From monetisation of shorts to the impact of a strengthening AI ecosystem, here’s everything you can expect from YouTube in 2023.
With January having slipped by like an unmemorable camera tutorial on YouTube, we’re well and truly into 2023 now. Out of all the uncertainties and questions that a new year brings, one thing is nailed on each and every year: YouTube is going nowhere (unmemorable camera tutorials and all). Despite increasingly fierce competition, YouTube remains the internet’s go-to destination for all things video, from entertainment and news to education, tutorials, vlogs and just about anything else you can conjure up.
As each year ticks along, the platform grows from strength to strength and 2023 will be no exception. Below, we’re rifling through a few predictions for YouTube this year.
1. YouTube Shorts will continue to grow
The shock and horror. With TikTok continuing to brainwash a large swathe of the planet’s population, YouTube will be going all in on their own YouTube Shorts. The big news here is that starting from February 1st, “all new and existing creators in YPP will become eligible for revenue sharing on ads that are viewed between Shorts in the Shorts Feed.” In other words, you can now earn money from AdSense with your YouTube Shorts.
What’s actually possible in terms of revenue remains to be seen, but it’s a new and welcome additional stream of income for video creators on the platform alongside long-form videos, fan funding and merch. This next step from YouTube is a clear indication that it is making Shorts a priority in 2023. For those loathing short-form, vertical “content”, look away. This trend is not going away.
2. Long form video won’t disappear
On the contrary, just because short form content appears to be taking over, that does not sound the death knell for long form videos on YouTube. In fact, I’d expect to see longer videos with more depth and storytelling gain more and more traction throughout 2023.
YouTube is not just competing for your attention against the likes of TikTok and Instagram, but against Netflix and Disney+ too. It’s in their own interest that you stick around for a longer period of time watching longer videos. Audiences for long form videos tend to be more loyal and hold a higher retention rate, making them a more valuable market (eugh).
3. AI will play an increasingly important role in content creation
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the advent of ChatGPT in late 2022 has rocked and dominated online discussion in recent weeks. Meanwhile, apps such as Lensa can take your mundane, average selfie and turn you into a sci-fi hero or Viking god. The bottom line is, AI has arrived in the mainstream and it’s here to stay.
How this impacts YouTube will be really interesting – I expect to see a lot of it on the platform throughout 2023. The most obvious uses for AI playing a role in YouTube will be in the generation of thumbnails, titles and keywords. On a platform dominated by SEO and algorithms, using AI to gain an advantage could be massive. Additionally (and I’m not sure how I feel about this at all), I believe some creators will be looking to use AI as a way of generating actual ideas for their videos. Here’s what ChatGPT offered me when I asked for 5 “cool” video ideas:
Okay, this wasn’t anything ground-breaking as it’s all content we’ve already seen and watched on the platform. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Watch this space…
4. Live streaming will be bigger than ever
Alongside Shorts and long form video, I expect live streaming to be bigger than ever. YouTube has fought a successful war against Twitch with the result that nowadays it’s the go-to site for live streaming in my opinion. While not for everyone, the format allows a creator to connect with their audience in a more authentic way. It also generates a long form video that can then be cut and edited down to generate many pieces of content for something like YouTube Shorts and other social media platforms.
5. The definition of virality is changing
The YouTube algorithms have shifted and evolved quite substantially over time. Not all that long ago, “going viral” meant your video was seen by everyone. Nowadays, I think virality is changing. Because the algorithms are so good at knowing what we want and suggesting the videos it thinks we’re going to enjoy, YouTube videos still “go viral” but only within much smaller niches and communities.
This is something to really think about if you’re creating and uploading videos on YouTube in 2023. Take the time to identify the niches and communities you’d like to target (often the ones you’re already a part of and watch videos of), then create videos for those specific niches.
6. Multiple video trends to look out for
To finish up, I wanted to touch on a few video trends I expect to see throughout the year.
No great surprise, really. Tutorials have been the cornerstone of all videos on the internet since the beginning of time. Interestingly, it appears that Gen Z have pivoted away from Google and are using TikTok as their go-to search engine. I expect YouTube and Google have taken note of this and will look to fight back in 2023. Next time you search how to clean a camera lens, it’ll be interesting to see what shows up first.
Travel bouncing back
For better or worse, travel vlogs and videos will be back with a vengeance in 2023. With the worst of the pandemic seemingly behind us, the world has slowly opened back up. Expect to see plenty of travel content on YouTube throughout the year – some of it great, some of it…eh.
AI is a hot topic
As mentioned above, AI will be a hot topic throughout 2023 and beyond. You’ll find it being used to generate the ideas and scripts for the videos you watch as well as the thumbnails, titles and keywords. I also expect to see plenty of videos diving into the ethical implications of such a technology, as well as a “CHATGPT TOLD ME WHERE TO TRAVEL NEXT” series with a loud, obnoxious presenter who doesn’t know how to book a flight or read a map.
YouTube. We love it. We hate it. It’s here to stay. It may just be the best thing that’s ever happened to the internet in terms of the democratisation of filmmaking. If you have any further predictions and insight on what we might see in 2023, let us know!