Tag Archives: YouTube

A different kind of #YouTubeRewind: What you liked in 2019

In 2019, you joined forces to set a record for the most liked video on YouTube, helped an unlikely country star take over the charts, and brought Minecraft’s popularity to new heights. As 2020 draws near, it’s time to celebrate the moments that defined the past twelve months in pop culture.

But first, we can't ignore the elephant in the room: Last year’s YouTube Rewind, um, wasn’t your favorite (to put it lightly...). So this year, we tried something different and looked at what you did like — a lot. Our Rewind 2019 video compiles the top videos and creators that you liked and watched the most around the world, from the biggest games to must-watch beauty palettes and breakout stars.

But of course, it's also time to announce our annual lists of top trending videos and top music videos.

2019 saw creators transform into mainstream celebrities with genre-defying influence: James Charles and Tati’s back-and-forth transcended the beauty community; Shane Dawson continued to find success with his longform docuseries format and foray into the makeup world; and MrBeast’s ultra-charitable challenge videos united viewers across the internet.

Also on this year’s top trending list: A long-requested episode of Hot Ones, a meme-making moment from Soulja Boy, a conversation-starting short film, SNL’s most-watched sketch of 2019, an underdog victory in the ring, and an informational video on why spiders and bees are actually our friends.

Collectively, these 10 videos were watched 305 million times and for around 50 million hours. The channels behind them total more than 110 million subscribers.

Top Trending Videos in the U.S.

  1. James Charles - No More Lies
  2. First We Feast - Gordon Ramsay Savagely Critiques Spicy Wings | Hot Ones
  3. shane - Investigating Conspiracies with Shane Dawson
  4. MrBeast - I Bought Everything In A Store - Challenge
  5. Gillette - We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film)
  6. DAZN USA - HIGHLIGHTS | Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr.
  7. jeffreestar - Kylie Skin Review with Shane Dawson
  8. Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM - Soulja Boy Drags Tyga, Drake, Kanye West & Reclaims The Best Comeback Of 2018
  9. Saturday Night Live - R. Kelly Interview Cold Open - SNL
  10. TheOdd1sOut - The Spiders and the Bees

In music, Lil Nas X emerged from obscurity to take the top spot, and powerhouse female artists (Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish) continued to transform the sound of pop.

Top Music Videos in the U.S.

  1. Lil Nas X - Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) [Remix]
  2. Dababy - Suge (Yea Yea) Official Music Video
  3. Yo Gotti ft. Lil Baby - Put a Date On It (Official Video)
  4. Polo G Feat. Lil Tjay - Pop Out 🎥By. Ryan Lynch Prod. By JDONTHATRACK & Iceberg
  5. Lil Nas X - Old Town Road (Official Movie) ft. Billy Ray Cyrus
  6. Offset - Clout ft. Cardi B (Official Video)
  7. Billie Eilish - bad guy
  8. 21 Savage - a lot ft. J. Cole
  9. Ariana Grande - 7 rings
  10. Daddy Yankee & Snow - Con Calma (Official Video)

For a deeper look at the year on YouTube and to see the top videos and trends in many other countries, head to this year's Rewind site.

Posted by Kevin Allocca, Head of Culture & Trends

Source: YouTube Blog

YouTube gift codes are now available on Amazon

Give the gift of endless entertainment to your friends and family this holiday season with YouTube gift codes, now available for purchase on Amazon in the U.S. Whether it’s for a friend miles away, a loved one at home, or a last minute gift, we’ve made it easy to treat someone to their favorite YouTube products.

Something for everyone

YouTube gift codes can be used to enjoy YouTube subscriptions, to buy or rent movies and shows, or to become a channel member on YouTube. Recipients can use their gift code towards a YouTube Premium subscription to watch uninterrupted  with ad-free, offline, and background — play. They can also enjoy these same benefits with YouTube Music Premium, a dedicated music streaming service that’s their guide to the entire world of music. For sports and entertainment fans alike, a YouTube TV subscription offers cable-free live and on-demand TV with 70+ channels and free unlimited cloud DVR storage space. Movie buffs can redeem their gift code to watch the latest and greatest movies and shows available on YouTube. And fitting with the giving spirit, recipients can use their gift code to support their favorite YouTube creators with a Channel Membership, which unlocks badges, emojis and creator perks.

