While social platforms make it easier to create new influencers with large followings, there's still a lot to be said for the allure of legendary music stars and movie idols in attracting viewers and generating interest in social apps.
This week, YouTube is leveraging that by working with musician Ed Sheeran to provide exclusive previews of his new songs in YouTube Shorts video. YouTube Shorts viewers will have access to 14 new Ed Sheeran tracks ahead of their official release (on October 29th), as well as the ability to make their own #SheeranShorts takes for each track.
This will undoubtedly attract many Ed Sheeran fans to Shorts and increase interest in the choice. Sheeran is one of YouTube's top 10 most-subscribed artists (with 49.1 million subscribers), and the expanded promotion appears to be an excellent method to help increase interest in YouTube's TikTok-like alternative - and, perhaps, discourage people from switching to TikTok instead.
TikTok is enlisting celebrities in its latest promotional campaign, with The Rock and Heidi Montag participating in the 'Discover My World' campaign. While maintaining a sustainable, rewarding creator ecosystem is vital for platform growth, these new ads will undoubtedly appeal to the millions of fans of these high-profile users.
Will this assist in increasing long-term interest in YouTube Shorts? Although it's difficult to say whether Shorts has a place on YouTube, YouTube claims that Shorts is already getting 6.5 billion daily views and is rapidly expanding in numerous areas.
Perhaps this will ensure that YouTube maintains its position as the leading online video platform, while the platform's intelligent monetization system for producers positions it well to capitalize on the next wave of creators looking to maximize their financial potential.
TikTok, too, is working on its incentive programs centered on eCommerce, but for now, YouTube is the most lucrative platform, and it may remain such for some time. YouTube will be hoping that by giving a more comprehensive monetization channel for producers, it will defeat TikTok. By growing its audience, it may provide a credible TikTok alternative in Shorts, which might increase the platform's long-term appeal.