15 years ago today, YouTube took a small step toward starting something big. On February 14, 2005, YouTube was registered as a website. Its founders wanted to create a way for people around the world to share videos. Soon after, the first video — “Me at the zoo” — was uploaded, and before the end of the year, the site was receiving millions of views a day.
Just miles away at Google’s headquarters, I had begun working with colleagues to see how people would use online video. Much to our surprise, users all over the world wanted to upload their videos to share their stories. But what surprised me even more was that so many others wanted to watch these videos about everyday life: funny dances, kids making cute unexpected comments, and, of course, lots of cat videos. These videos entertained us, but they also showed there was something very human about connecting through online video. While traditional media often showed polished and perfected versions of life, this medium was different; it had a raw, honest, and authentic feel.
As YouTube began to take off, it became clear that the company would need significant capital investment to support its growth, so YouTube decided to sell to another company. I, along with Salar Kamangar, made the case to bring the companies together. After the acquisition, founder Chad Hurley became CEO, then Salar, and I was incredibly honored to become YouTube’s third CEO six years ago.
Fast forward to today, and YouTube has more than two billion monthly users around the world, and 500 hours of video uploaded every minute. Looking ahead in 2020, we’re focused on making YouTube a place where everyone has a voice and can see the world as we:
With these new opportunities have come new challenges around responsibility. From the very first days, we realized the importance of setting the rules of the road with Community Guidelines. Over the years, we’ve built on our commitment to protect the YouTube community. While YouTube is clearly a platform — our focus as a company is to distribute the content produced by others — that doesn’t mean we don’t have responsibility. This is my number one focus, and we will continue to do the hard work to make sure that we’re on the right side of history.
We think about our responsibility efforts in terms of 4 Rs:
We’re proud of the work we’ve done over the past three years to raise the bar on responsibility. Over the past two years, we’ve made more than 50 policy changes, often in consultation with relevant outside experts around the world who help us craft guidelines that will protect our community in the long run. Today, problematic content is only a fraction of one percent of what’s watched on YouTube, and we want to drive that number down even more. And as the U.S. presidential election approaches, we will continue to balance openness with responsibility by ensuring that YouTube is a reliable source for information. Our efforts include raising up authoritative election news and removing bad actors and misleading content.
Over the next few months, we’ll be celebrating the moments that led up to the public launch of YouTube in May 2005. As I look back on my journey with online video over the past 15 years, I feel incredibly privileged to have been part of these key moments. What inspires me as CEO of YouTube are the stories I hear everyday of how YouTube enabled someone to build a business, gain new skills, laugh, cry, and connect with others. While I don’t know what the next 15 years will bring, I’m certain that YouTube will continue to empower the next generation of storytellers and enrich all our lives.
YouTube Music is a dedicated music streaming service that guides you through the world of music. With official songs and albums as well as deep cuts, live performances, and remixes, you can listen to exactly what you want, when you want to. Or you can sit back and let us recommend music for you right on your home screen.
Rolling out today, we’re introducing a shelf of three personalized mixes – the new Discover Mix, New Release Mix, and Your Mix – to keep you up to date on what’s just been released and introduce you to a wider range of artists and sounds based on your personal taste. Updated regularly, these mixes will use your listening history to create a unique experience and guide your music exploration to exciting and fresh destinations week after week.
Check out what each of these new mixes is bringing to you:
Discover Mix: Whether introducing you to an entirely new artist you’ve never heard before, or unearthing hidden, lesser-known gems from artists you’re already familiar with, Discover Mix will give you 50 tracks every week that help you expand your musical horizons. With new updates every Wednesday, it’s your go-to playlist to discover music.
New Release Mix: This mix is your one-stop shop for a playlist of all the most recent releases by your favorite artists (and others we think you’ll like). Expect a big update every Friday (when most new releases drop) along with mid-week releases sprinkled in throughout the week to ensure you are always up-to-date on the latest releases.
Your Mix: Your Mix is the perfect playlist for those times when you don’t want to think and just want to play something you know you’ll like. It’s full of songs by artists you know and love, and also mixes in some songs and artists you’ve never heard before, but that we think you’ll love. Small updates are made regularly, so the music never gets stale and there’s always something new in rotation.
The more you listen to and like songs, the better your mixes will be. New to YouTube Music? Don’t worry, we can start delivering a personalized experience after you’ve selected a couple of artists you like during setup, or even after listening to just a few songs!