Easy to buy and redeem

To purchase a gift code, simply:

  1. Click here to get to the purchase page.
  2. Choose a design and your desired amount.
  3. Enter the recipient’s email address and a message.
  4. Pick your delivery date and select purchase.

On the delivery date, the recipient will get a YouTube gift code delivered via email with instructions for redeeming on youtube.com/redeem. When redeemed, the gift code value will be added to the recipient’s Google Play balance, which can be used to make purchases on YouTube or Google Play.

Give a YouTube gift code today!

— The YouTube team

Source: YouTube Blog

YouTube gift codes are now available on Amazon

Give the gift of endless entertainment to your friends and family this holiday season with YouTube gift codes, now available for purchase on Amazon in the U.S. Whether it’s for a friend miles away, a loved one at home, or a last minute gift, we’ve made it easy to treat someone to their favorite YouTube products.

Something for everyone

YouTube gift codes can be used to enjoy YouTube subscriptions, to buy or rent movies and shows, or to become a channel member on YouTube. Recipients can use their gift code towards a YouTube Premium subscription to watch uninterrupted  with ad-free, offline, and background — play. They can also enjoy these same benefits with YouTube Music Premium, a dedicated music streaming service that’s their guide to the entire world of music. For sports and entertainment fans alike, a YouTube TV subscription offers cable-free live and on-demand TV with 70+ channels and free unlimited cloud DVR storage space. Movie buffs can redeem their gift code to watch the latest and greatest movies and shows available on YouTube. And fitting with the giving spirit, recipients can use their gift code to support their favorite YouTube creators with a Channel Membership, which unlocks badges, emojis and creator perks.

Easy to buy and redeem

To purchase a gift code, simply:

  1. Click here to get to the purchase page.
  2. Choose a design and your desired amount.
  3. Enter the recipient’s email address and a message.
  4. Pick your delivery date and select purchase.

On the delivery date, the recipient will get a YouTube gift code delivered via email with instructions for redeeming on youtube.com/redeem. When redeemed, the gift code value will be added to the recipient’s Google Play balance, which can be used to make purchases on YouTube or Google Play.

Give a YouTube gift code today!

— The YouTube team

Source: YouTube Blog

The Four Rs of Responsibility, Part 2: Raising authoritative content and reducing borderline content and harmful misinformation

YouTube is an open video platform, where anyone can upload a video and share it with the world. And with this openness comes incredible opportunities as well as challenges. That’s why we’re always working to balance creative expression with our responsibility to protect the community from harmful content.

Our community guidelines set the rules of the road on YouTube, and a combination of people and machines help us remove more violative content than ever before. That said, there will always be content on YouTube that brushes up against our policies, but doesn’t quite cross the line. So over the past couple of years, we've been working to raise authoritative voices on YouTube and reduce the spread of borderline content and harmful misinformation. And we are already seeing great progress. Authoritative news is thriving on our site. And since January 2019, we’ve launched over 30 different changes to reduce recommendations of borderline content and harmful misinformation. The result is a 70% average drop in watch time of this content coming from non-subscribed recommendations in the U.S.1

Raising authoritative voices on YouTube

More and more people turn to YouTube to catch up on the latest news or simply learn more about the topics they’re curious about — whether it’s climate change or a natural disaster. For topics like music or entertainment, relevance, newness and popularity are most helpful to understand what people are interested in. But for subjects such as news, science and historical events, where accuracy and authoritativeness are key, the quality of information and context matter most — much more than engagement. That's why we've re-doubled our efforts to raise authoritative sources to the top and introduced a suite of features to tackle this challenge holistically:

