Should YouTube Shorts Creators Receive Play Button Awards?

Carter Jackson

Updated Monday, June 17, 2024 at 10:06 AM CDT

Should YouTube Shorts Creators Receive Play Button Awards?

The Effort Behind Creating YouTube Shorts

The debate over whether YouTube Shorts creators deserve play button awards hinges on the perceived effort required to produce short-form versus long-form content. Critics argue that creating a 1-minute video is far less labor-intensive than crafting a 10-minute video. This viewpoint suggests that Shorts creators should not be rewarded with the same accolades as those who produce longer, more complex content. However, this assumption overlooks the unique challenges and skills involved in making engaging short-form videos.

Creating compelling short-form content demands a different set of skills. Shorts creators must capture attention quickly, often within the first few seconds, and maintain viewer engagement throughout the entire video. This requires meticulous planning, precise editing, and a keen understanding of audience behavior. The effort to condense valuable content into a brief, impactful format should not be underestimated.

Audience Engagement and Viewership

One of the main arguments against awarding play buttons to Shorts creators is the disparity in viewership between short and long videos. Critics point out that Shorts can easily rack up hundreds of thousands of views, while longer videos may struggle to reach a fraction of that number. This raises questions about the authenticity of a Shorts creator's following and whether their subscribers are genuinely engaged with their content.

However, it's essential to recognize that audience preferences vary. If a creator's audience primarily consumes short-form content, it's natural for their longer videos to receive fewer views. This doesn't necessarily indicate a lack of a true following but rather a difference in content consumption habits. Moreover, gaining subscribers through Shorts requires breaking through the "doomscroll" habit, which involves significant effort and skill.

Defining Award Criteria

The discussion also brings up the need for clear criteria for play button awards. If longer, more labor-intensive videos are deemed more deserving of recognition, then the criteria for these awards should be explicitly defined. Play buttons are currently awarded based on subscriber count, indicating that Shorts creators do have a substantial following.

Some argue that Shorts content should have its own category of awards to acknowledge the specific skills and efforts involved. This approach would ensure that creators of both short-form and long-form content receive appropriate recognition for their work. The comparison to a football YouTuber posting unrelated content like Pokémon videos highlights the importance of context and audience expectations in determining viewership and engagement.

The Skill Set Required for Shorts

Creating successful Shorts isn't just about producing quick, mindless content. It requires a specific skill set to be engaging without being over the top. Shorts creators must be adept at delivering their message concisely and effectively, often retaking sentences multiple times to ensure the content is perfect. High watch time on Shorts is challenging to achieve, with anything under 80% considered poor performance.

Moreover, the rapid engagement that Shorts can generate demonstrates their impact. For instance, a successful Shorts creator with nearly a million subscribers and a billion views is recognized both internationally and locally. This level of engagement and recognition underscores the significant impact that Shorts creators can have.

The Best Format for Certain Content

Ultimately, the debate highlights that different types of content are best suited to different formats. Some content is more effective in short-form, capturing viewers' attention quickly and delivering value in a concise manner. Recognizing the effort and skill involved in creating Shorts is crucial, as these creators contribute significantly to the platform's diversity and engagement.

The discussion around play button awards for YouTube Shorts creators underscores the need for a nuanced understanding of the skills and efforts involved in different content formats. Both short-form and long-form content have their unique challenges and merits, and creators of both types deserve recognition for their contributions.

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