YouTube CEO shares platform updates, new metrics at VidCon keynote

Susan Wojcicki speaking at the VidCon 2017 keynote
Photo: FilmMagic/YouTube

YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki took the stage at the 8th annual VidCon to share some new metrics and updates coming to the platform. Instead of the traditional industry-only format, she spoke candidly with YouTube creators Rhett & Link on a make-shift Good Mythical Morning set.

Key Metrics

Wojcicki opened the yearly address by revealing that 1.5 billion logged in users are visiting the platform every month. She also shared that users, on average, are watching over 1 hour a day on mobile – but compared YouTube watch time to traditional TV, which sees up to 4 hours per day. “We think there’s lots of room to get people to watch even more YouTube,” Wojcicki remarked.

TV is also the fastest growing screen for YouTube, seeing 90% year-over-year growth.

Platform Updates

Content on mobile will soon automatically adjust in accordance with a video’s uploaded aspect ratio regardless of which orientation you’re watching in. Vertical videos will play full-height vertically, square videos will play as full-width squares, and horizontal videos will continue to fill the screen.

YouTube mobile's new dynamic adaptation

YouTube is also piloting a new, much cleaner-looking desktop application, with an included “dark mode.”

YouTube's new 'Dark Theme' option

Finally, native sharing is coming to all platforms, removing the need to use cumbersome copy-and-paste actions. Users will be able to share videos directly with friends in the app, similar to how users can share tweets directly via DM.

YouTube Live on Mobile

Last July, YouTube announced live streaming on mobile, which was rolled out in February to creators with at least 10,000 subscribers. Today, that requirement is being reduced to 100 subscribers, allowing a much broader group of creators access – and in the process, becoming a major competitor to YouTube Live

Virtual Reality

YouTube VR180

“With VR, the challenge has been that it’s more expensive, harder to produce,” said Wojcicki.

YouTube will now support VR180, a format that captures virtual reality in half the size of traditional VR – just 180-degrees of view – removing some of the expense and technology entry barriers that have prevented smaller creators from going fully immersive. The company is also partnering with camera manufacturers LG, Yi, and Lenovo to build new VR180 cameras for “as little as a couple hundred dollars” – comparable to the cost of a point-and-shoot.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV, which launched in February, is expanding to ten new markets in the coming weeks: Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne, and Charlotte.

New YouTube Red Originals

YouTube Red is currently home to 37 different original series’ and movies, and has generated nearly one-quarter of a billion views. YouTube has a total of 12 new projects coming to YouTube Red this season. See previews of the upcoming content in the video teaser above.

VidCon continues through June 24. Stay tuned to the Social Blade blog for the latest updates coming from the convention.