YouTube gives advertisers new ad formats across Shorts

As part of this year’s YouTube NewFronts presentation, the company announced Monday that it’s rolling out new ad formats to its short-form feature Shorts.

Of note, the company is expanding Shorts into its video reach campaigns.

Video reach campaigns use Google AI to improve reach by combining ad formats like skippable and non-skippable ads. With the update, advertisers can now upload a 60-second vertical video in order to reach engaged viewers.

Previously, brands could only access Shorts inventory via Video action campaigns and App Install campaigns, which the company announced in 2022 during Google Marketing Live.

Paramount+ was among the early partners to test the latest version of video reach campaigns, YouTube wrote in its official blog post. The streaming service promoted its new movie, "At Midnight," across YouTube’s in-feed, in-stream and Shorts ad experiences. According to YouTube, Paramount+’s recent ad campaign “drove higher efficiencies and higher ad recall” as opposed to only having in-stream ads, the company wrote.

Shorts currently attracts 1.5 billion viewers each month, the company said during its announcement, and Shorts are now seeing 50 billion views daily.

Separately, YouTube announced that it is expanding reach ads into the home feed.

Also, the company added that YouTube Select, its targeting solution for advertisers to pick out content packages and further connect with their audience, is coming to Shorts. This will enable brands to present ads alongside popular and relevant short-form videos. The Shorts lineup for YouTube Select will become available later this year.

Plus, YouTube is letting advertisers have their ad be the first a viewer sees after they start scrolling through Shorts.

TikTok, a major Shorts rival, has similar tools for advertisers.

“As our viewers bounce between long-form videos and Shorts, discovering tons of new artists on the platform, they're also discovering brands,” said Kristen O’Hara, VP of agency and brand solutions, during the NewFronts presentation. “Since we launched Shorts and video action campaigns last year, we have seen many, many brands really lean into how they can use Shorts.”

In its latest earnings report, YouTube earned $6.69 billion in ad revenue — a 2.6% drop year over year. While it was the third quarter in a row that ad revenue decreased, YouTube continues to focus on Shorts as its pride and joy. Earlier this year, Shorts reached 50 billion daily views.