After a year of various concerns around advertiser safety and the related impacts on the creator community, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has this week outlined the platform's key areas of focus to assist creators in 2019.
As explained in the video, YouTube has made strides in assisting creators - channels with over a million subscribers nearly doubled over the last year, while the number of creators earning five to six figures grew more than 40%. But the related brand safety concerns - sparked by creators seeking to monetize questionable content - have lead to some limitations and restrictions incorrectly placed on some accounts.
To improve, Wojcicki says that YouTube will concentrate on:
- Increasing the accuracy of monetization rulings, and the subsequent appeals process for content monetization decisions.
- Improving platform communication - Wojcicki says that YouTube has increased its social media responses by 150%, and made response times significantly faster
- Removing content which violates community standards faster
Those measures will help YouTube better serve both users and the creator community. In addition, Wojcicki says that they'll continue to add in new monetization tools for creators (in addition to Super Chat, Channel Memberships, Merchandise, and Ticketing), while they'll also keep rolling out new tools, like Stories, to expanded pools of users (those with 10k channel subscribers can now utilize YouTube Stories format).
From a marketing perspective, YouTube's improved relationship with creators could lead to more opportunities, not only in regards to a safer atmosphere for ad placement, but also in relation to influencer marketing. As more creators develop their audiences on YouTube, that leads to more opportunities for relevant ad placement - and when you also consider the expansion of YouTube content into TV-like formats, the potential here is significant, and growing every day.
Again, YouTube channels with over a million subscribers nearly doubled last year, a huge and growing pool of potential influence for brand placement. What's more, while YouTube views can be faked, it's a little easier to get a better feel for an influencer on YouTube through their content, and to pick out those that are faking their way to a perceived higher standing. It can be done, and brands need to be careful with who they invest in for influencer campaigns. But YouTube's advanced data tools can help in choosing the right, relevant influencers to partner with in order to reach your target audience.
Given this, it's good to see YouTube making its creator community a key focus, and hopefully it leads to more brand opportunities throughout 2019.