YouTube Shorts is primed for the TikTok fallout – but is your brand?

Despite the events surrounding the US Government's ambitions for TikTok, there is a wider media trend proliferating within short-form video. Simmering in the background is the growth of rivals, primed for any fallout.

Brands in this country should already be planning and strategically reviewing their approach to short-form video. Taylor Fielding, managing director of TFM Digital, explains more.

According to Statista Media, spending on Short Form Video in Australia is expected to grow by 10.3% in 2024 to a total of 5.3 billion. Globally, short-form video media spends are expected to reach $99.4 billion in 2024 with the USA being the biggest spender.

One of the fastest-growing comparable ‘lean in’ options, is YouTube Shorts (outside of Meta which is more passive in consumption). Brands and advertisers can now trade YouTube Shorts programmatically, and across the GDN network and exclusively as a placement within YouTube.

While the ease with which advertisers are now able to tap into short ads, the reach on the platform has also grown, as globally the usage of YouTube shorts has increased to 2.3 Billion global users as of 2024 which is up from 1.5 billion in 2022!

When we factor in advertisers’ ability to easily access and run exclusively YouTube Shorts ads, the expansion of YouTube Shorts usage and even the unpredictability surrounding TikTok’s future in the USA, we predict an increase in advertiser spend towards YouTube Shorts.

It ain’t broke yet

Customer journeys start with a search. And for Gen Z, TikTok is the preferred place to begin, with one report finding 51% prefer the short-form video platform over Google. I know for me, and those I speak with, it’s where I can find a more realistic or visual result of a product or place. For a quick search, our attention span is dialled in for shorter-form, visually rewarding content.

For advertisers, it’s also a channel with some serious buying intent, with 58% of TikTokers saying they’ve used TikTok Shop before, according to GWI’s latest global media landscape report.

So I wouldn’t recommend giving up on TikTok yet as there is still quite a bit of process before anything becomes official through the Senate. Additionally, for Australian businesses, is the fact that our own PM Albo has reiterated that he won’t be seeking to pursue a similar path.

Diversify now

That being said, I am recommending for creators and small businesses to safeguard audiences that have been built on TikTok, by jumping back into Meta platforms Instagram and Facebook, and YouTube Shorts to diversify across platforms. One learning from my side, is that YouTube Shorts hasn’t had the promotion or marketing it needs yet, as it’s a fantastic platform, with very similar features and user experience to TikTok. Should changes reach our shores, whether as a ban or experience through a sale, for me it still feels like there’s a love/hate relationship with Meta, with algorithms changing quickly without notice. However, I feel that YouTube Shorts will continue to grow and indeed be a refuge for those coming from TikTok.

Ripples beyond the Pacific

In terms of safeguarding your audiences, I think it’s more about ensuring brands and creators have consistent content, so your profiles and algorithms are favoured for when users move to the other platforms. This also has a huge flow-on effect on ad revenue. TikTok ad revenue is huge and will likely be picked up by Meta and YouTube.

The best platform for you will depend on your individual needs and goals. YouTube Shorts is a good option if you are looking for a platform with a large and diverse audience. If you are looking for a platform with a strong community of users and creative tools, Instagram Reels is a good option.

As an Australian business, as with all media, it is prudent to diversify your content and media so you’re able to lean into those which perform best for you.

Taylor Fielding is the MD for TFM Digital.


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