We love VR at YouTube because it’s a powerful way to see and experience the world. Have you ever wondered what it’s like in the ice caves of Antarctica? How about underneath the Victoria Falls or courtside at the NBA Finals? Virtual Reality lets you experience these moments as if you’re actually there. When you have questions about the world, it can transport you to where the answers are.
During the last three years I’ve spent working on YouTube VR, I’ve loved seeing how our creators use this emerging technology to tell stories, share experiences, and make visible things that have previously been left unseen. With a lot of new things happening in VR today, I thought I’d take a moment to share with you a few of the things I’m most excited about: bringing our app to new platforms; adding new features and tools that make VR feel even more immersive; and exclusive new content that can bring you to more places.
Experience YouTube VR on Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus We want everyone with a VR headset to be able to experience YouTube VR. It’s already available on Daydream View, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. Starting today, we’re expanding access to millions of people with Gear VR headsets. You’ll be able to download the app from the Oculus Store for free starting this week.
Share your VR experience with the YouTube community We believe that one of the best ways to experience VR is with other people. So today we’re introducing a new feature in the YouTube VR app that lets you watch and discuss videos with others in a communal, virtual space.
This new feature can be accessed from the YouTube VR app by clicking on the “Watch Together” icon beneath the play controls from your Daydream View or Gear VR.
Enjoy new, exclusive VR content YouTube VR is already home to more than 800,000 experiences in the virtual world, and this summer, we’ll bring you more exclusive experiences.
If music is your thing, you’ll be able to tag along backstage with Portugal. The Man and Hayley Kiyoko as they prepare to go on stage, and get a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of some of our other favorite musicians through the VR180 Rockstar VR series.
You’ll also be able to spend a day with global female leaders, including activist, entrepreneur, and Olympic bronze medalist in fencing, Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim-American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the U.S. in the Olympics on a new episode of our The Female Planet series.
If action videos are more your speed, SoKrispyMedia puts you in the middle of a video game, where you can race to escape a digital world before a glitch traps you there forever.
VR can take you anywhere, and YouTube VR can bring you to more places in the virtual world than anywhere else. I’ve never been more excited about the next places VR storytellers, explorers and the community will take us -- letting us experience them as if we’re actually there.
The work of trusted journalistic organizations is as critical as ever, especially when it comes to seeking information about current events online.
In March, the Google News Initiative (GNI) kicked off with the goal of helping journalism thrive in the digital age. Today, we’re announcing steps we’re taking with the GNI to support the future of news in online video, and product features we’ve been working on to improve the news experience on YouTube.
Supporting journalism with technology that allows news to thrive We believe quality journalism requires sustainable revenue streams and that we have a responsibility to support innovation in products and funding for news.
For example, in 2015 European publishers came to us to ask about how they could scale their video efforts, especially because maintaining video delivery infrastructure is costly. Working alongside them we launched Player for Publishers, a solution that enables news organizations to use YouTube’s video player to give viewers a world-class video experience across their own websites and mobile apps. Player for Publishers reduces costs and offers improved monetization for news organizations.
Since then, we've expanded these efforts beyond Europe. Today, over 100 publishers in more than 25 countries use Player for Publishers.
As part of the launch of GNI in March, we announced funding to support the future of news. Today we are committing $25M to a YouTube-specific investment:
Expertise. We’re establishing a working group with news organizations and experts from around the world to help us develop new product features, improve the news experience on YouTube, and tackle emerging challenges. News organizations including Vox Media, Jovem Pan, and India Today are early members of the working group. We’re looking forward to having more join as we convene the group in the coming weeks.
Innovation Funding. We will provide funding across approximately 20 global markets to support news organizations in building sustainable video operations. Provided on an application basis to news organizations of all types, these grants will enable our partners to build key capabilities, train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video.
Support. We’re significantly expanding our team focused on supporting news publishers. These specialists will be based around the world and support partners with training and best practices in formats, audience development, day-to-day platform operations, and sophisticated technical integrations.
News organizations interested in more information about these efforts can sign up here.
