Google Expands YouTube Shorts to Connected TVs

YouTube Shorts for smart TV
(Image credit: YouTube)

YouTube announced this week that its two-year-old Tiktok-style video feature, YouTube Shorts, will now be watchable on connected TVs. 

"Over the coming weeks, this experience will be rolling out on TV models (2019 and later) and on newer game consoles," jointly blogged YouTube UX Directors Brynn Evans and Melanie Fitzgerald. "Our research told us that there would be unique perks of watching Shorts on the big screen. They're easier to watch with others, and the larger screen makes it a more comfortable viewing experience." 

Users can access the feature within the YouTube app. 

Launched in late 2020 as an answer to the fast proliferation of TikTok, YouTube Shorts allows for videos up to 60 seconds in length. Apparently, adaptation to smart TV of the Shorts video format -- primarily vertically-oriented and optimized for smart phones -- wasn't easy (Evans and Fitzgerald discuss this at length in their blog post).

The expansion to the living room for Shorts isn't surprising. Two weeks ago, parent company Google/Alphabet announced that YouTube had experienced its first quarterly decline in ad sales, with revenue dropping 2% to $7.07 billion in the third quarter. 

The fastest growing parts of the YouTube business remained global consumption on TVs -- up to more than 700 million hours a day, Google said. 

YouTube Shorts, meanwhile, is averaging 1.5 billion users every month and 30 billion daily views. 

"Shorts continues to show great user momentum, and we continue to invest in our mobile video tools for creators. We are seeing mobile-first creators investing more in the platform, creating content that helps the broader community grow. TV is a big area for us as well," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai during the company's Q3 earnings call. 

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!