  • Elevating authoritative sources in our systems: In 2017, we started to prioritize authoritative voices, including news sources like CNN, Fox News, Jovem Pan, India Today and the Guardian, for news and information queries in search results and “watch next” panels. Let’s say you’re looking to learn more about a newsworthy event. For example, try searching for “Brexit.” While there will be slight variations, on average, 93% of the videos in global top 10 results come from high-authority channels. Authoritativeness is also important for evergreen topics prone to misinformation, such as videos about vaccines. In these cases, we aim to surface videos from experts, like public health institutions, in search results. Millions of search queries are getting this treatment today and we’re continually expanding to more topics and countries.
  • Providing reliable information faster for breaking news: Reliable information becomes especially critical as news is breaking. But as events are unfolding, it can take time to produce high-quality videos containing verified facts. So we've started providing short previews of text-based news articles in search results on YouTube, along with a reminder that breaking and developing news can rapidly change. We’ve also introduced Top News and Breaking News sections to highlight quality journalism. In fact, this year alone, we’ve seen that consumption on authoritative news partners’ channels has grown by 60 percent.
  • Providing context to users: Sometimes a video alone does not provide enough context to viewers about what they are watching. We want to make sure that people who watch videos about topics prone to misinformation are provided additional information while viewing. To that end, we’ve designed a variety of information panels that target different types of context, such as general topics and recent news prone to misinformation, or about publishers themselves. For example, when people watch videos that encourage viewers to skip the MMR vaccine, we show information panels to provide more basic scientific context, linking to third-party sources. Or if people are viewing news videos uploaded by a public broadcaster or a government-funded news outlet, we show informational notices underneath the video about the news outlet. Collectively, we’ve delivered more than 3.5 billion impressions across all of these information panels since June 2018 and we’re expanding these panels to more and more countries.

Reducing borderline content and harmful misinformation

Content that comes close to — but doesn’t quite cross the line of — violating our Community Guidelines is a fraction of 1% of what’s watched on YouTube in the U.S. To give a quick comparison, meditation videos (a fairly narrow category) have more daily watch time than borderline and harmful misinformation combined. That said, even a fraction of a percent is too much. So this past January, we announced we’d begin reducing recommendations of borderline content or videos that could misinform users in harmful ways. This work is still ramping up and we’ve expanded to more countries outside of the U.S., including the UK, Ireland, South Africa and other English-language markets. And we have begun expanding this effort to non-English-language markets, starting with Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico and Spain.

So how does this actually work? Determining what is harmful misinformation or borderline is tricky, especially for the wide variety of videos that are on YouTube. We rely on external evaluators located around the world to provide critical input on the quality of a video. And these evaluators use public guidelines to guide their work. Each evaluated video receives up to 9 different opinions and some critical areas require certified experts. For example, medical doctors provide guidance on the validity of videos about specific medical treatments to limit the spread of medical misinformation. Based on the consensus input from the evaluators, we use well-tested machine learning systems to build models. These models help review hundreds of thousands of hours of videos every day in order to find and limit the spread of borderline content. And over time, the accuracy of these systems will continue to improve.

Our work continues. We are exploring options to bring in external researchers to study our systems and we will continue to invest in more teams and new features. Nothing is more important to us than ensuring we are living up to our responsibility. We remain focused on maintaining that delicate balance which allows diverse voices to flourish on YouTube — including those that others will disagree with — while also protecting viewers, creators and the wider ecosystem from harmful content.

[Read more] The Four Rs of Responsibility, Part 1: Removing harmful content

1Based on the 28-day average from 9/17/19 - 10/14/19, compared to when we first started taking action on this type of content in January 2019.

From the timeline:

July 27, 2015; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2015/07/youtube-comments.html

Sept 14, 2016; https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/google-news-initiative/digital-news-initiative-introducing/

July 20, 2017; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2017/07/bringing-new-redirect-method-features.html

Feb 2, 2018; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2018/02/greater-transparency-for-users-around.html

July 9, 2018; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2018/07/building-better-news-experience-on.html

July 9, 2018; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2018/07/building-better-news-experience-on.html

July 9, 2018; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2018/07/building-better-news-experience-on.html

March 7, 2019; https://india.googleblog.com/2019/04/bringing-greater-transparency-and.html

June 3, 2019; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2019/06/an-update-on-our-efforts-to-protect.html

June 5, 2019; https://youtube.googleblog.com/2019/06/our-ongoing-work-to-tackle-hate.html

July 8, 2019; https://youtube-creators.googleblog.com/2019/08/preserving-openness-through-responsibility.html

Source: YouTube Blog

‘Tis the Season of Giving on YouTube!

Today we kick off the final sprint in YouTube’s Season of Giving! Over the past few weeks, creators from all over the country  and the world – have rallied their fans to raise money and awareness for causes near and dear to their hearts.

This week the creator frenzy-of-goodness goes into overdrive with livestreams, collabs and special events focused on bringing the YouTube community together, all in the name of generosity.

Read on for all the details!

Stephanie and MatPat of The Game Theorists at St. Jude in Memphis. 

