The short-form video platform initially launched in beta form in India in September 2020 and is now beginning to expand its user-base across the world.
- READ MORE: What makes an old song go viral on TikTok?
The app will launch in the States today (March 18) and will roll out gradually over the coming weeks.
Like TikTok, Shorts will allow users to create short videos and pull from a library of songs to soundtrack them. Shorts boasts access to millions of songs from over 250 labels and publishing companies, including major labels like Universal, Sony and Warner, as well as independent companies like Beggars and Kobalt.
The new app will also incorporate audio from videos across YouTube, which the company says will open up “a new playground of creativity like never before”.
A Shorts area will appear on the YouTube homepage, while a Shorts tab is currently being tested on the mobile version of the site.
More new features could include the ability to find a full song or video by searching for it from a Short clip, a create button that would make turning full videos into Shorts easier and searching for other uses of tracks in Shorts.
In a statement, YouTube’s Global Head Of Music Lyor Cohen said: “YouTube has helped artists from all generations showcase their catalogue of work for music fans around the world. YouTube Shorts is the next big frontier of a fast-growing platform that is centred on connecting artists and fans, around the love of music.
“I’m excited to watch the creativity of the YouTube community remix old favourites into new ones while discovering new music from artists they will undoubtedly end up loving.”
Universal Music Group’s Michael Nash added: “We’re thrilled to work with YouTube on Shorts. With this exciting new service, creators and fans will be able to directly express their ingenuity and passions by interacting with Universal Music’s artists and music they love – while this partnership ensures our artists are fairly compensated for the use of music in these short-form videos.”
Meanwhile, the man who went viral for lip-syncing to Fleetwood Mac while drinking Ocean Spray on a skateboard is selling the original TikTok video as a non-fungible token (NFT).
Nathan Apodaca’s TikTok video caught the attention of millions last September, including celebrities such as Wiz Khalifa right through to Fleetwood Mac themselves, with bandmembers even re-creating the skater’s ode to ‘Dreams’.