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Rene Ritchie, Gwen Miller and Todd Beaupre having a seated panel discussion at VidCon

Rene’s Top Five on YouTube: June 28, 2024 edition

Hi! Hello! It’s VidCon Anaheim 2024 time and I’m here to bring you all the YouTube and Creator action! But first…!

Keynote speech delivery at VidCon 2024

☕️ Spill the Tea is the name of a brilliant summit YouTube puts on once or a couple times a year where creators come to hear about, ask about, and give feedback on policy. That includes Ad Friendly Guidelines, Community Guidelines, Copyright and Content ID, and — new this time! — Discovery (aka the Algorithm). I attended the one in New York City back in October of 2022, and filled in for the Discovery team this time in Los Angeles. Watching from the audience and presenting on stage were differently amazing experiences. High level, it humanizes YouTube for creators and creators for YouTube. Because we mostly always interact digitally, it’s easy to forget every policy and every channel has a face and a mind and a heart behind it. This solves for that. Watching as a creator forces you to realize advertisers and viewers have agency as well and we need to all work together for everything… to work together. Presenting as a YouTuber forces you to perspective take and empathize with the creators who are trying to understand and succeed with the information you're relaying. And there’s real magic in that combination.

▶️ Premium YouTube subscribers have a few new features to try out. As YouTube CEO, Neal Mohan said: “Earlier this year we hit 100M+ YouTube Music and Premium subscribers! Our latest features give subscribers even more control over the YouTube experience - from skipping ahead to watching key moments to smart downloads for Shorts offline viewing”. I really like how thoughtfully and intelligently jump ahead works — if the player detects you’re spamming the skip button, it’ll offer to let you jump ahead to the point where other viewers have typically stopped skipping. It sounds simple but as a feature nerd, when you think about the user experience and content understanding required to do that, it’s really cool — especially because as a viewer it works so seamlessly you just never have to think about it all.

🎤 VidCon has been absolutely incredible so far. YouTube’s VP of Creator Product, Amjad Hanif, and Global Head of Culture and Trends, Kevin Alloca tag teamed the keynote with Kreekcraft and Pierson to show how incredible tools and amazing fandoms have come together to ignite this new generation of media — from creators becoming full-fledged studios to people discovering and connecting with what they love. Gwen Miller from Mythical, Todd Beaupré, head of Growth & Discovery at YouTube, and yours truly also took the stage for creator and industry tracks to talk about the Algorithm and what that means from Shorts to TV in the age of AI. We talked about YouTube’s efforts to better serve female viewers, how large language models can increase the relevancy of recommendations, and much. Feels like we need another Creator Insider chat to share more of that with y’all?

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🙋 Q&A: “Why do my videos occasionally pop off and get more views only to die down again?” The algorithm never gives up on a video. So, even after a video has been out for a while and everyone who was initially recommended it either clicked or passed, the algorithm can and does keep offering it to more viewers who it thinks might be a match. If one of them clicks on it and watches it, the system will try to see if that’s a sign of a new audience pocket, and start offering it to more viewers who’ve watched similar videos. If only a few engage, it might be a very small firework that burns out quickly. If a lot engage, it might be a huge firework that goes viral before burning down. And if something else happens, like a search of that topic that results in a click, a hit video from another creator that brings your video up as a suggested next-watch, a major news event that dramatically increases interest in the topic of your video, a shout-out or link to your video from a source with a ton of reach — all can ignite new audiences of various sizes for various lengths of time. Every time that happens, you’ll see a spike tiny or tremendous.

📈 Tip of the Week: School’s out for the summer, at least in the Northern hemisphere. That can lead to changes in how and when your viewers typically engage with your videos. Some people stay in more and watch more during the week where they previously watched mostly on weekends. Some shift focus from more academic topics that helped them with their schoolwork to more fun or chill topics that help them not work. Point being, it can result in temporarily lower views or just different accelerations or spreads of views, and if you’re not used to it, it can be stressful and confusing. Not just summer break, but any kind of seasonality — back to school, opening day, after playoffs, holidays, post-holiday — they can all result in wild highs and perplexing lows if you’re not paying attention to them. If your channel has been around for a few years or more, go into YouTube Analytics and change the view from the default 28 days to 2-3 years or more and look for patterns where views go up and down at the same time every year. Once you’ve identified them, you can figure out if you want to use the slower periods to rest and recharge, or work on evergreen content that’ll keep paying off as things pick back up. Also, if you want to plan anything special for the faster periods so you get the most views and attention on what matters to you the most!

Now get back to the contenting!

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