Making authoritative sources readily accessible Authoritativeness is essential to viewers, especially during fast-moving, breaking news events, so we’ve been investing in new product features to prominently surface authoritative sources:
Providing more sources and context on breaking news After a breaking news event, it takes time to verify, produce and publish high-quality videos. Journalists often write articles first to break the news rather than produce videos. That’s why in the coming weeks in the U.S. we will start providing a short preview of news articles in search results on YouTube that link to the full article during the initial hours of a major news event, along with a reminder that breaking and developing news can rapidly change.
Expanding Top News and Breaking News To make it easier to find quality news, our Top News shelf prominently highlights videos from news sources in search results (see the picture below on the left). And when a breaking news event happens, we want users to know about it. That’s why our Breaking News shelf highlights videos from news organizations about that event directly on the YouTube homepage (see the picture below on the right). Today, our Top News and Breaking News features are launched in 17 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria and more. We will double that number in the coming months.
Showcasing more local news, starting with the U.S. Many people want, value, and trust local news. And when a major event happens, local reporters are often the first on site to capture events as they unfold. We’ve begun testing features that surface local news in the YouTube app for TV screens across 25 media markets around the United States, making it easy to access local news in the living room--our fastest growing screen. So far, local news has seen strong engagement, and we will be expanding it to dozens more markets like Cincinnati, Las Vegas and Kansas City.
Providing context to help people make their own decisions We also believe users should be able to choose and make their own judgments about the information they consume along with context to inform their judgments. That’s why we’re rolling out a few new features that we will continue to build upon:
Giving users more sources of information on topical searches and videos Starting today, users will begin seeing information from third parties, including Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica, alongside videos on a small number of well-established historical and scientific topics that have often been subject to misinformation, like the moon landing and the Oklahoma City Bombing.
Investing in digital literacy education Along with the Google News Initiative and Google.org, we have teamed up with the Poynter Institute, Stanford University, Local Media Association, and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to support MediaWise, a U.S.-based initiative designed to equip 1 million teens with digital literacy skills. Six incredible YouTube Creators, including John Green, Ingrid Nilsen, and Mark Watson, will be working with MediaWise to bring awareness to digital literacy and help educate teens.
We remain committed to working with the journalism community to build a more sustainable video ecosystem for news organizations. We know there is a lot of work to do, but we’re eager to provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube every day to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources.
- Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer and Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer
I just stepped off the stage at VidCon, a conference created from scratch by Hank and John Green in 2010 that brings together fans, creators, and industry leaders to celebrate the power of online video. I talked about how over the last 13 years, YouTube has grown from an ambitious idea into a worldwide movement built on free expression and the power of openness.
With more than 1.9 billion logged-in users who come to YouTube every month and localized versions stretching across 90 countries and 80 languages, we’re opening up the world to anyone with a cell phone and an internet connection.
YouTube is a vibrant community where everyone has a voice. Every day, creators use their voice to entertain, spur action and bring about positive change. That’s why over the last year we’ve doubled down on building the products and tools that the creator community needs. Not only to thrive on YouTube, but to continue to develop the video platform of the future.
The next big steps for creator monetization
YouTube lets creators connect with their community and gives them the opportunity to earn money while doing what they love. Thanks to advertisers, creators around the world have been able to build businesses, creating an entirely new global economy that’s seen incredible growth. The number of creators earning five figures a year is up by 35 percent and the number of creators earning six figures is up by 40 percent. As in previous years, the vast majority of the revenue is coming from our advertising partners. We’ll continue investing here, but we also want to think beyond ads. Creators should have as many ways and opportunities to make money as possible.
We’ve been working on new tools that not only help creators better engage with their fans, they also enable them to make money while doing it. This is an idea that really began last year with Super Chat, a product that allows fans to purchase messages that stand out within a live chat. We’ve seen tremendous success with Super Chat and have since expanded to Ticketing, Merchandise, Channel Memberships and more. We’re also bringing creators and brands together to form unique marketing partnerships via FameBit.
With Channel Memberships, viewers pay a monthly recurring fee of $4.99 to get unique badges, new emoji, Members-only posts in the Community tab, and access to unique custom perks offered by creators, such as exclusive livestreams, extra videos, or shout-outs. Channel Memberships have already been available for a select group of creators on YouTube as Sponsorships. We’ve seen a lot of creators find success with this new business model. So, we’ll soon be expanding this to eligible channels with more than 100,000 subscribers on YouTube under the new name Channel Memberships. We hope to bring it to even more creators in the coming months.
