Yesterday, YouTube took the stage at the Digital Content NewFronts in New York and instead of announcing a long list of new ventures (as most other media companies did), they declared that they were already where they wanted to be.
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said,
“The future is already here. When I started, there was 54 million people connected globally, That has grown to two billion, with one billion coming to YouTube… The remaining 5 billion people not currently online will be coming online via smartphones. Screens are simply everywhere.”
That’s not false bravado. YouTube isn’t just a website, it’s a cultural phenomena. People have been shooting home movies for more than fifty years, but now we share those videos with the world. And we don’t just film on the holidays. Now, we shoot video everyday and everywhere.
We all make jokes about the silly cat videos, the giggling babies and the overnight singing sensations, but YouTube is also where people go to see what’s happening in the world. It’s not always pretty and it’s certainly not always funny. You have to give them credit for cultivating such an incredible mix of content.
In their NewFronts presentation, YouTube execs emphasized their hold over Generation C. They define this as a “psychographic that spans teens, millennials and Gen X, and is defined by a focus on Creation, Curation, Connection and Community.”
- 1 in 3 people within Gen C spend more time watching online videos than TV.
- 46% of Gen C believe YouTube is an alternative to TV
- 51% of Gen C say that watching a YouTube video about a product or service has impacted their purchase decision
- 70% of Gen C have subscribed to one or more YouTube channels
- 52% of Gen C say they often share YouTube videos with other people they know
- Nearly 40% of Gen C proactively go to YouTube to engage with their favorite brands
In a related note, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg took the stage to announce the acquisition of AwesomenessTV. This is one of the most subscribed-to, teen-focused networks on YouTube. According to The Hollywood Reporter, DreamWorks paid 33 million for the channel with the promise of additional payments if the channel meets revenue targets.
YouTube closed their presentation with appearances by some of the stars they helped create including Felicia Day, violinist Lindsey Stirling, Ryan Higa and a breakdancing baby. Snoop Lion (aka Snoop Dogg) was also on hand for the festivities along with hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
A grand time was had by all and YouTube made their point. They don’t have to put on a show – they own the show. What advertiser is going to walk away without a piece of that.
Let’s wrap with YouTube’s new salute to their community: