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From Minutes to Seconds: How Youtube Shorts Are Killing Your Longform Channel

From Minutes to Seconds: How Youtube Shorts Are Killing Your Longform Channel

May 2, 2024

From Minutes to Seconds: How Youtube Shorts Are Killing Your Longform Channel

I do not dip my pen into the quill often. Why? Because I am not as good a writer as the editor and chief of this website. I actually hate writing. I think my ADHD brain doesn’t respond to it at all, but when I do it, it is usually because I want to flex, and boy, do I have a flex with this one.

First, let me say. I love Youtube. The last time I wrote something was about YouTube because it truly is the future of TV. IT IS TV. Stars are made on it every single day. I mean look at this tweet below.


These types of things did not happen prior to YouTube. They have made so many people’s dreams come true, making so many people millionaires. It’s why I love YouTube, but I see a major problem that I do not think (well, I know) no one sees coming. YouTube shorts are going to totally ruin your YouTube channel, aka your business, and Google doesn't care if they do. Let me explain. 

the verge

I saw this article a few months ago and my spidey senses were tingling. I worked on the biggest Sports YouTube show on Earth, lived through “Vine,” & don't understand TikTok. So I got to thinking, “Why would Youtube be at the point of some whistle-blower coming out to discuss Shorts?” Obviously, TikTok is a major competition for them, but YouTube has seen competition in the past and crushed everyone. Why now? So I dug deeper and we came across the first clue. 


Well, that is kind of a big deal. I would expect the distribution to look closer to Twitter for YouTube. If Facebook has Instagram, which is 100% mobile what does Google actually have that captures mobile audiences from a content perspective? Nothing really? However, that was not enough for me. As I had more restless nights thinking about this problem (combined with the Eagles & Sixers) I said to myself, “This can’t be real, what are the big dogs of the YouTube world doing”

I consider the Big Dogs as people who actually talk to the people at YouTube, we had the biggest sports show on YouTube and barely heard from our rep. The big dogs are the people who get to see products in Beta. They get paid by YouTube to do stuff. Only two names came to mind. Mr Beast & Marquess Brownlee. They had to be pushing shorts in a big way right? I mean every other channel is doing it? Here comes clue #2.

viewstats mr beast marques brownlee

Ok, so they do actually do shorts. Case closed right? Wrong. See these guys have inside knowledge. When you look at how many shorts they have done, Mr Beast has done a total of 42 & Marquess Brownlee has done 63 over the last 3 years on their main page. If shorts were the future why did Mr Beast decide to load up his second page (100+ shorts there) with shorts & Marques Brownlee decided to create a shorts page and just stop using it? Why is every comedian & personality loading up on short-form content? It doesn’t add up.

Why are other channels just totally saying “no” to shorts? Like The Sidemen? They just signed a massive deal with Netflix. They have no shorts on their main page & stopped posting shorts a year ago?

viewstats sidemen

“What do these people know that I don’t know?!?!?” I thought. This is not how YouTube works. Why would YouTube keep pressing their perceived B & C level talent (like 10 people belong to A level to YouTube and sorry, you are not in it. They let Joe Rogan just walk for nothing. remember that) to pump shorts, and then it dawned on me. TikTok cannot monetize. YouTube has a major advantage.

Yes, TikTok is for teenagers. I am sorry if I am offending anyone reading this but it is. It’s dance videos, stupid conspiracy videos and people filming their day. It’s what Vine once was. YouTube could 100% beat TikTok off of just sheer talent. YouTube has real stars. People who are legit famous, more famous than movie stars at this point who create content in every vertical imaginable globally. If they could just convince these people to create short-form video, which has NEVER been able to make money.




Thanks for sitting through that article stop alert. Anyway, Short form video has never made any money. Want to know how I know? I have many media purchase orders over the years, for various people I worked for and I use to GIVE IT AWAY.

That’s right, I would give it away. Instagram videos. Vine videos. Whatever, because the CAC (cost to acquire a customer) model never backed out for short-form video. It doesn't work! It never has!

So, if it has never worked, why was YouTube pushing shorts so hard? Well, that answer is easy. YouTube, like I said, has stars. They can overtake TikTok just because of their talent. If every creator makes shorts, they will promise them "scale" in exchange for using all the clout they gained over the years to become famous. I mean, why would anyone question them? They did make most of these people famous in the first place. Some executive was probably thinking, "Well, without us, they wouldn't be here anyway, so now they are returning the favor." Which, to me, is a terrible way to do business, but I didn't get an MBA, hell I barely graduated college, so what do I know?

Well, I knew I still did not have definitive proof of this. It theoretically made sense, but I couldn't find anything online. I found this video, but this guy was selling a class. Anyone who is selling you a class to fix your channel I would never trust. There is no class to build a big YouTube channel.

So then I went to Twitter, I thought more people would be talking about this but I could only find a few tweets.

twitter 1

twitter 2
twitter 3

Then it finally dawned on me. Google owns YouTube, so why the hell would they want this information out there? They are in a battle with TikTok for "who controls content on your phone." I fired up Tor (I do not recommend doing this; the dark web is scary) and found the holy grail I was looking for.

whitepaper on youtube shorts

AND SCENE. Well, that's it. If it can win the short-form content landscape, YouTube has no problem ruining your long-form channel.

The paper is long. You can read it here. You will have to read through it to fully understand it, but this is the most important part.

whitepaper youtube shorts

So now we know Youtube is doing this and I do not think they are going to stop. So, instead of paying a YouTube "guru" to help you fix this, I am going to give away the alpha for free.

Existing Channels: First, STOP DOING THEM. Then Look at your long-form to short-form view ratio. If it has gone down since you have started using shorts or if you posted WAY more shorts than long form. Close the channel and begin again. I am sorry. I know it was a lot of hard work but you are already cooked unless youtube stops trying to push this nonsense on people. You are better off starting again than to keep fighting a losing battle. YOU WILL NOT GROW TO YOUR FULL POTENTIAL. Read the whitepaper.

New Channels: Separate the content. All your content should be optimized for the viewer. I have seen a few people do a good job of being able to use shorts to "hook" them onto their long-form on the same channel, but that is few and far between. Do not think you are smarter than the algorithm. You need to focus on content. Separate Shorts, Clips, Long Form. It is a must.

Well, that's it. I just want to say I am not suicidal, so if I end up in a ditch somewhere, you know who did it.

Keep going. YouTube can still build really big channels if you separate the content. I am doing it right now.

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