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YouTube Creator Liaison Rene Ritchie speaking to a creator supported by Make-A-Wish

Rene’s Top Five on YouTube: February 8, 2024 Edition

These are the top 5 things I saw this week.

Hello from YouTube HQ! I’m back in currently-rain-drenched San Bruno, California this week to meet with YouTube’s product and policy teams and share all of the feedback and insights with them that creators have been sharing with me… and to do some other fun stuff you’ll be seeing soon! But betwixt and between all that, I’ve still been scouring YouTube, X/Twitter, Instagram, Threads, and Discord for the most impactful news of the week, for you!

💡 4 big bets: YouTube’s CEO, Neal Mohan shared his annual letter to creators this week, outlining his vision for 2024. It hit on four big bets around AI accelerating human creativity, creators having earned legitimacy everywhere from government jobs reports to the Emmy stage, the incredible growth of YouTube on TV, and how important it is to care for the creator economy — especially now that the YouTube partner program (YPP) encompasses more than 3 million channels and YouTube has paid out more than $7B in the last 3 years to creators, artists, and media companies. I’ve already given you my hot take Short so here’s the deep cut: After being a full-time creator, there are very, very, very few companies and people I would have come back to a day job for, and reading this letter shows just exactly why I’m here at YouTube — the passion to bet big on creators and technology, with the humility and maturity to do it thoughtfully and responsibly. Thanks, Neal! (Go read the full letter on the YouTube Blog)

🐯 Many big reacts: I wasn’t the only creator who found a lot to like in Neal’s letter. MrBeast said that $70B in rev-share had changed his life and the lives of millions of creators. Paddy Galloway said creators need to read the letter and shared his key takeaways. Jacklyn Dallas said multi-format, entrepreneurial creators with a passion for making videos and connecting with the audience will win the decade. Liron Segev said he was excited for the big TV numbers and YouTube’s commitment to delivering a great experience on the big screen. Muaaz said creators should think about how our content looks to viewers on TV. Todd ran the algorithms on just how big YouTube has become on TV. 😮 indeed Jimmy, and 👀👀👀 Vyyyper! Even creator collab’er extraordinaire, Sundar Pichai, got in on the action!

⚡️ Stream on! Vertical live has just gone… LIVE! Creators have been able to go live vertically for a long while now, but as of this week, viewers will be able to discover those live streams right in the Shorts feed. Short, *swipe*, Short, *swipe*, Short, *swipe*, VERTICAL LIVE! You can also tap to pause a Short, and a Live button will pop up near the top. Tap that, and you’ll see more vertical live streams to jump in on. If you’re not sure how to go live vertically, YouTube Creators has just the video for you! Kind of like how Shorts re-opened the door to the early days of more casual, on-the-go video, vertical live makes it super easy to share what you’re doing, any time, from anywhere. YouTube really hopes it gets new people streaming, seasoned streamers new options, and everyone more ways to connect and build community. Sherry, one of the product managers on vertical live joined me for an interview, and shared a ton more background and details, over on Creator Insider!

🙋Q&A: Can you stream vertically from desktop? Can you stream vertically and horizontally at the same time? Can you save vertical live streams? So. Many. Questions. I all-caps LOVE it! Yes, you can stream vertically from the desktop using your encoder of choice, just set the aspect ratio for the stream to vertical and you should be good to go. Also yes, you can stream vertically and horizontally at the same time, just grab two keys and start two streams — only downside is two chats to keep track of. (Third parties are and will work on options for this as well). And also also yes, you can save a vertical live stream, just like a horizontal live stream, and it will act like any other video on your channel from that point on, including adding watch time for the partner program.


📈 Tip of the Week: If you’re curious as to whether or not your audience has an existing appetite for live streams, vertical or otherwise, you can hop into YouTube Studio, go to Analytics, dive into the Audience tab, and scroll down to Formats your viewers watch. That’ll let you know the ratio of videos (long form), Shorts, and Lives for your channel, from nobody watches to everybody watches. If you’ve never gone live before, it’s not uncommon for videos and/or Shorts to be like 5/5, but Live to be 4/5 or less. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it! Even 60-80% of your audience is still a lot of people, and can also represent a ton of room for growth once you do go live. In other words, build their appetite for you live! If you’re new to live in general, check out my chat with Sarah from the YouTube Strategy team for a ton of tips to help you get started and grow the best stream possible!


💙 Bonus: Making a Wish: Late last year we had the honor and pleasure of hosting Make-a-Wish at YouTube HQ, and I had the special privilege of sitting down to chat with a creator who wished to come over and visit. After meeting with Neal, Cody Ko, and many others, we went to the studio and he asked all the questions. Here’s his video. Go make the final part of his wish come true and watch!

And then get with the contenting!