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YouTube CEO Neal Mohan smiling with creators before Brandcast

Rene’s Top Five on YouTube: May 16, 2024 edition

These are the top 5 things I saw this week.

Hi from New York, it’s Brandcast 2024! (That’s YouTube’s annual presentation during Upfronts week, where advertisers meet with platforms and networks to figure out where they’re going to be putting their dollars for the next year. And increasingly, that focus is on where the creators are!)

Valkyrae speaking on stage at Brandcast

📺 YouTube CEO Neal Mohan kicked off the week with a scorching hot op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter, advocating that it’s time for creators to be recognized in the same way traditional media stars and studios have been recognized for basically ever. That includes not just governments local to national, but industry bodies and primetime award shows. In other words, Johnny Harris shouldn’t just be able to win for the New York Times, but for videos on the Johnny Harris channel. Same for Michelle Khare, Cleo Abram, and so many more! Then it was time for a #CreatorCollective to check in with the community before the big day!

✨ Brandcast proper saw Neal address just how much YouTube has grown on television over the last year. It’s clear that when people are turning on their TVs, so very many are turning to their favorite creators. YouTube is #1 in streaming watch time. Over 1 billion hours of YouTube are watched on TV daily. 9 out of 10 teens say they use YouTube. And AI is only going to further empower human creativity. YouTube’s Chief Business Officer, Mary Ellen Coe, dove into new YouTube Select Creator Takeovers, but also explained that if viewers could only watch one service for a year, it would be YouTube, where there’s the most expansive range of content! (Definitely true for me!) YouTube Advertisers has tons more coverage, so make sure you check them out.

🎤 Also on stage, Valkyrae revealed that YouTube is the #1 video platform for gaming content and her demo was that of traditional primetime TV! Taty Cockly and Sydney Morgan told us YouTube ranked #1 for trustworthy creator content, thanks to the authenticity of audience connections. From Kinigra Deon, we learned 54% of people would rather watch a creator breakdown an event than the event itself — it’s like watching with an acquaintance who’s also an expert! Ryan Trahan reminded us that, on YouTube, the smallest things can make the biggest difference.

🙋Q&A: “If I have 1000 subscribers, why don’t I have 1000 views on every video?” The best way to think about this is to think like a viewer! Most people not only don’t but can’t watch every video from every creator they subscribe to, because there’s just not enough time in the day and there are so many things competing for our attention. People subscribe for different reasons, sometimes as a type of super like or high five for a video they love, or a way to help the creator if asked, or as a bookmark for future reference. Interests also change over time and not everyone is good at or cares to clean up their sub feed. Also, people may sub for one kind of video and not be interested in other types of videos, even from the same channel. Subscribers represent everyone who ever smashed that button, not everyone who currently watches even one or more of our videos. Lots of people watch who aren’t subscribers as well. For that reason, unique viewers per month or views per video are a much better metric for determining your current reach than subscribers.

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📈 Tip of the Week: Just like viewers have a lot of competition for attention, so do creators. We can make a video, a Short, go Live, or record a Podcast. We can optimize for Home page, for Search, for Suggested. And just like viewers can’t watch everything at the same time, creators can’t make everything at the same time. We need to choose. We need to prioritize. YouTube analytics can help with that! The Audience tab is great for seeing which videos are growing your audience so you can make more like those or obvious follow-ons, and also other channels and videos our audiences are watching in case it shows obvious gaps in our content or sparks new ideas. Traffic Sources are also powerful. If you find yourself constantly stressing over subscribers or notifications, you can see how many people actually clicked from the Subscriber Feed or on a Notification, compared to coming in from the Home Page or via Search, and hopefully figure out where your efforts — and any anxiety! — is best and most proportionally applied!

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