The Game Theorists take over Giving Tuesday for St. Jude

Warning: You aren't going to get anything done this Tuesday, because you’re going to be watching The Game Theorists’ all-day livestream in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital!

MatPat and Stephanie Patrick are bringing together some of your favorite creators for a 9-hour livestream like no other. You know amazing things are going to happen when Binging with Babish, The Completionist, Dawko, Jackie Aina, Because Science (Kyle Hill), Markiplier, Miranda Sings, NateWantstoBattle, TheOdd1sOut, Rhett and Link, Rosanna Pansino, SomethingElseYT, The Try Guys, and VSauce3 band together. This mighty crew of creators is dedicated to helping St. Jude defeat childhood cancer and other life-threatening childhood diseases.

And just to up the ante, Scott Cawthon, creator of the insanely popular game, Five Nights at Freddy’s, has committed that he’ll personally donate $500,000 to St. Jude if fans can find easter eggs in an unreleased, made-just-for-the-event game, launching on Tuesday, within one hour of the game going live. Join MatPat, Markiplier and Dawko as they work together to unlock money for St. Jude and #CancelCancer.

The livestream kicks off at 10 a.m. PT. You aren’t going to want to miss a moment!

Have you bought your tree yet?

MrBeast and Mark Rober, the creators and masterminds behind #TeamTrees, joined forces with the goal of raising $20 million to plant 20 million trees by January 1, 2020. The juggernaut campaign is rolling into its final weeks, with only 4 million trees to go!

From all over the world, people have rallied behind the simplicity of the campaign: $1 raised plants 1 tree. Donations flooded in from the start. Within the first 48 hours of launch, #TeamTrees raised $5 million. And within the first week, people uploaded over 3,800 videos with the #TeamTrees tag on YouTube.

#TeamTrees has proven that the sum of many small actions of kindness can make a huge, positive impact on the world. And there is still time to buy a tree, join the movement and become part of this historic fundraiser!

Creators choose, everyone wins!

This week YouTube will be filled with opportunities to learn more about causes and share donations. Check out the many fundraisers: from the 13th annual Project for Awesome from Hank and John Green (aka vlogbrothers) to Khan Academy’s All in for Education livestream to Hope For Paws rescuing animals and much more.

We’ve created a playlist to help you find some of the top fundraisers planned for Giving Week. Come for the great videos, stay for the great causes!

The spirit of generosity and support is one of the things that makes our community so special. On behalf of everyone at YouTube, thank you to all of the creators, fans and friends who are using their voices to make the world a better place.

— The YouTube Team

Google.org, Susan Wojcicki and her husband, Dennis Troper, support families experiencing homelessness with $1.35 million grant

San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Susan Wojcicki

Today, CEO Susan Wojcicki stood with San Francisco Mayor London Breed at Hamilton Families, a nonprofit organization that supports families experiencing homelessness, and announced a combined grant of $1.35 million to the program. The grant comes from Google.org and from Wojcicki and her husband, Dennis Troper.

Here are her remarks from this afternoon:

"Thank you, Mayor Breed. I’m so glad to be here with you, and all of your leadership in fighting homelessness. I also wanted to say thank you to everyone here at Hamilton Families and the impact you've had in our community and in the lives of so many families.

Sometimes the scale of an issue can make us feel like it’s impossible to solve.

And even though we know it’s important, we wind up doing nothing because it feels overwhelming for us.

The work at Hamilton Families shows how we can make a difference in a tangible way, one family at a time.

Over the years, I’ve always recognized how serious a problem of homelessness is in the Bay Area, and I’ve contributed  along with my husband — to support many local organizations that help meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness.

I’m here today because of an idea that first started with a school project. Earlier this year, my daughter worked on a project about homelessness.

As I listened to her questions and reactions, I realized I didn’t have a lot of answers for something that was so important and affecting so many families. We spent time researching different solutions, including coming here, and that’s how we got in touch with Hamilton Families.

We were impressed by the services offered here that give families a fresh start.

And that’s why we’re gathered today  to announce a new grant to further support all the incredible efforts done by Hamilton Families to find families permanent homes, and along the way meet their needs by providing shelter, meals, and more. We appreciate everything you do, from offering counseling and job resources to giving children the chance to succeed at school.

