YouTube is bringing shopping features to its TikTok-like short-form video service, as it looks to diversify its revenue stream squeezed by falling ad spending, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday. Ad sales on Alphabet-owned YouTube slipped to $7.07 billion (roughly Rs. 57,300 crore) in the third quarter from $7.2 billion (roughly Rs. 58,300 crore) a year earlier, as some advertisers pulled back on their ad spending in the face of an economic slowdown.

The streaming service is also testing new commission schemes for influencers who sell products through links in videos, the newspaper said.

YouTube did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

The report comes months after YouTube unveiled a new way for creators to make money on short-form videos, introducing advertising on its video feature Shorts and giving video creators 45 percent of the revenue.

The Internet’s dominant video site has struggled to compete with TikTok, the app that got its start hosting lip-sync and dance videos and has subsequently burgeoned to 1 billion monthly users.

Earlier this month, the company announced that YouTube Shorts was being rolled out to smart TV screens with a player that was optimised for the big screen. The firm explained that YouTube Shorts on TV will come with the video centered with a white border along with a background theme that is based on the Shorts clip’s main colour. Details of the Shorts will appear on the side of the video.

YouTube Shorts on a smart TV will not autoplay videos and users will have to manually go to the next Shorts by using the remote, according to the company, which tested multiple designs like the Jukebox style where multiple Shorts would fill the screen at the same time. This was ruled out as the design option strayed too far from the essence of Shorts, which features one video at a time, according to the Alphabet-owned firm.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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