Incoming YouTube CEO Neal Mohan has laid out his initial vision for the future of the app, which includes a range of creator monetization and expression tools, along with YouTube TV developments, generative AI, podcasts, and more.
First off, Mohan says that he wants to help creators make more money, in order to keep them posting to the app.
As per Mohan:
“Hundreds of thousands of channels made money on YouTube for the first time last year. And we’re providing more opportunities for creators outside of ads by expanding our subscriptions business, investing in shopping, and continually improving our paid digital goods offerings.”
Mohan also notes that more than six million viewers paid for channel memberships on YouTube in December 2022, an increase of over 20% year-on-year.
YouTube’s YPP program is a key strength in this respect, paying out over $10 billion per year to creators, primarily via ad revenue share. YouTube has now extended that to Shorts, with ad revenue to be distributed among eligible creators, based on view counts, which could be a more equitable way to monetize short-form video, and could help YouTube attract more TikTokers to its platform to monetize their popularity.
It’s still early days, but initiatives like this will be central to Mohan’s next-level monetization push.
Mohan also notes that YouTube’s recently introduced multi-language audio tracks feature will provide greater opportunities for expanded audience reach. Mohan says that the option will also be expanded to live streams and Shorts, which could be another way to maximize engagement and interest in its expanded offerings.
Mohan also wants to help more creators get into Shorts, by providing more remix options to create Shorts from longer clips and live streams.
“Shorts is now averaging over 50 billion daily views. And last year, the number of channels that uploaded to Shorts daily grew over 80%.”
That presents a key opportunity for the app, and you can expect to see YouTube doubling down on opportunities to create and distribute Shorts as a means to tap into the rise of short-form content.
Mohan also notes that YouTube is bringing more content to home TV sets, including NFL Sunday Ticket, and a new feature that will enable viewers to watch multiple NFL games at once via the app.
That could become a key element – more and more younger users are growing accustomed to multiple media inputs streaming at one time, and the capacity to view several things on the big screen could be a big lure in getting more viewers more interested in YouTube’s TV offerings.
Along similar lines, Mohan also notes that YouTube’s looking to launch a new creation tool that will enable creators to record a Short in a side-by-side layout with both Shorts and YouTube videos, so that they can easily add their own take on a trend or join in with reactions.
YouTube’s also exploring AI elements:
“Creators will be able to expand their storytelling and raise their production value, from virtually swapping outfits to creating a fantastical film setting through AI’s generative capabilities. We’re taking the time to develop these features with thoughtful guardrails. Stay tuned in the coming months as we roll out tools for creators as well as the protections to embrace this technology responsibly.”
While Mohan also flags coming updates for podcasts – with YouTube now being the second most popular destination for listening to podcasts, according to Edison.
“This year we're making it even easier for creators and artists to showcase their podcasts on YouTube. New features in YouTube Studio make it easier to publish podcasts, and we’ll also start bringing both audio and video-first podcasts to the millions of people who use YouTube Music in the United States, with more regions to come. And later this year, RSS integration will offer podcasters another way to upload their shows to YouTube and give our users more listening options.”
There’s a range of interesting notes and considerations here, which will have implications for many creators.
It’ll be particularly interesting to see YouTube’s generative AI elements, and how it’ll actually go about integrating these tools into the app.
Either way, there’s a heap of opportunity on the horizon – you can read Mohan’s full overview of the road ahead here.