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YouTube CEO, Neal Mohan, in a Short for Good Mythical Morning holding a milkshake and wearing sunglasses with the words "When the YouTube Daddy has got your back"

Rene’s Top Five on YouTube: November 17, 2023 Edition

These are the top 5 things I saw this week.

I’m at YouTube HQ this week for some big AI-centric launches — which I’ll get to in a generatively hot minute! — and some Creator Insider interviews — which, no spoilers yet! — but by no means am I skipping out on scouring my way through YouTube, X/Twitter, Insta-Threads and all the Slacks and Discords betwixt and between to bring you the most interesting and impactful news of the week!

✨ We kicked the week off with YouTube’s approach to responsible AI. Creators are already all over AI, and all across our production pipelines. It’s our generation’s fire, electricity, PC, mobile… maybe all rolled into one! YouTube wants to be bold and innovative but also recognizes the need to be responsible and humble. That might mean taking a little longer, but ultimately showing up stronger for creators, viewers… everyone, basically. This week’s update focuses on the challenges around “realistic” AI and synthetic content — how creators will need to disclose it, how viewers will see it identified, and how YouTube policy will cover it. We’re already getting a ton of questions and feedback from creators which is exactly how it needs to be, so head on over to the YouTube Blog and read all about it!

🎶 Then came Dream Track. It’s a very-small-actually-incredibly-tiny experiment that brings Google DeepMind’s Lyria to YouTube Shorts by letting a group of creator-testers prompt an idea, choose a participating artist, and generate an entirely novel 30 seconds of lyrics and music. And… it’s legit mind blowing. Cleo Abram, Jacklyn Dallas, iJustine, and Andru Edwards got to preview it right before it launched and… well… their videos speak for themselves. (And for me, I was privileged to introduce them and had the very same reactions!). And the artists who have joined in — Demi Lovato, Charlie Puth, Charli XCX, John Legend, Sia, T-Pain, and more — sound every bit as excited, every bit as curious to see what’s possible now… and next! T-Pain and Sia have even posted their own Dream Tracks already, which is so cool and brain-bendingly meta!) Check out all the details on the YouTube Blog and Google DeepMind Blog!

🕶️Who is the YouTube Daddy? What is the YouTube Daddy? I’ll do you one better… Why is the YouTube Daddy? It’s the question none of us knew we desperately needed an answer to until Rhett & Link met Neal Mohanuntil now! I’m going to just keep on saying this — I all-caps LOVE how engaged Neal is with creators. From giving Airrack a piggyback, to boba-battling Safiya, to being laser-pranked by Mark Rober, he’s not just sitting down to be interviewed, he’s jumping into the culture. And, presumptively speaking on behalf of creators, we appreciate it!

⚠️ YouTube is updating the Ad-Friendly Guidelines (AFG) around adult content. Conor from Creator Insider has all your details! Creators have always had to balance art and commerce, whether it was explicit lyrics and radio play, or R vs. G rating and the potential distribution and box-office differences that entailed. YouTube creators don’t have the generational experience the music labels and Hollywood can provide musicians and directors, but YouTube does have the guidelines. So if you want the maximum ad revenue possible on a video, do check them out and make the best and most informed decision you can for your videos! And keep watching Conor, of course!

📈 Tip of the Week: “The algorithm won’t give up on your videos, so you shouldn’t either” is something YouTube’s Senior Director of Growth and Discovery, Todd Beaupré, has told us all several times already. This week, he’s sharing an example, with permission, from The Editing Podcast. Reason being, that 10/10 at launch that doesn’t appeal to your immediate, core audience might just become a 5/10 or 1/10 over time by appealing to a much bigger, broader casual audience. I saw this on my channel with buyers guides. My superfans didn’t care for them, but the much more massive mainstream audience just kept boosting them, week after week, month after month, until they became my best total performers. This may not work for topical content — by the time your off-topic hot take reaches the right audience they may have already watched a bunch of go-tos go-off about it already and be not only satisfied but exhausted already. Then they time-out before taking off, but for evergreen content… the top right of your performance graph really is the limit!

Now get with the contenting!