Shorts, Longs, and Lives: How to Compare YouTube Views from All 3

Are you a multi-format creator? Now you can compare views across all content types, including YouTube Shorts, livestreams, and regular videos. Here's how!

Which type of YouTuber are you: the one who embraces every content type or the one who prefers a single video format? If you silently answered, Every content type, we're guessing your channel is pretty diverse! You probably make all of the following:

  • Horizontal videos (longs)
  • Vertical videos (Shorts)
  • YouTube livestreams (lives)

In other words, you're a well-rounded creator. You boldly go where most creators haven't gone (shameless Star Trek plug) and are always up for a challenge. It's a great quality to have because the more you experiment on YouTube, the more likely you are to find what works for you.

But with all that content-making, you now have more videos to analyze and track performance for. After all, it's normal to wonder how everything competes with each other!

For example, how many people watch your livestreams versus your regular videos (sometimes we call these "longs" since they're compared side-by-side to Shorts)? Or, curiously, what percentage of viewers watch your Shorts compared with your lives?

YouTube's Viewership Panel for Shorts, Longs, and Lives

To help you out, YouTube has released a new panel called viewers across formats. It compares your viewership across all video types, including YouTube Shorts, long-form videos, and livestreams. Notably, this panel only tracks data for returning viewers, not those who never came back to your channel.

If you click through the uppermost tabs, you're able to compare viewership on:

  • Regular videos versus Shorts
  • Regular videos versus livestreams
  • Shorts versus livestreams

The breakdown is in percentages, so you get a bird's-eye view of what's happening on your channel. And for each comparison, you can see the percentage of people who watch both content types.

Finding the 'Viewers Across Formats' Panel

1. Go to the YouTube Studio and click Analytics in the left navigation bar.

2. Select the Content tab.

3. Scroll down until you see Viewers Across Formats on the right side of the screen. You'll notice that it only shows data from the last 28 days.

Why You Need This Data

Knowing the percentage of people who watch your Shorts, longs, and lives reveals what you do best on YouTube. It also shines a light on the following:

  • Opportunities for cross-promotion
  • Content that needs work

For example, here's what our viewership looks like on the vidIQ channel:

You'll notice that our most popular content is regular videos first, then Shorts, and finally, livestreams.

Opportunities for Cross Promotion

Our Shorts and longs have the most chemistry, as 26% of viewers watch both content types. Since many people are interested in both, we have an opportunity to cross-promote each type and boost their collective views.

Read more: Promote Your YouTube Channel - 17 Tips for Small Creators

So, how does it work? If you want to cross-promote on your own channel, build a bridge between your short and long-form content.

One strategy is to recommend a long-form video in the description or comment section of every YouTube Short. If you're using the comment section to do this, pin your message to the top so everyone sees your recommended video link. If you want to use the description area, use a call to action inside of your video to drive viewers to that section.

Want another strategy that works? Make Shorts and longs that complement each other!

For example, imagine that you've just filmed a video about traveling on a budget. In either the comment section or description area, you could recommend a Short that offers a "checklist" for budget travelers. Remember, you'll get more views if both videos are related yet contain new information!

Content That's Not Relevant (Or Needs Work)

If one content type is struggling on your channel, it doesn't always mean you should stop creating it. In our case, people don't watch our livestreams nearly as much as the Shorts and longs on our channel. But our livestreams are valuable in their own way! We give free channel audits to small creators, so the overall impact is greater than the views we receive.

On your channel, you might decide that your low-performing content just isn't worth the effort. In that case, dropping those videos could help you focus on the ones that do work.

The Perfect Scenario

What would your viewership look like if you had the perfect YouTube channel?

No such thing exists, but if it did, it would look something like this:

For any content comparison, 100% of viewers would happily watch both video types. Sounds amazing, right?

One way to come close to this scenario is by speaking to the same target audience in your videos. Whether you create longs, Shorts, or lives, have a core message that appeals to one group of people!

Narrow Your Channel's Focus

With this new panel, YouTube reveals what your viewers gravitate toward the most: your Shorts, your longs, or your lives. With that information, you can narrow your focus quite a bit. After all, maybe you don't need to go after every type of content on YouTube; perhaps one or two will do the trick.

No matter what you decide, we'll help you get views on any YouTube video. Check out the links below for more guidance!