Discover Mix, New Release Mix, and Your Mix are now available globally for all YouTube Music listeners. To check out your personalized mixes, download the YouTube Music app for iOS or Android or visit the webplayer to dive in.
These new mixes are just the beginning of an even more personalized YouTube Music, so stay tuned for more music mixed just for you!
Nathan Lasche, Product Manager – YouTube Music, recently listened to “Dance Monkey by Tones and I“
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Today, people want to watch videos that relate to their interests and passions – whenever they choose, on any device. For some of us, it’s guitar lessons, but for others, it’s baking their own masterpiece alongside experts like How to Cake It. Everyone’s primetime is personal, and what you watch often reflects who you are.
There’s no better place than YouTube to find the creators, music and shows that you love. And that’s why YouTube is #1 in reach and watchtime among ad-supported streaming media, according to Comscore.1
For advertisers, this means being able to reach people who are increasingly cutting the cord. In fact, YouTube now reaches more 18 to 49 year-olds in an average week than all cable TV networks combined.2
Tonight, at our eighth annual Brandcast event, we celebrated the creator, entertainment and music content that audiences love on YouTube. We also showcased new ways we can better help brands reach viewers in an on-demand world.
YouTube is focused on helping brands reach their audiences and drive business impact. To deliver this, we announced that Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR) is now supported on YouTube. This lets brands compare YouTube and TV reach apples-to-apples.
Across the 20 Total Ad Ratings (TAR) studies we’ve commissioned with Nielsen for brands like Colgate and the U.S. Navy, YouTube has consistently driven incremental reach at a more balanced frequency compared to TV.3
And across all Marketing Mix Modeling studies we’ve commissioned from Nielsen in the past two years that measured Google Preferred, we had greater sales per impression than TV in every one of them.4
To give advertisers more opportunities to validate their investments, we announced that Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) Sales Lift will be available for Google Preferred campaigns before the end of 2019. The tool helps brands measure the lift in offline sales for U.S. consumer packaged goods brands, and provide deeper performance insights across audiences, creative and more.
From Hollywood celebrities to top YouTube creators, YouTube Originals deliver the content audiences love. We saw this reflected in last year’s star-powered slate, which amassed over 2.5 billion views across 50 shows like Will Smith’s “The Jump” or Liza Koshy’s “Liza on Demand.”5
But some of our best content was still behind the paywall, including “Step Up: High Water,” which achieved unprecedented viewership for its season two premiere, and “Cobra Kai,” the critically acclaimed reboot of the 1984 classic “The Karate Kid.” In its rookie season, “Cobra Kai” received 11 award nominations (including an Emmy nomination), the Golden Tomato Award for Best TV Drama and a 100-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes – making it the highest-reviewed reboot of all time. And just after its season two premiere last week, which reached 20 million views in six days, Parrot Analytics confirmed Cobra Kai is the most in-demand digital original series in the world right now.6
Today, we announced that all new YouTube Original series and specials will soon be available for fans around the world to watch for free with ads — just like they enjoy other content on the platform. And we are excited to confirm this includes the renewal of “Cobra Kai” for season three.
This gives advertisers more opportunities to engage with a broader audience, drive meaningful results and align with top Hollywood talent and YouTube creators.
Our new slate builds upon the success of our first two years. We’re continuing to focus on stories that delight us from our favorite personalities, inspire us through rich cultural moments and educate us on topics that matter. From returning hits like “Kevin Hart: What the Fit” and “Liza on Demand” to new shows — with Dude Perfect, Markiplier and a top secret project with Justin Bieber — the slate celebrates the diversity, authenticity and spirit characteristic of the YouTube community.
YouTube Originals will be available to advertisers through bespoke sponsorships or Google Preferred lineups.
Last month, YouTube’s live stream of Coachella’s first weekend was the most viewed yet, earning over 82 million live views — an increase of over 90 percent compared to 2018.7
After nine years of success in the desert, we’re doubling down on music festivals, starting with a new two-year partnership to live stream Lollapalooza this August. In addition to the curated live stream over the four-day festival, for the first time ever, fans will get additional custom content that gives them unique access to the festivals’ artists.
These key moments in music, along with other cultural events like YouTube FanFest, provide more opportunities to reach audiences with the content they are most passionate about.
Google Preferred represents among the best content on YouTube.
