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YouTube’s next frontier is the living room and subscriptions: CEO Neal Mohan

Mohan explains how YouTube is working on new ways to empower creative expression, manage rights, and drive revenue for partners.

In a letter, Neal Mohan, CEO, YouTube shares the vision for 2024, and four big bets that YouTube is working on. He states that more than 3 million channels are in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), which gives creators ways to earn money on YouTube. YPP has paid out over $70 billion to creators, artists, and media companies in the last three years.

As generative AI advances, YouTube is exploring fresh approaches to boost creative expression, oversee rights, and enhance revenue opportunities for its partners.

YouTube’s next frontier is the living room and subscriptions: CEO Neal Mohan

YouTube’s next frontier is the living room and subscriptions

Viewers globally now consume an average of 1 billion hours of YouTube content daily on their television screens. According to Nielsen's U.S. streaming report, YouTube has been the top platform for streaming watch time over the last 11 months. Creators are now thinking about how to optimise their content for the living room because the audience is there, people watch YouTube Shorts on TV.

This year, YouTube is extending features to enhance the living room experience, including sports content. The platform is delivering a diverse range of sought-after content, including commentary from creators like Deestroying and the Kelce brothers' New Heights podcast.

Notably, YouTube TV has surpassed 8 million subscribers, while Music and Premium subscriptions, including trial users, have exceeded 100 million. Mohan says, "Music subscriptions help us deliver on our goal to be the best place for artists to connect with fans, from insider access to Coachella to Shorts challenges with NewJeans, Dua Lipa, Tate McRae, and more."

AI will empower human creativity

"Everyone should have access to AI tools that will push the boundaries of creative expression. This year, we’ll continue to ensure AI is in service of creativity through our work with creative industries, in the rollout of AI-powered features," elaborates Mohan.

YouTube has unveiled innovative AI experiments, with Dream Screen aiming to amplify creativity by enabling users to generate AI backgrounds for YouTube Shorts. Users can bring their ideas to life, such as a popcorn volcano or a disco forest, simply by typing them in. Additionally, the Music AI Incubator seeks input from artists on how AI can enhance their creative workflows. YouTube had previously introduced Dream Track, one of its initial experiments to explore the possibilities of AI in music, in collaboration with industry partners last year.

Shorts is an easy way to get started, and AI will make it even more easy for people to create. Shorts averages over 70 billion daily views, and there has been a notable 50% year-over-year growth in the number of channels uploading Shorts.

Creators should be recognized as next-generation studios

YouTube is actively investing in ways for creators to earn money, simultaneously helping viewers shop for products. Direct support from viewers to their favorite creators is facilitated through fan funding features like channel memberships.

The utilisation of memberships by creators witnessed a growth of over 50% last year, indicating the tangible impact of fan funding. Additionally, YouTube is working behind the scenes to bolster creators through initiatives like the Creator Collective, fostering a space for creators to exchange experiences, build a sense of community, and collaborate.

Protecting the creator economy is foundational

Mohan explains, "We spent years investing in a playbook to responsibly manage content on YouTube including longstanding, rigorously enforced policies against hate speech, incitement to violence, election interference, and more. Our number one commitment is to responsibly protect the YouTube community."

As generative AI advances, enabling more sophisticated deepfakes and posing new challenges, YouTube is committed to evolving and adapting in response. All current policies extend to synthetically generated content, and YouTube is introducing additional layers of transparency and safeguards. In the coming months, it will introduce labels that inform viewers when the realistic content they’re seeing is synthetic.

YouTube create a healthy online experience for kids. Its youth-oriented products engage with over 100 million active viewers monthly, and it is fostering the growth of children and teenagers in collaboration with parenting and mental health experts.

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