VidCon 2016: YouTube announces mobile livestream feature and creator-geared enhancements
“While TV networks are losing audiences, we’re growing in every region and across every screen.”YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki yesterday delivered a keynote at VidCon, not only highlighting the platform’s impressive growth numbers, but also unveiling a host of new products designed to excite and retain loyal creators.
Sure, the online video space is becoming increasingly crowded, but Wojcicki made it clear that YouTube has its sight set on TV budgets. “Today, more millennials are tuning into YouTube on mobile during primetime than any cable of broadcast TV network,” Wojcicki said, and more and more, people are watching YouTube on their living room TVs.
After viewers watch SNL or NBA clips on their big screens, they can easily discover content from endemic creators like Michelle Phan and PewDiePie. This presents a major opportunity for both creators and advertisers.
The Industry track at VidCon continues to grow each year, but the conference is about creators and their fans, and YouTube, the presenting sponsor, made sure to appeal to both during its keynote.
To demonstrate its commitment to creators, YouTube announced a number of exciting updates. Some were less splashy, but still important, like giving creators the ability to pin a comment at the top of their videos or to include GIFs in responses. Other announcements will help YouTube retain and nurture talent, and provide them with new avenues of expression.
Sebastien Missoffe, YouTube’s global head of operations, was remiss that there are currently more than seven different websites creators need to navigate to find all the resources available to them. Now, there is an all-encompassing Creator Hub to make resources available to all creators – no matter the size of the following.
The biggest announcement of the day, though, was that YouTube is rolling out a livestream feature via its native mobile app. The feature is now available to select creators, but will soon be available to all. Kurt Wilms, YouTube’s product lead for immersive experiences, demonstrated the livestream feature on stage, which like many Google products, was intuitive.
Among the creators trialing the livestream feature is The Young Turks.
“We’re the godfathers of livestreaming,” The Young Turks founder, Cenk Uygur, told Found Remote following the keynote. “We started doing it 10 years ago on our website and on YouTube. But being able to have it on your mobile phone is a game changer. I think if we can get the eight million subscribers on our network to be able to watch us go live from the field, from wherever we are, that is going to be monumental, and it’s going to empower the audience even further.”
The Young Turks will be on the ground at both the Democratic and Republican conventions this summer, and Uygur suggested that the new YouTube livestreaming feature will be an integral part of the coverage.
YouTube now has a mobile-first livestreaming product to compete with Facebook Live, Periscope, and YouNow. That, combined with its other announcements yesterday, will help YouTube continue to attract new viewers while reenergizing its best creators.
Also during the keynote yesterday Susanne Daniels, YouTube's global head of original content, announced several new YouTube Red series, while Wilms spoke to YouTube's continued commitment to VR and 360 videos.