YouTube’s newest feature is sure to lure TikTokers over to Shorts

  • Users can now Remix popular music videos in one of four ways on YouTube.
  • This feature comes weeks after Universal Music Group pulled the rights to its artists from TikTok.
  • Remix may help creators reach a wider audience by incorporating trending tracks into their content although this may impact their earnings.

One of TikTok’s defining features is the ability to incorporate popular music into videos. This formed part of the appeal in the early days of the platform where users could dance along to popular songs and potentially go viral.

However, earlier this month TikTok and Universal Music Group failed to reach an agreement as to the use of the record label’s artists. This means that music from the likes of Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande can’t be used on TikTok anymore and content that does is muted. Ironically, artists who cut their teeth on TikTok such as bbno$ can no longer use their music on TikTok.

But now, BBNO$ can use his song on YouTube Shorts thanks to the arrival of a new feature called Remix.

Essentially, a user can Remix a music video in one of four ways:

  • Sound – uses only the sound from the music video
  • Collab – a user can create a video where both the original music video and a video of theirs will appear in the same video.
  • Green Screen – the video can be used as the background in a short.
  • Cut – users can share a clip from the video
Not all options are available for all tracks.

Much like TikTok, users can find the original audio as well as view a catalog of Shorts that use that audio within relevant clips.

This Remix feature is sure to prove attractive to both TikTok creators and users. For creators simply being able to use a trending music track to eke out an extra view or two can help with discoverability. Many creators on TikTok do this by including a trending song or sound and then simply muting it.

It’s here that we need to point out that once music becomes a part of the content creation process, the amount you can potentially earn drops along with it given that labels need to get paid. As it pertains to YouTube Shorts, half of the revenue generated by Shorts with music from the likes of Universal Music Group goes to the label.

That niggle aside, for most creators Shorts will likely be more attractive, especially with 200 million paying customers who contribute to the revenue pool Shorts creators share.

Is this the end of TikTok? Unlikely. In recent years the platform has evolved to be less dependent on music from labels. It’s not uncommon for a viral sound to come from an independent artist.

The TikTok algorithm is also just eerily good and it learns what content you prefer very quickly. This has led to communities being formed around topics such as BookTok or more niche interests like North Sea TikTok (yes this a very real thing). YouTube’s Shorts and Meta’s Reels tend to show you content from creators you follow and then anything else that is trending.

While being able to more easily incorporate music into YouTube Shorts is great news and we’re keen to see how the platform grows on the back of it, TikTok and its billion users aren’t going anywhere just yet.


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