7 music insights from YouTube Shorts

As interest grows around YouTube Shorts, Round’s data is showing a growing correlation between Creations on Shorts and music charts as well as how user interactions with music content on Shorts is showing deeper engagement than other platforms. Here are some of the insights that are driving our campaigns:

1.   Correlation with the Billboard Hot 100 has been growing

We’ve monitored the YouTube Shorts charts since they launched in November and compared correlation with the Billboard Hot 100, paying attention to the number of matching songs and their relative placement on both charts. Since February 2024 the correlation between the Shorts and Billboard charts has increased sharply. While we won’t speculate around which one is impacting the other, the data at least suggests a growing relationship between the two.


2. It’s 50/50  Frontline vs Catalogue with a preference for Pop tracks

Using YouTube Shorts charts data we categorized all Audios  by release type and genre. Of the highest charting Shorts audios just over half are Frontline releases vs 43% Catalogue and just 2% are original sounds. Compare this to TikTok where Frontline tracks dominate and Instagram Reels where Catalogue is more prevalent.

3. Views on Creator posts accumulate over a longer period of time

Whereas on TikTok the majority of views accrue in the first 24 hours, views on YouTube Shorts are more gradual. From a sample of 50 posts over a two week window we found that only 20% of views occurred in the first 24hrs. This is definitely something to keep in mind when comparing Shorts campaigns against other platforms.

4. More subscribers =  more views, but Micro creators still go viral

Creators with more subscribers are getting more views– however, these creators are used to the (far) bigger brand budgets that come with sponsorship on the main app. Micro creators on the other hand while naturally having less views/subscribers are still going viral. Across our Micro creator campaigns, between 10-20% of posts are getting over 10k views, with 5-10% getting over 50k views.

5. Comments play a bigger role in Engagement than TikTok

We’re seeing far more comments on YouTube shorts posts than on their TikTok counterparts. In the case of one creator who posted the same content across both platforms, they were seeing 3x more comments on YouTube shorts than on TikTok. Not only is there a greater volume of comments, those comments tend to be more relevant to the post and music, and less ‘spammy’. This could be inherited from the famous/infamous YouTube video comment culture that’s commonplace on the primary platform.

6.   The content feels like ‘early’ TikTok

A lot of Shorts original content reminds us of TikTok from a few years back; there’s more dancing, pranks, arts & crafts, and simple transitions. While these verticals are of course still popular on TikTok – they’ve become more self-referential and meta whereas on Shorts they come with less cynicism.

7.    Family content over-performs

Whether it’s content aimed at parents or kids – Family oriented content has been over-performing. It makes sense – Family vlogs are incredibly popular on the main app and the break-away YouTube Kids app has meant that younger audiences are used to being on the platform – unlike other video apps, both parents and their children are well acquainted with YouTube.


Are you interested in YouTube Shorts? Get in touch with our team today