YouTube Shorts Will Be Available on Living Room TV Screens

YouTube is laying the groundwork to bring its YouTube Shorts to Google TV and Android TV. While the company’s take on TikTok’s vertically framed, quick-hit content has been enormously successful — racking-up as many as 30 billion views in one day on mobile devices this year — there is as yet no dedicated TV support for the phone-first format. That’s about to change according to reports filtering out of an internal partner event. While the meeting centered on Alphabet’s own smart TV formats, as a content-provider YouTube’s past practices have tended to platform agnosticism.

Any such changes could likely find their way to TVs from companies like Samsung, Sony and LG. “YouTube’s mobile app doesn’t let people cast Shorts to the TV, and the service’s TV app doesn’t surface the clips to viewers,” reports Protocol.

A mock-up slide presented at the partner event “showed a vertical video at the center of the screen, with the video’s title, the name of the song used in the clip and quick access to up-and-down thumbs off to the side,” Protocol says. The absence of full-screen scroll bar “suggested the implementation isn’t using the interface of the normal YouTube video player.”

In November 2021, TikTok launched TikTok TV, partnering with Amazon Fire TV, Google TV and other Android TV OS devices as well as LG and Samsung smart TVs on an app that displays TikTok content on “big screens in the living room.”

However, YouTube has what Protocol calls “a massive advantage over TikTok on TVs” in that YouTube’s web-based app “is installed on virtually every smart TV these days, while people have to actively seek out TikTok’s app — something few people may feel inclined to do, due to the assumption that TikTok is a mobile-only service.”

Other YouTube TV improvements include something it is calling “Mosaic Mode,” which allows subscribers to watch as many as four live feeds at once, dividing the screen into quadrants. “YouTube TV will presumably not aggressively crop the videos and offer just one audio stream at a time,” 9to5Google suggests.

YouTube Music is also getting an upgraded user interface, allowing people to browse albums and playlists, adding them to libraries from the TV screen, according to Protocol, which says Google also “previewed plans to integrate fitness trackers with Google TV and allow owners of Nest Audio devices to use them as wireless TV speakers.”

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