While social platforms facilitate the creation of new influencers, with huge followings in their own right, there’s still a lot to be said for the lure of classic rock stars and movie heroes to help bring in audiences and spark interest in social apps.
YouTube is leaning into that this week, by partnering with musician Ed Sheeran to host previews of his latest songs exclusively in YouTube Shorts clips.
The initiative will see YouTube Shorts users get access to 14 new Ed Sheeran tracks ahead of their official release (on October 29th), while Shorts users will also be able to create their own #SheeranShorts takes for every track.
Which will no doubt bring a lot of Ed Sheeran fans to Shorts, and spark more interest in the option. YouTube notes that Sheeran is one of the top 10 most-subscribed-to artists on the platform (at 49.1m subscribers), and the expanded campaign seems like a good way to help maximize interest in YouTube’s TikTok-like option – which, ideally, will also help it keep users from switching across to TikTok instead.
Interestingly, TikTok is also using celebrities in its latest promo campaign, with The Rock and Heidi Montag taking part in its ‘Discover My World’ push.
Again, there’s a lot to be said for the lure of big name stars, and while building a sustainable, beneficial creator ecosystem is also key to platform growth, these new campaigns will no doubt hold appeal with the millions of respective fans of these high profile users.
Will that help to boost interest in YouTube Shorts over the longer term? It’s hard to say whether Shorts has a place on YouTube specifically, but YouTube says that Shorts is already generating 6.5 billion daily views, and growing quickly in several markets.
Maybe that will ensure that YouTube maintains its lead as the key online video platform of choice, while the platform’s advanced monetization structure for creators will also ensure that it’s well-positioned to capitalize on the new wave of creators that are seeking to maximize their revenue potential.
TikTok, too, is developing its own incentive programs, geared around eCommerce, but right now, YouTube is the leading platform for earnings, and could remain that way for some time.
That, YouTube will be hoping, is where it can beat out TikTok, by providing a more complete monetization pathway for creators. And if it can provide a viable TikTok alternative in Shorts, by building its audience, that could also add to the platform’s ongoing appeal.