Today, Google.org is contributing $850,000. And together with my husband, Dennis, we’re contributing $500,000  for a total of $1.35 million to boost the work of Hamilton Families.

Over the next year, this grant will make an impact in our communities, and it will help Hamilton serve 700 families and find housing for another 200.

And it will also fund an outreach effort  a series of videos and podcasts  that will tell the stories of individuals who are facing homelessness.

Our goal is to help the community understand the problems that can lead to homelessness and also inspire others to get involved in whatever way they can.

Sometimes, the greatest gift we can offer is our time. And in that spirit, next year, we will organize an event for the YouTube employees to come to the shelter. We're very excited about that.

Homelessness is an incredibly complicated challenge for our society. But if we all come together to look out for one another, our combined contributions can make a big difference."

Source: YouTube Blog

My final letter in 2019: Updates for this year

Illustrations by Christopher DeLorenzo

Dear creators and artists,

Every quarter, I give you an update on the highlights of the past few months. In August, I did something different and wrote to you about our top priority: the importance of striking the right balance between openness and responsibility. I did this because I received a number of questions about the viability of an open platform, and I wanted to emphasize our commitment to both openness and responsibly protecting our community.

Today I’m returning to our usual format because there are so many new updates to share on our three key priorities: supporting creator and artist success, improving communication and engagement, and living up to our responsibility.

But before I jump into these sections, I want to let all of you know that YouTube as a platform for creators continues to thrive. Compared to last year, the number of creators with a million or more subscribers has grown 65 percent, and creators earning five or six figures, annually, has increased more than 40 percent.

We always say that creators are the heart of YouTube. So, with that, let me move to our next section… supporting your success!

Supporting creator and artist success

One of the biggest issues we heard about from you this year was around copyright claims, in particular about aggressive manual claiming of short music clips used in monetized videos. Those claims often resulted in all revenue going to the rightsholder, regardless of the length of the music claimed.

I’m glad to report we've made progress. A few months ago, we made changes that removed the financial incentive to claim very short and unintentional music use. We also required timestamps for all manual claims so you know exactly which part of your video is being claimed, and made updates to our editing tools so you can easily remove manually claimed content from your videos.

In the months ahead, we’re working to move all creators to the new-and-improved YouTube Studio. We’re making this switch because Classic Studio was built on older technology that doesn’t allow us to put out bug fixes or introduce the new features you’ve requested as quickly as we’d like. Many of YouTube Studio’s updates are inspired by requests from creators, and we think you’ll like its exclusive features, including the new dashboard, powerful analytics, and real-time performance metrics. Access to Classic will be removed for the majority of creators early next year, and you’ll be individually notified in advance of a change to your access. We know it can be hard to change the tools you work with every day, but we believe this new foundation will help us innovate more quickly on your behalf.

We’re also looking to support your success by helping you monetize in new ways that go beyond traditional ad revenue and tap into the viewer-creator connection. Today, thousands of channels have more than doubled their YouTube revenue by using new features that help fans engage with creators, like Super Chat, Channel Memberships, and Merchandise. More than 100,000 channels have received Super Chat, and some streams are earning more than $400 per minute as fans reach out to creators to say hello, send congratulations, or just to connect. And we’re building on the success of Super Chat by expanding the launch of Super Stickers to eligible creators in 60 countries around the world.

And since we expanded YouTube Stories last year, more creators are using Stories not just to connect with existing subscribers, but also to find new ones. Over the last year, creators who used an active Story on their channel saw an average increase to their subscriber count of more than eight percent compared to creators without Stories.

We’re also running experiments to help match content that could be considered edgy with advertising that fits their brand. As you know, yellow icons are a signal that only limited advertising can run on a particular video because of its content. We’re working to identify advertisers who are interested in edgier content, like a marketer looking to promote an R-rated movie, so we can match them with creators whose content fits their ads. In its first month, this program resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads on yellow icon videos. You can learn more here.

For gaming creators, we’ve heard loud and clear that our policies need to differentiate between real-world violence and gaming violence. We have a policy update coming soon that will do just that. The new policy will have fewer restrictions for violence in gaming, but maintain our high bar to protect audiences from real-world violence.

