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Inside YouTube

Thanks for Another Incredible Year - Here’s to an exciting 2017!

By Susan Wojcicki

CEO, YouTube

Dear YouTubers,

After what’s felt like a very long year, more than anything, I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for entertaining us, for educating us, for thrilling us and for inspiring us. Your channels continue to fill the lives of over a billion people around the world with creativity and joy, all because of the effort you put into the videos you make. And you’re succeeding like never before—over 1,000 creators earned Gold Play Buttons last year by reaching a million subscribers. That’s more than double what we saw in 2015!

One of the best parts of my job is interacting with all of you, whether that’s in person or reading your tweets and comments. And one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t hold back! You haven’t been shy about telling us what we can improve or do better and for that I’m really grateful. Your feedback has led us to make some important changes and investigate and tackle several thorny issues, all of which have made YouTube a better place. We know there’s more to be done, but below is a summary of some of things we worked on last year to improve the platform for all of you.

Strengthening our Community
There’s no question, what makes YouTube special is our community, so we focused on giving creators better ways to connect with their fans. 

  • Quick responses from real people. Because every creator has different needs, we’ve worked to ensure that every single creator who’s enabled monetization on their channel (and there are tens of millions of you!) can reach out to YouTube with a question and hear back from a real human being in one business day. 
  • Improved comments. We’re continuing to improve comments to make sure conversations are more personal and set the right tone. We’ve rolled out the ability to pin and love comments, highlight comments from channel owners and delegate moderation to people you trust. 
  • Easing the burden of disputes and strikes. We announced steps to ensure that no creator would lose money while Content ID disputes are being resolved on their videos. We changed the way copyright strikes are applied to channels so that channels aren’t unfairly penalized and reduced the time they last from six months to 90 days.
  • A brand new Creator Hub. We completely redesigned our creator support resources, to make them easier to access. Our redesigned Creator Hub at is your one-stop-shop for updates, news and support, and is available in 23 different languages.
  • The Community Tab. We created an entirely new “Community” tab that will give creators new ways to connect with their fans. The feature is still in beta, but eventually all creators will be able to post gifs, text, live videos and more to their tab, giving them quick and easy ways to engage with fans in between uploads.

Supporting the Creative Economy
Whether you’re an emerging or established creator, YouTube is here to support you.

  • Sustained Revenue Growth. For nearly a decade, we’ve paid out the majority of our ad revenue to our creators and partners because we believe they should earn money for the traffic they generate. In fact, for the last three years, partner’s share of revenue has grown by an average of 50%.
  • Rewarding rightsholders with Content ID. Content ID has allowed our community to celebrate their favorite songs and videos, while earning revenue for creators and artists. Over the past five years, we’ve paid out over $2 billion to partners who choose to monetize through Content ID.
  • Building New Business Models for Musicians. Even as music subscriptions grow quickly, advertising has become another powerful driver of revenue for musicians. In the last twelve months, we’ve paid out over $1 billion to the music industry from advertising alone—that’s not including revenue from YouTube Red, our growing subscription service. 

Investing in Cutting-Edge Creation
While we work to improve YouTube today, we’re also giving you the tools to create for tomorrow. 

  • Live streaming. While creators have been able to livestream on YouTube for years, we wanted to make it easier and faster. In June, we announced our new mobile live streaming feature that lets anyone broadcast to the world with just a few taps. It’s still in beta, but we’re busy rolling it out to more creators every day. We also became the first major video site to support live streaming in 360-degrees and in 4K resolution. 
  • HDR video, spatial audio, and a new VR app. We now support High Dynamic Range video, offering fans the most stunning quality we’ve ever streamed! We also introduced support for spatial audio, so you can not only see videos in 360-degrees, but hear them surround you as well. YouTube’s collection of VR video is the largest in existence—in fact, you can watch any video on YouTube in VR. And we gave viewers an even more immersive way to enjoy the world’s largest collection of VR video—a custom-built YouTube VR app. 

Furthering Creative Ambition
Finally, we want to make sure that we’re doing all we can to help YouTubers realize their creative ambitions on the platform. 

  • YouTube Originals. In less than one year, we released 24 original series and films, covering nearly every genre from documentaries to dramas to animated series. This year, we’ll release even more new original titles, investing in the creative ambitions of many top creators, on the platform where their fanbases already live.
  • International expansion of YouTube Red. We’ve worked hard to bring our subscription service to new markets, including Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea. We’ll continue to roll out YouTube Red in new markets throughout 2017, giving creators another meaningful way to earn revenue from their content and fans access to brand new original series and films. 
  • Global YouTube Spaces. We launched a brand new YouTube Space in Toronto and continue to work on a new Space in Rio, set to open in 2017. We also partnered with several institutions throughout the world to establish YouTube Pop Up Spaces in cities like Moscow, Sydney, Jakarta, Madrid, Dubai, Warsaw, Taipei and Rome. We have several more YouTube Pop Ups planned for 2017.
  • Music Artist Campaigns. To shine a light on the music of both emerging and established artists, we collaborated with them on customized campaigns, helping them connect with fans from around the world through the creation of unique and innovative video projects.

When I look back at this list, the thing that excites me most is how closely we worked with many of you to make these things a reality -- there were focus groups and feedback sessions where many of you could share directly with our teams what would make these features and updates better. We’re planning a lot of new things for this year, but one thing that will continue is the spirit of collaboration we’ve developed with all of you. No matter what new steps we take, I’m proud of the fact that we’re taking them together.