical of YouTube’s dislike button and the issue of spam comments. But, overall, YouTube is one of the best platforms in terms of community guidelines and monetization.
Utsav Techie: TikTok hugely benefits from its algorithm. It serves both creators and viewers. YouTube’s algorithm is nowhere to TikTok.
Is the YouTube Shorts feature good or bad?
The new feature from YouTube has received mixed reactions from the YouTubers we interacted with. Only one of them creates videos for Shorts at the moment. While others intend to use it in the future, they might not use this new feature as much. That said, these YouTubers believe that the feature can benefit creators that make Shorts content. Using clips from long-form videos will be a free advertisement for original content creators.
Rivera believes the feature follows the idea of how news is covered. Thus, the feature isn’t a threat to original content creators. Utsav Techie pointed toward another important aspect. He said that the ad revenue for Shorts is very low to sustain if they are copying and pasting content. At the moment, YouTube’s $100 million Shorts fund is the only source of earnings for Shorts creators. There’s no robust monetization model yet. So if YouTube wants Shorts to be taken more seriously, it will have to improve its algorithm and introduce a solid monetization plan for Shorts creators soon.
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