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Creator & Artist Storys

Meine letzte Mitteilung für 2019: Das Jahr im Rückblick

Durch Susan Wojcicki

CEO, YouTube

Dear creators and artists,

I provide you with news every three months and go into the highlights of the past few months. In August I raised another topic. At that time, I informed you about our top priority and explained how important it is to strike a balance between openness and responsibility. I did this because I received a whole series of questions about the feasibility of an open platform and wanted to underline our commitment to openness and the responsible protection of our community.

Today I am returning to our usual format because there are numerous new updates on our three main priorities: to support the success of Creatorn and artists, to improve communication and interaction and to live up to our responsibility.

Before I go into these points, however, I wanted to let you know that YouTube continues to be very successful as a platform for creators. Compared to last year, the number of creators with one million subscribers or more rose by 65%. The number of creators who generate five or six-digit earnings annually has also increased by more than 40%.

We always say that the creators are what YouTube is all about. And that brings us to my next point, because of course we want to support your success!


Supporting Creator and Artist Success

One of the biggest problems you have reported to us this year has been related to copyright infringement complaints. This refers in particular to the worrying tendency that very short music clips in monetized videos are aggressively manually filed. These claims have often resulted in all proceeds going to the rights holder regardless of the length of the music clip to which the claim was made.

I am happy to inform you that we have made progress in this regard. A few months ago, we made changes that removed the financial incentive that resulted from claims for the very short and unintentional use of music. Copyright owners must now provide timestamps on all manual claims so you know exactly which part of the video the claim applies to. We’ve also updated the editing tools in Creator Studio to give you the ability to remove manual content based on timestamps from affected videos.

In the coming months we will work to ensure that the new and improved YouTube Studio is gradually used by all Creatorn. We chose this switch because Creator Studio Classic is based on older technology, which does not allow us to correct errors in a timely manner or to introduce the new functions you want as quickly as we would like. We’ve been inspired by Creator’s wishes for many of the updates to YouTube Studio, and we believe you’ll enjoy the great new features. These include the new dashboard, powerful analyzes and real-time measurements. Access to Creator Studio Classic will be disabled for most creators early next year. You will of course receive a notification in good time, before your access is changed. We know that learning new tools can be difficult, but this move will allow us to drive innovation faster for our users.

To further support your success, we’ll also offer new monetization opportunities that go beyond traditional advertising revenue and focus more on audience-creator interactions. Meanwhile, thousands of channels have managed to double their YouTube sales with the new features. Thanks to such innovations as Super Chat, channel memberships and merchandise articles, fans can now interact even better with the Creatorn. Super Chat already uses over 100,000 channels. Some streams have revenues of over $ 400 per minute when fans interact with Creatorn to say hello, send congratulations, or chat with them. With the expanded introduction of the Super Stickers, we are building on the success of Super Chat. Eligible Creatorn fans in 60 countries around the world can purchase these animated GIFs to draw attention to themselves in live chat.

Since we expanded YouTube Stories last year, stories have been used by more and more creators to interact with existing subscribers and gain new ones. Over the past year, creators who have used an active story on their channel have seen their subscribers increase by an average of over 8% compared to Creatorn without stories.

We also conduct tests to combine content that could be considered unusual or extreme with suitable advertising. As you know, yellow monetization symbols indicate that because of its content, only a limited selection of ads can be shown for a particular video. We’re working to identify advertisers interested in more extreme content. These include, for example, marketers who want to advertise a film classified as non-family-friendly. This way we can put them in touch with Creatorn, whose content matches their ads. In the first month, this program resulted in ads worth hundreds of thousands of dollars showing in videos marked with a yellow icon.You can find more information here .

We also heard the calls from gaming creators loudly and clearly for a differentiation between real violence and violence in video games within the framework of our guidelines. Our policy will be updated soon to meet this request. The new directive will provide fewer restrictions on violence in video games, but will still maintain our strict rules to protect viewers from real violence.


Improve communication and interaction


I always look forward to meeting creative people and this year I had the great pleasure of meeting with Creatorn from all over the world. A few months ago I met Alfie Deyes in Londonmet and celebrated the 10th anniversary of his first YouTube video. I recently spoke to Juanpa and Emma Chamberlain about their creative process and asked some critical questions from The Game Theorists' MatPat at the Gaming Creator Summit, hosted for the first time by YouTube . I also met a number of Creatorns in Europe over the summer. These included well-known names such as Patricia Bright , PewDiePie , Jacksepticeye , Sallys Welt , VisualPolitik , Mrbruff and Jessica Kellgren-Fozard.

To help Creatorn better understand our guidelines, we will expand our self-certification pilot program to hundreds of thousands of creators in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP) next year. In this program, creators can specify how their video complies with the ad guidelines. Basically, it is a mutually reinforcing process: the more precise your details are in self-certification, the more our system will trust you. Self-certification not only gives creators a higher level of control, but also concrete feedback on why a video has had monetization issues.