Creators who have already been experimenting with this feature on YouTube have seen encouraging results. Since launching in January, comedy creator Mike Falzone more than tripled his YouTube revenue. And traveling duo Simon and Martina have built a closer-knit community and revamped a miniseries exclusively for their members, in more than 30 countries from Finland to the Philippines.
Merchandise has been a part of many creators’ businesses for a long time. We want to make it easier for more creators to sell merch directly from their channel. So we’ve built a product that allows them to do just that. From shirts with a logo to phone cases with a creator’s face, we’ve joined forces with Teespring so creators can choose from over 20 merchandise items to customize and sell via a shelf on their channel. This will be available to all eligible U.S.-based channels with over 10,000 subscribers starting today, and we plan to bring even more merchandising partners and creators in soon.
Just take a look at Joshua Slice’s merchandise shelf. The creator of Lucas the Spider recently turned his hero character into a plushie selling over 60,000 furry friends and generating over $1 million in profit in just 18 days, according to Teespring.
The engagement between fans and creators is at the heart of YouTube. We’re working on new ways to help creators strengthen those unique bonds. Livestreams have brought the YouTube community together during the biggest music, science, and gaming events. We’ve also built a Community Tab that allows creators to move beyond just video to build even deeper connections with fans through GIFs, pics, polls, and text. And we’ve started experimenting with our take on Stories, but designed specifically for YouTube creators—coming to all eligible creators with more than 10,000 subscribers later this year.
Today, we’re introducing a new way for creators to upload content to YouTube called Premieres. With Premieres, creators will be able to debut pre-recorded videos as a live moment. When creators choose to release a Premiere, we’ll automatically create a public landing page to build anticipation and hype up new content. When all fans show up to watch the premiere, they’ll be able to chat with each other (and with the creator!) in real time via live chat. It’s as if a creator’s entire community is in one theater together watching their latest upload.
Premieres also unlocks new revenue streams. For the first time, creators can use Super Chat on traditional YouTube uploads and take advantage of Channel Memberships perks that were previously only available on Live videos.
YouTube creators are the heartbeat of our platform. That’s why we’re committed to building products that empower and support the creator community. We hope these tools help creators build a stronger community and earn more money while doing it, because when they succeed, the entire YouTube community thrives.
The wait is over! Starting today, YouTube Music is available to everyone in the U.S, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea* in addition to 12 new countries including Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Now fans around the world can find more of the music they love and effortlessly discover new favorites.
YouTube Music is a new music streaming service built on top of all the music on YouTube that you can’t find anywhere else - personalized and all simply organized in one new app and web player.
Recommendations built for you. A home screen that dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on the artists and songs you’ve played before, where you are and what you’re doing. Chilling at the beach? Need some motivation? The right music is right here, built just for you.
Thousands of playlists across any genre, mood or activity. Try “A Dose of Sun” for brighter tunes on a cloudy day, “The Pop Hotlist” for the biggest hits around the world or “Distrito Latino” for Latin pop hits of the moment.
Smart search so we’ll find the song, even if you can’t remember what it’s called. “That space-themed Spice Girls song in the desert.” Here you go. You can also search by lyrics (even if they’re wrong). It’s “Hold me closer, Tony Danza,” right?
Ad-free listening, downloads and more. Get YouTube Music Premium to listen ad-free, in the background and on-the-go with downloads. Plus, your Offline Mixtape automatically downloads songs you love just in case you forgot to. For a limited time, get three months free of YouTube Music Premiumhere, ($9.99 per month after, $14.99 per month for a Family Plan)*.
YouTube Premium also launches today Starting today, YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) will be available in 17 countries, providing members with the benefits of Music Premium, plus ad-free, background, and downloads across all of YouTube. YouTube Premium members also get access to the full slate of YouTube Originals shows and movies including the hit series Cobra Kai, Impulse, F2 Finding Football and The Sidemen Show. For a limited time, get three months free of YouTube Premium here, ($11.99 per month after, $17.99 per month for a Family Plan)*.
Current YouTube Red and Google Play Music members (including family plans) in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico will automatically receive access to YouTube Premium at their current price. Google Play Music subscribers in all other countries will automatically receive access to YouTube Music Premium at their current price as it becomes available there. Nothing is changing with Google Play Music - you'll still be able to access all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always.
