Shorts. Not the attire we wear to do sports or to lounge by the pool in the summertime but YouTube’s attempt to grab a slice of the TikTok pie: short, vertical videos that are designed to be best-viewed on a smartphone. YouTube Shorts are capped at one minute (compared to TikTok’s three) but for people like yours truly who already have an established presence on YouTube (and do nothing on TikTok), it’s important for us to stop and ask: what can Shorts do for a YouTube channel and its audience?
I struggle enough to keep my review videos under twenty minutes so producing a one-minute review would, for yours truly, be an impossible target; and how much can you really say about a hi-fi product in a single minute without leaving the audience feeling like they’ve been sold – err – short?
Besides, YouTube has reworked its mobile app. A new button in the bottom tray is for viewing Shorts and the ‘Create a Short’ link recently added to the ‘+’ button’s pop-up menu allows ‘creators’ (I hate that word) to shoot and edit a video without ever leaving the app. YouTube’s implication is clear: Shorts are for creators to shoot more from the hip and less from behind a tricked-out mirrorless camera or DSLR. (Sorry, Olaf).
With the door closed to review content, Shorts instead provide an opportunity for me to extend the prize giveaways that have been running over on my Patreon for the past twelve months. Those competitions – always a game of skill and never a game of chance – will continue as before but YouTube Shorts allow me to widen the competition net and simultaneously narrow your odds of winning – ha! When you’re one in a few hundred Patrons you have a much higher chance of winning than when you’re one in almost 200,000 YouTube subscribers.
It won’t be me presenting our new YouTube Shorts prize giveaway videos. That job falls to Darko.Audio team member Jana Dagdagan. We’re starting small with the THX Onyx, as seen in the recent Dongle DACs video, and we are starting today.
In the coming months, we’ll be giving away more luxurious prizes. A subwoofer is already lined up for September but if you’re a manufacturer and you’d like to give something away to the Darko.Audio YouTube audience – something that fits with this publication’s editorial angles – then please get in touch.
The THX Dongle DAC competition video (see below) has just gone live and you have five days to enter. But make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel before you submit your entry.
One final thought: if you’re watching YouTube Shorts on a desktop or laptop computer, you can still enter the competition but you’ll see black bars on either side of the video. Why? Shorts are 9:16, not 16:9.