Shorts and screens: YouTube’s winning combo

Friday 19 May 2023

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YouTube has evolved from a video-sharing site into a vibrant digital ecosystem with creators, viewers, and advertisers. At the helm is CEO Neal Mohan, whose strategic vision includes sustaining growth and unlocking potential to redefine how we consume content online. In a recent interview, Mohan outlined his critical strategic priorities for YouTube and the platform’s future growth trajectory.

YouTube’s mission is to give everyone a voice and show them the world. It’s a platform that has democratised creativity and expression while becoming essential to our daily digital diet. YouTube’s appeal is its ability to foster a thriving creator economy, driving audience growth and captivating advertisers. But how does he plan to build on this success?

Mohan has four core priorities: creation, quality consumption, monetisation, and responsibility. Each is a strategic pillar, interconnected and essential to the growth and sustainability of the platform.


YouTube monitors the content landscape, particularly the growing mobile and short-form content trends. To cater to the increasing mobile-first consumption habits, the platform has introduced “YouTube Shorts”. Although still in its early stages, Shorts has gained significant traction among creators, with views of short-form content quickly surpassing 50 billion per day. The success of Shorts highlights the platform’s ability to adapt to content trends quickly.

Quality consumption

But YouTube is not only about creation; it’s also about enhancing the viewing experience. Mohan envisions a more interactive YouTube, accessible not only on mobile devices but also dominating living room screens through connected TVs. With YouTube’s growth on Connected TV outperforming even Netflix in the US, the platform is set to redefine ‘couch consumption’ of digital content. YouTube now reaches over 150 million connected TVs in the US alone.


YouTube’s advertising model remains a primary driver of revenue. However, he highlighted YouTube’s subscription-based services, such as YouTube Premium and YouTube TV. These offerings add a new dimension to viewer experiences with features like ad-free viewing, background and download functionalities, and more personalised content recommendations. The addition of premium sports rights, like the NFL’s Sunday Ticket, underlines the platform’s ambition to create a comprehensive and compelling viewing ecosystem.


Lastly, Mohan stressed the platform’s responsibility to its users, ensuring YouTube remains a safe place for users to create, view and engage. The company is addressing the challenge of moderating content, managing recommendation algorithms, and enhancing the user experience through AI and ML.

Mohan’s vision for YouTube is both ambitious and attainable. Whether integrating shopping features or harnessing generative AI to help creators enhance their content or transform ad formats, the platform aims to lead the digital revolution. Through embracing new technology, empowering creators, and delivering quality content, YouTube stands ready to shape the future of online content consumption.

About the Author
Lachlan Hughes, CFA

Lachlan Hughes, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

Lachlan founded Swell Asset Management in 2014, wanting to create a unique investment offering – a global portfolio with a genuine long term focus. He is the CIO, with responsibility for all investment decisions of the Swell Global Portfolio. Previously he was a Senior Analyst with NovaPort Capital, a boutique fund manager owned by Challenger Limited. Prior to that, Lachlan was a corporate lawyer working with King & Wood Mallesons, The Bank of New York (London), and Allco Finance Group.

Lachlan earned the right to use the CFA designation granted by the CFA Institute in 2010. His professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and a Bachelor of Laws.