Improving communication and engagement

Meeting creators is always a highlight for me, and this year I’ve met with YouTubers around the globe. A few months ago in London, I sat down with Alfie Deyes, and celebrated the 10 year anniversary of his first YouTube video. I recently spoke with Juanpa Zurita and Emma Chamberlain about their creative process, and took some tough questions from MatPat of The Game Theorists at YouTube’s first-ever Gaming Creator Summit. I also met with a group of creators in Europe this summer, including Patricia Bright, PewDiePie, Jacksepticeye, Sallys Welt, VisualPolitik, Mrbruff and Jessica Kellgren-Fozard.

To help creators have a better understanding of our guidelines, we will expand our Self Certification pilot next year to hundreds of thousands of YouTube Partner Program (YPP) creators. This program lets creators self-report how their video complies with ad policies. It’s a reinforcing process: the more accurate you are in your self-reporting, the more our system trusts you. Not only does Self Certification give creators more control, it also provides specific feedback on why a video might have monetization issues.

We’ve also heard creators say it feels like an inconvenience when we run experiments or make changes. They ask why we’re trying to fix something that doesn’t seem broken, and they want more of a heads up. So I wanted to give more insights into our development processes.

We are always looking for ways to improve the YouTube experience. Every change we make was tested many times, in several variations, before we roll it out. In the last year alone, we launched over 2,500 updates to YouTube. That means every new feature is developed after we test three or four potential versions to determine what works best for users and creators. It’s through all these changes ⁠— big and small ⁠— that we deliver a better product for you to broadcast yourself and make a living in the new creative economy. We’ll do a better job of communicating with you about why we’re undertaking these efforts and how they might impact you. Please remember that our experiments enable us to ultimately have a better outcome for all viewers and creators.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that we continue to work to support your well being. Many of you have shared your stories about burnout, and we appreciated your honesty. We want to encourage you to take care of yourself and invest in recovery. In particular, I’ve heard some creators say they feel like they can’t take a break from filming because they’re concerned their channel will suffer. So I asked the product team at YouTube to look into it. They went over data from the last six years and found good news. Across millions of channels and hundreds of different time frames for breaks, the same thing was true: On average, channels had more views when they returned than they had right before they left. If you need to take some time off, your fans will understand. After all, they tune into your channel because of you.

Living up to our responsibility

You’ve heard me say before that my number one priority is to balance our responsibility to protect our community with the responsibility to protect freedom of expression. One of the most common questions I get is about how we make policy changes and why it seems to take so long.

These changes take time because, behind the scenes we bring together hundreds of people at YouTube, in consultation with outside experts. When we updated our hate speech policy a few months ago, we consulted with experts in areas like violent extremism, supremacy, civil rights and free speech. These in-depth conversations help us determine how to write guidelines that will protect our community in the long run. We went through a similar process earlier this year when we updated our policy toward pranks and challenges.

We need to ensure our policies address how these issues arise in different cultures and languages, and we also want to make sure our policies can be easily understood by users around the world. YouTube trains all of our reviewers before we implement a new policy, so it will be applied consistently, regardless of what country a user is in when they use YouTube.

We also make sure that every policy works in practice and not just in theory. Before a new policy is launched, we test to make sure that our reviewers rate content with a high level of accuracy under the new guidelines. If they don’t, we send the guidelines back and try again. We want to ensure that content is consistently rated correctly, rather than rushing through a change.

Right now, we’re in the process of updating our harassment policy guidelines, and we’ll keep you posted as they’re finalized. As with all our policy updates, we’re talking with creators to make sure we’re addressing the issues that are most important to the YouTube community.

We’re also changing how we treat data for children’s content on YouTube as part of a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that addresses COPPA concerns.

In order to identify content made for kids, we recently implemented a new audience setting where creators must designate whether their content is made for kids. Starting in January, certain features that rely on user data, such as comments and personalized advertising, will no longer be available on content made for kids. We know there are still many questions about how this is going to affect creators and we’ll provide updates along the way. You can read more about this change here.

Finally, I wanted to share some thoughts as I’ve spent more time with policymakers around the world, from New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to legislators in Washington, D.C. to regulators in Europe who are translating Article 17, the EU copyright directive previously called Article 13, into local law. In all of these conversations, it’s clear that we need to continue to help people understand the creator economy, how it contributes to jobs around the world, and how regulation could impact your businesses.

