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“I gain 1 million subscribers per year thanks to Shorts”: Batzair, Tony Czech, Loïc Suberville... These Youtubers who broke through thanks to short formats

A Parisian café.

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“I gain 1 million subscribers per year thanks to Shorts”: Batzair, Tony Czech, Loïc Suberville... These Youtubers who broke through thanks to short formats

A Parisian café. A young woman is having a coffee on the terrace. An onlooker appears at the window. He throws her a flower then walks away awkwardly. At first annoyed, she lets herself be softened by the sweet words that accompany it. She signals him to come back. End of video. This short sequence by French YouTuber Tony Czech has 127 million views and 4 million likes, a notable score. It illustrates the potential of this video format of less than a minute that YouTube implemented in 2021, under the name Shorts, as a direct response to the Chinese application TikTok. “The Shorts have enabled the rise of a new generation of talent,” explains Justine Ryst, general director of YouTube France.

In fact, the market is attractive. More than 2 billion Internet users watch YouTube Shorts videos every month worldwide, according to the social network. In France, daily views on YouTube Shorts have more than doubled in one year. “YouTube channels that publish Shorts are growing faster. Public demand for short-form content is a long-term trend,” says Pierce Vollucci, YouTube project manager in California, in a video on the subject. Even better: In music, fan-generated Shorts would lead to an 80% increase in an artist's audience, according to YouTube statistics from last year.

Marseillais Batzair still can’t believe it. “For three years, I have gained 1 million subscribers on YouTube each year thanks to Shorts. This is a huge booster! », Confides the 28-year-old actor who made himself known on TikTok during confinement. “What also surprised me was that my short video that generated the most views was sponsored.” The Short in question, a humorous “tutorial” for winning a water fight, generated 20 million views. “YouTube videos are generally more polished than those on TikTok, which are more of a sketch. I recognize myself more in the DNA of Shorts,” adds the influencer. Building on his success, he started making long-form videos on the Alphabet platform. To do this, he called on the Webedia group, which has been supporting him since July 2023.

Compared to its Chinese competitor, YouTube Short is of financial interest for creators. “TikTok pays very little, whereas you can make a living from your work on YouTube. That was my main motivation for getting into Shorts,” says Loïc Suberville, whose channel has 3 million subscribers on YouTube, with a core target of young people between 18 and 24 years old. The actor, who humorously plays on linguistic differences, says he earns on average 2,000 euros per month in advertising revenue on YouTube, to which must be added one sponsored content per month, bringing in “between 10,000 and 20,000 euros” each time. A windfall for someone who, five years ago, was a waiter in a café in Los Angeles, then returned to France where he trained at Cours Florent.

Earning so much money does not leave anyone indifferent. “I get millions of views with videos that take me 2 or 3 hours. I sometimes have imposter syndrome,” he confesses. The short video in any case corresponds to his way of working. “I like the spontaneity of this format. When I have an idea, I start on it straight away and I know it will be edited and broadcast in a few hours. This suits me perfectly because I have ADHD (attention deficit disorder),” adds the 20-year-old who grew up in the United States. His bilingual sketches are popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Their production costs are limited. His humorous video “French is easy”, made by filming translation software on his screen, has collected… 74 million views.

But the Holy Grail for these click hunters is being able to address a global audience. And for that, there’s nothing like silent. “I create wordless content, like Mister Bean, and it’s a hit,” says videographer Tibo InShape, who specializes in bodybuilding, on the YouTube show Zen. Example: this silent video of around twenty seconds where he is reprimanded by his girlfriend, which generated 258 million views. What about women in all this? Female creators, as in other formats, remain in the minority, but some have managed to break through, like the influencer Lauren Cruz whose sidewalk microphones are a hit on Shorts.

The fact remains that short videos, which are consumed in spades, do not create as strong links between influencers and their audience. “It’s not the same attachment. We still build loyalty better in long formats,” says Tibo InShape. The other side of the coin.

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