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YouTube could be developing just what everyone asked for: Shorts on TV

YouTube could bring the vertical short-form videos to your bigger screens

YouTube is arguably the go-to video platform for creators today, both with its short and long-form content. It certainly helps that the video service is available for a variety of devices ranging from smart TVs to handheld smartphones. However, you cannot enjoy all YouTube content on a big screen. Take Shorts, for instance, YouTube’s TikTok-like horizontally scrolling short video format. It’s mobile-only, but that could change soon. A report suggests that YouTube could develop support for Shorts on its smart TV app.

As things stand today, you cannot cast YouTube Shorts to a TV via Chromecast, and Shorts aren’t served on the platform’s app for smart TVs. This restriction limits creators’ reach, in turn hamstringing their scope for monetization and growth on the platform. During an internal event about Android TV and Google TV involving smart TV makers, YouTube announced plans to integrate Shorts into the app for smart TVs (via Protocol).

The report says a mock-up shown to the attendees had a vertical video on screen, accompanied by the video title and the name of the background song to the sides. The player lacked a full-screen scroll bar, but had Like and Dislike buttons off to one side. This suggests the interface could differ from both the regular big screen YouTube experience and the mobile-optimized Shorts you see on your smartphone or tablet.

Undeniably, bringing Shorts to your TV presents a tremendous opportunity for the Google service to get a leg up on Instagram’s Reels, which doesn’t have any presence on large-screen devices. The other obvious competitor, TikTok, launched an app for LG and Samsung smart TVs as well as Amazon’s Fire TV devices and Google’s Chromecast in November 2021. Nonetheless, YouTube’s app for these platforms has an advantage — it comes pre-installed on most TVs and streaming sticks, while you would have to download the TikTok app for Android TV separately.

At the event, YouTube also outlined plans to enhance YouTube Music on smart TVs with the ability to add playlists and albums to your library without leaving the TV interface. The company also discussed a new Mosaic Mode for the live television YouTube TV app (not to be confused with the regular YouTube app for smart TVs) allowing you to watch up to four live streams simultaneously in a grid view on a TV screen. There is no official confirmation for these features yet, but we don’t see a reason why YouTube would pass up the opportunity to let creators engage a wider audience with Shorts, and ape TikTok yet again.

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