*YouTube Music Premium is $9.99 per month and YouTube Premium is $11.99 per month for individual memberships in the U.S. Pricing and Family Plan availability varies by country. South Korea will only offer YouTube Premium at the current price of YouTube Red.
Our LGBTQ community has an extraordinary legacy of turning adversity into creativity and self expression. On YouTube, we’ve seen LGBTQ creators use their voices to share their stories, their art, their music, and their passions to help shift culture, increase visibility, and create change. We are so proud of the contributions you have made to the platform; you've helped make YouTube what it is today.
Over the past few days, we’ve heard many questions around monetization and how ads are served against videos by LGBTQ creators. We know this has been both confusing and painful, and want you to know that we hear you. YouTube is an open platform and we support the free expression of creators with a wide range of views. But we don’t allow paid advertising that disparages people based on who they are and we remove ads that violate this basic principle.
We also want to tell the world how proud we are of LGBTQ creators and our broader community. We hope you'll join us in celebrating everyone who’s #ProudToCreate a better future with their imagination, creativity, talent, and truth. From vogue to ballet, home videos to fine art, electropop to piano, Olympic ice skating to skateboarding, creative self-expression has proven to have the power to change the world.
All of these creators use their art and expression to imagine a better future, and in doing so, help create one. Keep your eye out for even more stories on our YouTube Spotlight Channel, Twitter, and Instagram. What are you #ProudToCreate?
Posted by Ariel, Devon, and Victor on behalf of YouTube’s LGBTQ Employee Resource Group
As the world eagerly awaits the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, football fans are turning to YouTube to research and gear up for this summer’s tournament. In fact, global interest for the 2018 FIFA World Cup continues to grow, with search volume across Google and YouTube besting that of the Olympics, as well as other major sporting events.
To better understand what football fans are watching on YouTube, we researched which national teams, players, and football-related videos were trending on the platform over the past year:
Latin American teams and players lead the world in viewership YouTube users around the world spent the most time watching videos related to Latin American teams. When it comes to watch time in 2017, the top five most popular national teams consist of Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Portugal, and Mexico.
Below are the most popular 2018 FIFA World Cup teams in each of the world’s countries (by the watch time each team received in that country in 2017):
Videos of superstar football players, including Lionel Messi, Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., and Cristiano Ronaldo, all had an 80 percent increase in watch time last year (versus the year prior).
Match recaps, game highlights and trick shots scored high with soccer fans When it comes to football-related content on YouTube, match recaps, game highlights and trick shots proved popular. Over the past two years, the amount of time people spent watching match recaps on YouTube has more than doubled, and since the last FIFA World Cup, watch time for soccer game highlights has grown by 9x, while watch time for soccer-related trick shots has gone up by 50 percent.
On YouTube, football fans don’t just watch, they participate People are also turning to YouTube to improve their own soccer skills, with watch time of “Drills and Skills” videos increasing 6x since 2014. Check out some popular soccer tutorials here:
How to watch your favorite 2018 FIFA World Cup moments this summer
Miss a game? Can’t get enough of the action? On YouTube globally, you can catch up on your favorite 2018 FIFA World Cup moments with select video highlights from official FIFA broadcasters in more than 80 countries around the world, including from Fox and Telemundo in the U.S., the BBC in the U.K., ARD Sportschau in Germany, NHK in Japan, Kwese in Nigeria and across Africa, Televisa in Mexico, Latina Televisión in Peru, and more. In the U.S., you’ll be able to watch all games live in markets where YouTube TV is available, with the additional option of using the YouTube TV cloud DVR feature to record matches you can’t catch in the moment.
The excitement doesn’t end on the pitch. There are hundreds of YouTube channels that will take you beyond the games for the complete 2018 FIFA World Cup experience, with live shows, training footage, interviews, banter and match analysis. The official FIFA channel will share content from around the tournament and keep users up-to-date with the latest news. A number of channels will have regular original and exclusive content including the FA with daily content from the English national football team, Germany’s DFB Die Mannschaft will report from the training camp as well as the team’s base camp, and FC Barcelona will even host interviews with Barça World Cup legends.
Join us in the countdown to the official kickoff …
On Saturday, people from all over the world watched the wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex wowed their global audience with sweet moments, all-star guests, and some funny faces along the way. So that people everywhere could join together to watch this royal union, the live stream of this landmark wedding was available to view on The Royal Family Channel.