Last year, I wrote to you about how Article 17 could have unintended consequences that might impact your livelihood. Thanks to all of the creator involvement, we were able to make improvements to the legislation — in particular, securing liability protections when we make best efforts to match copyright material with rights owners. This change made a big difference and moved the copyright directive in a better direction for the internet and YouTube. Now it’s up to European countries to turn the legislation into national laws. As the process moves forward, we're meeting with governments and inviting local creators to help explain to legislators how Article 17 could affect creators like you.

We’re in this together. We'll continue to keep you posted as we advocate for responsible copyright reform. We hope to see some early drafts of the new legislation in 2020, but it will take a few years for each EU country to implement Article 17.

I’d like to close by saying how powerful it is when creators do good work around the world. So many of you were inspired by Mr. Beast and Mark Rober’s #teamtrees challenge to help plant 20 million trees by January 2020. Last month, I was honored to join in the challenge and plant a tree with Mark.

The response from creators to #teamtrees has been so impressive. If you keep up this pace, we’ll hit the goal of 20 million trees! We're excited to help creators support their favorite causes with tools like the YouTube Donate button. In the next few months, the Donate button will come out of beta and become available to thousands of creators in the U.S. — and later expand to more countries — giving you the opportunity to embed a fundraising campaign next to your videos and live streams.

It’s so inspiring to see all of your great work. Keep it up!

Susan Wojcicki

Can anyone match Freddie Mercury’s legendary voice? Queen and YouTube Music are challenging fans to find out!

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time, so it’s no wonder the music video recently hit 1 billion views on YouTube. For decades, fans have belted out the song’s iconic lyrics alongside Freddie Mercury’s one-of-a-kind vocals, but how many can really sing it just like Freddie? YouTube, Google Creative Lab, and Google Research — working in partnership with Queen, Universal Music Group and Hollywood Records — have built a new AI experiment called FreddieMeter to find out!

Released in support of Mercury Phoenix Trust, a charity founded by Brian May, Roger Taylor and Jim Beach to raise awareness and funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS, and in honor of the 44th anniversary of the band’s first-ever live performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” at the Empire Theater, Liverpool, U.K in November 1975; FreddieMeter was created to let fans around the world determine how closely their singing matches the voice of Queen’s legendary frontman, Freddie Mercury.

FreddieMeter shows users how closely their voice matches Freddie Mercury’s legendary range by analyzing the singer’s pitch, timbre, and melody to assign them a score of 0 to 100. Queen fans, killer impressionists, and anyone who enjoys a little karaoke and are ready to step up to the challenge can get started by doing the following:

  • SING: Pick one of four QUEEN songs on the microsite ("Bohemian Rhapsody," "Don’t Stop Me Now," "Somebody to Love" or "We Are the Champions") and sing your heart out!
  • SHARE: Get your score and share! Download the custom scorecard asset directly to your device, then share it on YouTube Stories, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
  • CHALLENGE: Using the hashtag #FreddieChallenge on social channels, challenge three friends to see how they measure up.

Google Creative Lab and Google Research created FreddieMeter using new on-device machine learning models, and it’s been trained on Freddie’s isolated vocals, as well as samples of people trying to sing like Freddie. FreddieMeter is trained on and optimized for individual singers and works on desktop, Android and iPhone devices, and the audio doesn’t get uploaded to any servers to be analyzed, so all vocals stay totally private unless shared by the user.

FreddieMeter continues YouTube’s celebration of Queen’s music and “Bohemian Rhapsody’s” 1 billion views milestone, which coincided with the release of a newly remastered HD version of the video. The achievement made history with the anthem being the first pre-1990s video to reach one billion views on the platform.

In partnership with Universal Music Group and Hollywood Records, YouTube also recently launched ‘You Are The Champions,’ a unique campaign that gave fans an exclusive chance to become a part of Queen history with a starring role in brand-new, user-generated videos for three of the band’s most celebrated tracks: “A Kind of Magic,” “Don’t Stop Me Now” and the iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The results were pulled from more than 10,000 submissions from more than 120 countries around the world, showing the depth and love for Queen and Freddie amongst their loyal global fanbase.

To take on the #FreddieChallenge now or find out more about FreddieMeter, visit freddiemeter.withyoutube.com.

Source: YouTube Blog

Nate Boyer: From Green Beret to the starting lineup

Nate Boyer at the Texas Longhorns stadium. (YouTube)

Nate Boyer is no ordinary football player. While being deployed in Afghanistan, the former Green Beret learned how to play football by watching YouTube tutorials. At age 30, after practicing relentlessly, Boyer joined the Texas Longhorns as the team’s long snapper.

