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YouTube VP of MENA Pedro Pena and Osamah Marwah

YouTube's Pedro Pina answers your top questions

When Pedro Pina met Osamah Marwah

If there’s one thing I’ve known to be true since working at YouTube it’s that creators are truly at the heart of our platform. They’re YouTube’s lifeblood and a source of limitless creativity.

Beyond their creativity what I admire most about creators is their commitment to making YouTube a better platform for all. With their candid honesty and feedback and deep understanding of the platform, they motivate and inspire our teams everyday.

That’s why, a few weeks ago, I sat down with Osamah Marwah in Dubai for an “Ask me Anything” session to get an idea of what’s top of mind for his followers and for YouTube’s community in the Middle East & North Africa, where some of YouTube’s most diverse and promising creator and user communities thrive. This was my first ever “Ask Me Anything” with one of our YouTube creators and I couldn’t wait to answer some of the burning questions people had.

The questions reflected the thoughtfulness of Osamah’s over 7 million subscribers. Here are some of the top questions we talked about, which I believe can resonate with creators in the region and beyond.

What should creators focus on: Shorts or long-form content?

Let’s address the elephant in the room - the question of whether Shorts is more important than long-form and other formats on YouTube. The simple answer is no. When we launched Shorts we wanted to enable casual creation in a mobile-first world and as a way to give creators more creative freedom in multiple formats. The most important format is the one that speaks to creators & their communities the most. So for creators, my recommendation is: keep your ear to the ground and go with what works best for you and your audience and we, at YouTube, will help you grow, whatever format you choose.

Why are there differences in revenue across regions?

YouTube helps you make a living doing what you love, but just like the economy varies in different countries, income can differ for different regions because of how YouTube’s advertising model works. The reason is because cost per 1000 views or CPMs (which is a metric that represents how much money advertisers are spending to show ads on YouTube) are driven by market spending which is why we work with advertisers interested in reaching, in this case, Arabic speaking audiences to help increase revenue opportunities for our creators. When advertisers spend more, CPMs increase. Because it’s an external factor, we offer different ways for creators to make money on YouTube beyond advertisements like Channel memberships, Super Chat and Super Stickers which are becoming larger revenue streams for creators.

How are YouTube’s Community Guidelines enforced during breaking news & crises?

We know we have a responsibility towards our community to ensure that YouTube is not only safe for our creators, advertisers & viewers, but also to offer a platform for people to share their voice with the world. It’s a fine balance between being an open platform and enforcing our strict Community Guidelines which apply to everyone who uses our platform — regardless of their backgrounds. And YouTube’s Community Guidelines are clear. We have zero tolerance towards hateful content or content that harasses individuals or groups. And this applies to all types of content on YouTube including comments and thumbnails.

How will AI impact the future of content creation?

We see tremendous potential for AI to supercharge creativity and help do some of the heavy lifting - whether that means creating surreal animated backgrounds with Dream Track or using AI to inspire content ideation that matches audience’s interest. AI will complement creators’ work and the work of their teams so that their creativity can continue to know no limits.

You can watch the whole interview on YouTube Arabia’s YouTube Channel and check out more of Osamah’s content on his YouTube channel