Following Susan Wojcicki’s stepping down as CEO of YouTube, the platform now has a new leader in Neal Mohan, YouTube’s former Chief Product Officer. Mohan recently set out his vision for the YouTube of 2023 in an open letter to creators.
He said that creators and artists are the “heart of YouTube” and that he will continue to put them first.
“We’re investing in the features and experiences that will make YouTube a great home for viewers and creators now and in the future, from doubling down on streaming and connected TV to unlocking unparalleled creative potential.”
But for Mohan, it’s not just about this year. He says the platform is “imagining what the future of creation will look like.”
That’s a big question, but Mohan seems to have a firm grasp of the industry and what he thinks will work for creators and viewers alike:
“This is a pivotal moment for our industry. We face challenging economic headwinds and uncertain geopolitical conditions. AI presents incredible creative opportunities, but must be balanced by responsible stewardship.
Creators, viewers, and advertisers have more choices about where to spend their time than ever before and platforms like YouTube need to deliver across a range of formats while investing in the policies that protect platforms from real-world harm.”
What’s in store from YouTube this year?
Mohan is focusing on several different areas, but all of them come down to making things better for creators and artists:
1) Prioritizing the Needs of Creators
Mohan wants to make it easier for creators and artists to make more money. In addition to money from ads, Mohan says they are “expanding our subscriptions business, investing in shopping, and continually improving our paid digital goods offerings.”
The company is also working on improving the platform’s features and experiences. While some of these improvements don’t directly impact what creators can do or how much they can earn, they do provide a better experience for viewers, allowing them to watch what, and how they want. Of course, this helps creators too, as creators can then reach their viewers with their content in different and better ways.
Viewers can now watch Shorts on their TV as YouTube is now offering them in a TV-friendly format, giving creators the chance to see their work on larger screens. Shorts also has greater reach for creators and allows them to build their own communities and grow their audience.
YouTube is also making it easier for creators to publish their podcasts and later this year, creators will be able to upload their podcasts via RSS integration.
In addition, creators will be able to record a Short in a side-by-side layout with both standard YouTube videos and other Shorts. They will then easily be able to report on new stories, add their own opinions, and add reaction videos.
2) Listening to Creators
YouTube has always listened to its creators, but Mohan states that creator feedback is a key part of how YouTube develops products and he wants to meet even more creators in person this year.
Two developments that came from creator feedback are:
- Multi-Language Audio, where creators can now upload audio tracks in different languages to their videos. This isn’t automatically done by YouTube. Creators have to record the tracks in each language and upload them manually, but for international creators and marketers, this could be a game changer to increase audiences across the globe.
- More accessibility for people who have hearing difficulties. YouTube can now provide automatic captions in even more languages than before and they offer viewers the chance to translate their captions on their mobile into 16 different languages, via machine translation.
3) Exploring the Possibilities of AI
There’s far more to come from the possibilities of AI than we’ve seen so far. YouTube is looking at how to incorporate AI responsibly so that creators can use it to raise their video production values, and simply to enjoy and create with it.
Mohan imagines that creators will be able to virtually swap outfits and use AI’s capabilities to create stunning and filmic settings for their videos.
There’s also more for viewers, including Primetime Channels, where users can watch their chosen streaming services, and a partnership with the NFL for NFL Sunday Ticket, where viewers can also connect with other sports fans.
So, what does all this mean for marketers? Well, you’ll have more options than ever to make money on YouTube, including ad share, integration with Shopify and other shopping platforms, subscriptions, and more.
What Mohan has planned sounds extremely exciting for creators and full of potential for marketers to put their creative hats on and look at how they can use the platform to promote their clients.
The platform will be more accessible and inclusive, with more subtitles for the hard of hearing and, with multiple language tracks available, global marketers can far more easily reach audiences in other countries.
All in all, Mohan’s vision for 2023 leaves the impression of a company in safe hands with an exciting future for creators and marketers alike.
You can read the full text of Mohan’s letter to the YouTube community here or if you prefer to hear a summary of his letter, you can do that below:
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