And wow, did people tune in!
Incredibly, the Royal Wedding livestream was viewed 11.2 million times while live. At peak viewership, there were 1.29 million people watching simultaneously as Harry and Meghan exchanged vows, making this the fifth most popular event ever streamed on YouTube. And the total views from May 19, 2018, to date reached 32 million as people from every continent tuned in to see the ceremony, procession, video highlights and the married couple’s first kiss.
Viewership was the highest in the U.K. and the U.S., but people everywhere were donning fascinators and getting in the wedding spirit. The top five countries viewing the live event online were:
And for those who missed it but would still like a peek at this next chapter of royal history, you can see the video highlights available on The Royal Family Channel.
Last week we announced the new YouTube Music. Today, we’re excited to start rolling out early access of the new YouTube Music in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. To be the first to know when it’s available for you, head to music.youtube.com/coming-soon.
Here are six reasons we think you’re gonna like it:
It’s ALL here. Not just music videos, but official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube.
Recommendations built for you. A home screen that dynamically adapts to provide recommendations based on what you’ve played before, where you are and what you’re doing. At the gym workin’ on that fitness? Escaping during your commute? The right music is right here, built just for you.
Thousands of playlists across any genre, mood or activity. Try “Blogged 50” to discover new music or “Indie Under Pressure” to get the heart rate going.
Smart search so we’ll find the song, even if you can’t remember what it’s called. “That rap song with flute”? We got you. You can also search by lyrics (even if they’re wrong). It’s “Starbucks lovers,” right?
The hottest videos. We’ll keep you on top of what’s hot! The hottest videos in the world right now are right there, on their own dedicated Hotlist screen. Today in the U.S., it features Anderson.Paak, Jessie Reyez, and G-Eazy.
No internet? No problem. Paid members can download music and listen ad-free and in the background. Plus, your Offline Mixtape automatically downloads songs you love just in case you forgot to.
To the Google Play Music users out there, nothing will change - you’ll still be able to access and add to all of your purchased music, uploads and playlists in Google Play Music just like always. For additional information on what we announced last week, be sure to check out our blog.
We can’t wait for music fans across the globe to get their hands on YouTube Music! If you’re interested in learning more and getting access, head to music.youtube.com/coming-soon.
The live stream will follow the wedding procession, marriage ceremony at Windsor Castle, and wedding day happenings along the way. Afterwards, the footage will be reshown so that people can enjoy this wonderful event no matter their location or time zone.
Whether you’re from Blighty or anywhere else on the globe, all eyes will be on St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle this Saturday to see this next chapter of royal history.
Colombian-Canadian singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez debuts as first YouTube Artist on the Rise
Many fans can tell you about the first time they heard an incredible new song or watched a groundbreaking video from a musical newcomer. Some of the most memorable moments with artists happen early. That’s why we aimed to capture those moments with last year’s launch of Artist on the Rise on YouTube’s Trending tab, which spotlights three songs from emerging artists every week.
To support and help more artists get discovered at every phase of their career, today we’re expanding the Trending tab feature with the launch of a new monthly program called Artist on the Rise.
The program will promote a diverse lineup of music’s most important new voices across all genres, connecting them with fans worldwide through in-product promotion and programming, out-of-home, social and fan events at YouTube Spaces. The Artist on the Rise Trending tab will also continue to feature three songs a week from emerging artists that are making a significant impact on YouTube.
The program’s first Artist on the Rise is Jessie Reyez, a 27-year-old Colombian-Canadian singer-songwriter signed to Island / FMLY and known for her smoky voice, outspoken lyrics and soulful R&B hooks. She's grown from an aspiring artist covering hits like Adele's "Hello," to become a star in her own right, receiving the Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist of the year and partnering with Calvin Harris on the track "Hard to Love." In true YouTube fashion, she's cultivated a loyal fanbase over the years, racking up 22.6 million views for her breakout hit "Figures." 2018 will be a huge year for Jessie – if you don't know her now, you will soon.
To check out more from Jessie Reyez, head to her story on the YouTube for Artists blog and stay tuned on the Artist blog and @YouTubeMusic’s socials for future updates on YouTube's Artist on the Rise program.