In addition, some creators have told us that when we do tests or make changes, they sometimes feel a bit surprised. For example, you might ask why we are making changes to things that seem perfectly fine and would like to be informed earlier. For this reason, I wanted to offer you a better insight into our development processes.

We're always looking for ways to make YouTube even better. Every change we make is tested many times and in several variations before we actually implement it. Last year alone, we released over 2,500 updates for YouTube. Before launching a new feature, three or four potential versions will be tested to determine which one best meets the needs of users and creators. With all these changes, big and small, we can offer you a better product that not only lives up to our slogan "Broadcast Yourself", but also enables you to earn money in the new creative economy. We’ll keep you better informed in the future why we're making these changes and what impact they could have on you. You can be sure that all of our tests are aimed solely at improving YouTube for all viewers and creators.

Finally, I want to emphasize once again that we will continue to work to promote your well-being. Many of you have told us about burnout symptoms and we really appreciate your honesty. Please take care of your well-being and allow yourself enough time out. Some creators have told us that they feel they can't take a break because they fear their channel will suffer. That's why I asked the YouTube product team to look into this issue. You looked at the data for the past six years and came to a gratifying result. After analyzing millions of channels and hundreds of different periods in which Creator paused, one thing was certain: On average, channels have more views after a creator pause than immediately before. So if you want to take a little break, your fans will understand. After all, you are the main reason why they subscribed to your channel.


Meeting our responsibilities

As you know, my top priority is to strike a balance between responsible protection of our community and protection of freedom of expression. I am often asked how we make changes to our policies and why it takes so long to implement them.

These changes take so much time because hundreds of people on YouTube are working on them behind the scenes and are discussing them with external consultants. When we updated our hate speech guidelines a few months ago, we worked closely with experts on issues such as violent extremism, racism, civil rights and freedom of speech. These insightful conversations helped us create guidelines that will protect our community in the long term. We went through a similar process in updating our pranks and challenges guidelines earlier this year.

It is important that our guidelines address how these problems arise in different cultures and languages. We also want to make sure that our policies are easily understood by users across the board. Before our new policy is introduced, all of our auditors are trained extensively by YouTube. This is to ensure that the policy is applied consistently, regardless of the country in which a user accesses YouTube.

We also make sure that every guideline works not only in theory, but also in practice. Before a new guideline comes into force, we conduct numerous tests to ensure that our reviewers classify content according to the new requirements. If this is not the case, the guidelines will be revised again. Our main concern is that content is consistently correctly classified and that no hasty changes are made.

We are currently updating our harassment policy. We will of course keep you informed of any changes. As with all of our policy updates, we're in close contact with Creatorn to address the issues that matter most to the YouTube community.

We will also make changes to the handling of data for children’s content on YouTube. These changes are required as part of our agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New York Attorney General to ensure compliance with the U.S. Children's Online Privacy Protection Act , COPPA) goes.

So that we can identify content as "especially for children", we recently introduced a new target group setting. Creators are required to tell us whether their content is created for children or not. Certain functions based on user data, such as comments and personalized advertisements, will no longer be available for content marked "especially for children". At the moment there are still many questions about how these changes will affect Creator. That is why we will regularly provide you with current information on this topic. More information about this change can be found here .

Since I've had lengthy talks with policymakers around the world - from Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, to lawmakers in Washington, DC to regulators in Europe, Article 17 (formerly Article 13), the EU -Copyright Directive, translated into national legislation - of course I wanted to bring you up to date in this regard. All of these discussions have shown that we need to help people understand what the creative industries are, how they create jobs around the world, and how legislation can affect your earnings.

Last year I told you what unintended consequences Article 17 could have on your earnings. Thanks to the support of our creators, we were able to make some improvements to the policy. We have succeeded in securing against liability claims if we protect the copyrighted material of the right holders to the best of our knowledge and belief. This change has made a huge difference and improved the copyright policy in a way that benefits not only YouTube, but the whole Internet. It is now up to the European countries to transpose the directive into national law. Next we will meet government officials. We will also invite creators from the respective countries to these discussions,

This issue affects all of us. We will continue to advocate responsible copyright reform and of course keep you up to date. The first bills are expected in 2020. However, it will take a few more years until Article 17 is transposed into national law by each EU member state.

Last but not least, I would like to say how incredibly inspiring it is when creators all over the world come together to do something good. Countless of you took part in the #TeamTrees Challenge , which was started by Mr. Beast and Mark Rober. This challenge is about planting 20 million trees by January 2020. Last month I had the honor to contribute to the challengeto accomplish and plant a tree with marrow.

The Creator's response to the #TeamTrees Challenge was just amazing. If you keep going at that pace, we planted the 20 million trees in no time! Of course, YouTube supports its creators. You can use the "Donate" button to collect money for a good cause. The donation button will be in beta over the next few months. It can then be used by thousands of Creatorn in the United States - and later in other countries - to set up a fundraiser and embed it right next to their videos and live streams.

It is incredibly inspiring to see your great work. Keep it up!


Susan Wojcicki