YouTube caught up with Boyer in advance of Veterans Day to learn more about his journey from the military to the football field, and to get his advice for others who might want to follow in his footsteps.

YouTube: Today is Veterans Day. What does this day mean to you?

Nate Boyer: Veterans Day for me is a time for us all to come together — veterans, civilians, families, everybody — to recognize those who have defended this country. In particular, it’s important to me that we honor the vets who didn’t come home to the same kind of appreciation that we get today, especially Vietnam vets. It’s also an important moment for vets to recognize each other and ourselves. It’s okay to receive that appreciation and pat yourself on the back; you’re somebody who was willing to make a sacrifice for their country.

YouTube: Your story is incredibly inspiring for many young people. What would you say to a kid who dreams of making it in the big leagues?

NB: I’m a testament that anything is possible. I’m not a great athlete. I’m good, but not great. I’m not very big. I was too old, too inexperienced. I had every reason to not even try. I knew I was capable, because of my experience in the military, and that’s what gave me the confidence to go all-in and chase my dream. But it’s important for all young people to know that they can keep plugging away, against all odds. Don’t quit, and you’ll get better every day. Be okay with the process and understand that it takes time to improve. It will happen.You will achieve some success and you will probably get a lot farther than you had imagined.

YouTube: How can we help?

NB: The cool thing about YouTube is that it helps you see what is possible. I had a dream that I wanted to make come true for myself, to play college football. People have dreams and crazy ideas, and they wonder if it’s possible to make it happen. On YouTube, you can find all kinds of examples of what other people have made happen for themselves, and it makes you believe that your dreams are possible, that there is a path you can follow. We’re all capable. We need to believe that we can take a chance to follow our dreams.

If you can dream it, you can YouTube it. If you can YouTube it, you can do it.

YouTube: What else have you learned from watching YouTube?

NB: I have learned all kinds of things around the house: how to replace the lightbulb in my headlight, putting together a bed, following recipes. I’m now working in film and television, and I even use YouTube to learn about acting and hosting. You can learn anything from YouTube.

— The YouTube Team

Source: YouTube Blog

Introducing a fresh new look for YouTube on desktop and tablets

Starting today, we’re bringing you the new YouTube homepage — a design that brings more features to the viewing experience on Home to help you find the next great video to watch. The updated design will begin rolling out today across desktops and YouTube apps on Android and iOS tablets, and will be available to everyone soon. Here’s what you can expect to see:

More easily find the next great video to watch

This new look includes longer video titles and larger, richer thumbnails to give you clearer information about the video at a glance, plus higher resolution video previews. As part of this cleaner design, you’ll notice we’ve also removed some content shelves. You can still find rows of videos for breaking news, music mixes, and more.

When browsing on Home, you’ll also see channel icons below each video making it easier to recognize your favorite creators and content you love.

Customize what to watch next with your queue

You’ve told us you want a better way to queue up the next video to watch, so we’re introducing the option to add to queue on desktop. You can select a handful of videos to watch next without interrupting the video you’re currently watching. Videos in your queue won't save after you've closed your browser, but you can always save videos to your permanent "Watch Later" playlist, too.

Remove suggestions from channels you don’t want to watch

We launched a feature on mobile earlier this year to make it even simpler for you to tell us to stop suggesting videos from a particular channel, and today we’re bringing this to desktop. Just select the three-dot menu next to a video on the homepage, then select “Don’t recommend channel.” After that, you should no longer see videos from that channel suggested to you on the YouTube homepage. You may still be able to find these videos if you search for them, or visit the channel page or Trending tab.

Coming soon: select topics to refine your Homepage and Up Next videos

Earlier this year, we added a new feature to the YouTube Android app that lets you select your favorite topics and customize your Home feed with related videos. We’ll be releasing it on desktop and tablets soon!

We’ve been experimenting with this updated design for a few months and — based on your input — have made dozens of improvements to the layout, most notably adjusting the thumbnail sizes and showing more videos on larger screens. We’re excited to roll this out to everyone, and we hope you’ll find the updated design and new features helpful as you navigate the incredible breadth of content available on YouTube.

Posted by Essam El-Dardiry, Senior Product Manager

Source: YouTube Blog