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Rene’s Top Five on YouTube: March 14, 2024 Edition

It’s officially Daylight Saving Time in North America, when creators sacrifice an hour of editing in the spring to get earlier shoot starts in the summer, and in hopes of getting those 60 minutes back again in the fall… before we have to hunker down for the prime ad rates in the winter! Or something like that! Let’s do this list!

💗 All the vibes! YouTube CEO Neal Mohan writes his letter to the creator community. YouTube educator Shelly Saves the Day reads and comments on the letter on her personal live stream. Neal thanks her for sharing on Twitter/X and Threads. Shelly responds, and reminds creators never to judge their audience by its size — even a video with a hundred views could conceivably include among them the CEO of YouTube (or anyone!) Same feeling from Neal’s reaction to the card trick by Dan Rhodes. My whole entire heart!

📺 We got videos! If you haven’t watched it yet, I just launched my new podcast and got to sit down with Todd and Chucky for a deep dive on thumbnails and packaging! YouTube creators also has a terrific interview with Jade Beason on brand building and channel memberships. And Creator Insider has a whole new set for News Flash, and an update on the subs tab, viewer clips, and more! If you’d rather a good quick read, the YouTube Blog has just taken a look at everything the team is doing to help videos and creators look fire on TV!

👀 More to watch: One of the things I love most about YouTube is how endlessly broad and deep it really goes, and how constantly creators reinvent and reinvigorate the platform. There were two phenomenal interviews this week that really highlighted that for me again. The first was Jon Youshaei with Cleo Abram. Tech was one of the first big categories on YouTube, and it has a ton of established channels and formats, but Cleo has come on, blended rigorous journalism with stand-out optimism and terrifically engaging storytelling to create something that feels fresh and refreshing. The second was Jacob Collier on Colin & Samir. Beyond being an incredible singer and musician, Jacob has incredible insight into what it means to create for an audience, for other people to love. They’re super in-depth but well worth the watch, and if you want just a tiny bit more, you can also catch Cleo and Jacob sharing some short creator advice with yours truly.

🙋Q&A: If a video gets a ton of views from an external source, but those views click out almost as fast as they click in, will that negatively impact YouTube recommendations? We get variations of this question a lot! Sometimes if a video makes it onto Reddit or Google Discover or gets otherwise embedded on a large website, it can generate a huge amount of clicks, but also tank average view duration. Is the surge in views enough to overcome the drop in retention? It actually doesn’t matter! Traffic sources on YouTube tend to be informed by the data generated by that same source. So, home page recommendations from viewer reaction on the home page, search ranking from viewer reactions in search, etc. In other words, a massive influx of external clicks can look wild in your analytics, but it won’t really mess with your recs.

📈 Tip of the Week: Inspired by Shelly’s post, something that can be a useful, encouraging, and humbling reminder for any creator is to take the views on any of our videos and imagine those people in a real-world setting. 10 views may not seem like much, but it’s a coffee shop. 100 views could be an intimate club. 1000 views, 10,000, 100,000 and we start moving up to sold-out stadiums. So, next time you want to feel inspired, you want to feel your reach, you want to remember the great responsibility that comes with a great audience, look at that view count, and imagine all of those faces watching your video. Chills. Literal chills.

Quick one this week, so more time for contenting!