The VidCon event is taking place in Anaheim all this weekend, bringing the spotlight to digital video. One of the highlights from the show revolved around YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki, who made several announcements regarding Google’s YouTube video site that could push it in a far more popular direction.
“Ten years ago, YouTube started with a simple idea: ‘Broadcast yourself,'” Wojcicki said during her presentation. “We believed that anyone should be able to create content that everyone in the world could watch. It turned out with that simple idea, creators like you from around the world were able to spark a massive change: the reinvention of television. We’ve gone from an era of passive entertainment into a renaissance of immersive entertainment.”
With that – and following a surge of over 60%in YouTube revenue for the second quarter of 2015, Wojcicki revealed, per a report from the L.A. Times, that YouTube is “a mobile company,” with the revealing of a revamped YouTube app that focuses more on “maximizing discovery and expression.”
The app still works to the user’s benefit, and also includes capture and editing tools with filter and music, as well as vertical video playback and the “most requested creator feature: a simple way for your fans to opt in to all notifications from your channel.” This revitalized app is available now, and should be easy to update for those who already have it.
In addition, the company will continue to push for more 360-degree supported video, as well as 3D support to “enable truly immersive virtual reality experiences.” Wojcicki also stated that YouTube Spaces will also be updated with the latest Jump camera gear, so that 360-degree video is more adaptable to video creators. Additional Spaces will be opened up next year as well, including locations in Toronto and Mumbai.
“We’ve seen big name artists like Avicii and Bjork do some breakthrough things with 3D video,” she said. “But we want to empower all of you to chart this new frontier.”
Finally, Wojcicki turned the focus of the presentation back to the creators, since their work is where YouTube seems to thrive the most. “I want to leave you all with one final message: YouTube succeeds only if you, our creators, succeed,” she said. “You’re the reason that we’re all here today: you’re the reason that VidCon exists in the first place. All of you have invested in building your channels, building your businesses, listening to viewer feedback, pored over your analytics and, as a result, made great content and built strong communities.”
However, there’s still no word on when the company will launch its ad-free subscription based services. Said Wojcicki, speaking with the Wall Street Journal, “There are some partners outstanding, and we’re still in the process of working through that with them.”
She added, “It’s important that there is parity, meaning that all content that was on the ad-supported service is available for our users on subscription. It doesn’t make sense from a user perspective to pay and then get less.
“It’s important that content creators have choice in terms of do they want to participate in the platform. But it needs to work for the users. If they don’t come, nothing else really matters,” she concluded.