To help advertisers better reach their audience, we’re evolving our Google Preferred offering to reflect changing viewing habits, and help advertisers connect with those viewers where they are.
Our proprietary algorithm, the P-Score, looks at the popularity and viewer passion of specific content — things like the amount of repeat views and how often videos are shared to keep Google Preferred Lineups fresh. It also draws on protection, which places a greater emphasis on content suitability where Google Preferred Lineup ads will only serve on videos that are reviewed first by machine classifiers, then verified by humans.
Tonight, we shared that we’re adding two new ways to help the P-Score be even more useful to brands. There’s platform (for videos frequently watched on larger screens) and production (for content that has higher production values like advanced camera work or sound quality) to bring more high-quality inventory into Google Preferred.
Our TV offering comes in two parts: The first is YouTube on TV screens, which is the YouTube app optimized for Internet-connected TVs. Tonight, we shared that connected TVs represent our fastest growing screen, where watch time now tops 250 million hours per day.8
The second is YouTube TV, which launched two years ago to give people a new and reimagined way to enjoy cable-free live TV along with the best of YouTube content. Now with over 70 broadcast and cable channels, YouTube TV is available nationwide and will be accessible as a standalone lineup in Google Preferred this upfront season. This change, along with audience guarantees and show-level exclusions, allows advertisers to zero in on live and on-demand inventory. And most importantly, brands can go beyond demographics to reach audiences based on their interests – just like with the core Google Preferred offerings.
For today’s viewers, primetime is personal. With this expanded offering, advertisers and brands can reach and influence audiences on proven platforms like YouTube.
Check out #Brandcast to see highlights from the night.
2 Google commissioned Nielsen study, U.S., May 2018. People age 18-49. Average weekly reach for Cable TV and YouTube (includes mobile, desktop, and living room devices)
3 “Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR) Meta Analysis, including all 20 TAR US studies inclusive of YouTube in-app traffic commissioned by Google running from January 2018 to March 2019 across desktop, mobile and TV. Incremental Reach Value calculated as YouTube’s on-target incremental reach / YouTube’s Total on-target Reach. Standard Deviation 22%. On Target Frequency calculated as On Target Impressions / On Target Reach. Standard Deviation 6.5
4 Commissioned Nielsen MMM Meta-Analysis, US 2017-2018. Base: all the studies Google commissioned in 2017 and 2018 where Google Preferred Lineups was measurable, a total of 20 MMM across 3 categories. Count based on incremental offline retail sales measured as two-tailed significance > 90%. Effectiveness is defined as incremental sales per impression. Incremental offline retail sales measured for TV represents average across all TV broadcasters. calculated as On Target Impressions / On Target Reach. Standard Deviation 6.5
5 YouTube Originals YouTube Analytics, Global, Jan 2018-Dec 2018
6 YouTube Internal Data, Global, [Apr 24-30, 2019]; Parrot Analytics, [Apr 24-30, 2019]
7 Youtube Internal Analytics, Global, April 2019
8 YouTube Internal Data, Global, March 2019. Based on 90 day average of WatchTime for Living Room Devices, which include smart TVs, Roku/Apple TV, and game consoles
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Any music fan will tell you, there’s nothing better than seeing your favorite band live. But if you’re one of the millions of people who can’t make it to a show, YouTube is giving you the next best thing. We’re working with some amazing artists to bring you live performances and music videos in VR.
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We’ve also been working with some of your favorite artists to experiment with new ways to tell the story behind their songs and allow you to be immersed in the video. Sit next to Sampha on the piano bench while he performs “(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano.” Step into Hunter Hayes’ recording studio as he builds each musical component of his current single, “Yesterday’s Song.” Check out Young The Giant’s latest single, “Silvertongue,” as though you were in the audience. Watch The Naked & Famous official music video for “Higher” shot at the YouTube Space LA. And you can use VR to travel behind the scenes, too. Check out Florida Georgia Line as they shoot “May We All” at the Tennessee National Raceway in Hohenwald.
You can watch these videos using the YouTube VR app available on Daydream or with Google Cardboard. If you don’t have a headset, don’t worry, you can still get the 360-degree video experience on your mobile phone or desktop. It’ll be like you’re virtually there with your favorite band.
Vivien Lewit, Global Head Artist Relations, recently watched “The Range – Florida (Official 360° Video).”
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