Here’s a good read explaining why there are more eyes on YouTube than ever before. What is your business currently doing to connect with the 800 million people consuming music on YouTube or the 100 million registered users on Spotify?
The video giant is entertaining the planet and diversifying its revenue. But it’s not easy to keep advertisers and creators happy.
1. YouTube is catering to its most passionate fan groups. Wojcicki has pushed the company to tailor services for some of the most popular ways people use YouTube, creating dedicated apps for kids, gaming enthusiasts, and virtual-reality early adopters.
2. YouTube generates revenue from more than just advertising. Red is a premium service that’s ad-free and costs $9.99 a month. YouTube offers Hollywood movies and TV shows to buy or rent (just like Amazon), and YouTube TV provides 40 broadcast and cable channels for $35 a month. In October 2016, Google acquired the influencer marketing firm FameBit to help YouTube match brands and stars.
3. YouTube is building a deep slate of original programming. Wojcicki has quietly undertaken the most ambitious content initiative in YouTube history. She has funded dozens of Red Originals, which target YouTube’s core audience of teen viewers, a market that’s been underserved thus far by Netflix and Amazon. The programming is often created by some of YouTube’s most successful producers and features homegrown stars.
4. YouTube is now a mobile-first experience. Wojcicki has pushed significant user-interface enhancements designed with smartphone or tablet consumption in mind, such as double tapping on the video to fast-forward and rewind 10 seconds and embracing vertical video once Snapchat popularized it. The result: Mobile views now exceed desktop ones.
5. YouTube’s rebuilt algorithms have led viewers to watch 1 billion hours of video a day. YouTube is optimized for what it calls “watch time,” which encompasses what users view, how long they tune in, the length of their overall
YouTube session, and so forth. Together, these signals help YouTube algorithms decide which videos a user is most likely to watch shortly after they’re posted and which will lead to the longest overall viewing period.
6. YouTube has built a modern, global studio system. Creators can access full production facilities called YouTube Spaces in nine entertainment hubs including Tokyo and Toronto. YouTube enables HDR video and 360-degree audio and video, and mobile live-streamers can even broadcast 360-degree video in 4K resolution. Wojcicki has also made a big bet on virtual reality, amassing hundreds of thousands of immersive videos.
A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2017 issue of Fast Company magazine.