She said that YouTube has paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies in the last three years while the number of new channels joining the company’s Partner Programme, which allows creators to earn advertising revenue along with access to other monetisation features, more than doubled in 2020.
YouTube Shorts, the short-video offering from the Google-owned video-sharing site, has notched up 3.5 billion daily views since it started beta testing the service in India late last year, Wojcicki said without disclosing any further details.
While YouTube dominates the long-form video market in the country, it is a late entrant to India’s burgeoning short-video format that has seen more than a dozen new entrants including Instagram Reels, MX Player’s TakaTak, Glance-owned Roposo, and Dailyhunt’s Josh, since the suspension of TikTok in June last year.
That said, it is worth noting that YouTube Shorts is part of the main YouTube app, similar to Instagram Reels. YouTube recently said that it reaches to over 325 million unique viewers in India on a monthly basis as of May 2020, citing Comscore data. The company plans to extend the service to more markets this year.
Apart from this, YouTube is testing a new beta programme with a group of beauty and electronics creators in the United States to help people discover and buy the products they see in videos.
With television being the fastest-growing format for YouTube in 2020, Wojcicki said they have also worked on improving the look, feel and performance of its living room app, while making it easier for advertisers to expand their reach. YouTube had introduced more ad formats and measurement to televisions in May last year.
The number of channels making the majority of their revenue from Super Chat, Super Stickers or channel memberships on YouTube also tripled last year.
“There’s a lot more opportunity for us to keep improving the product for creators, advertisers, and users, and you’ll continue to see a healthy investment in this experience,” Wojcicki said.
Key priorities in 2021
In 2021, Wojcicki said policy transparency is one of the key priorities for the video-sharing site, especially in terms of content strikes and takedowns. “We recognize that at the scale we operate, it’s hard for creators to keep up with changing Community Guidelines. And we also know that we make mistakes.”
Among the upcoming changes include improvements to the appeal process for creators and making more support available to them. YouTube will also start asking creators in the United States more information about their gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity, in order to identify potential gaps that might impact them.
“As we gather this data, we’ll look closely at how content from different communities is treated in search and discovery and monetization. We think this effort will ultimately benefit the entire YouTube community, and we appreciate the partnership of the Black, LGBTQ+, and Latinx creator communities who have shared their perspectives with us to help make YouTube a better place for everyone,” Wojcicki said.
Another significant focus area in 2021 for YouTube is the increased regulatory scrutiny in the United States, European Union and other markets.
“We’ll continue to advocate on behalf of creators and work closely with governments to make sure policymakers understand the potential impact their decisions could have on all of you,” Wojcicki said. “We’re also committed to working with governments around the world as we face increasingly complicated regulatory issues.”
YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are facing scrutiny over their alleged role in spreading misinformation about Covid-19 pandemic and vaccination as well as videos pertaining to racial discrimination and hate speech.