For a media company, YouTube is notoriously bad when it comes to communication. Every day I check their public blog and their creator blog for news and I rarely find anything new. The “official” blog was last updated in early April. The creator blog in early May. From that, you’d think there was nothing happening at the world’s most popular online video site – not true – YouTube’s just very bad when it comes to talking about it.
Today, they get points for effort. Matt Glotzbach, Director of Creator Product Management readily admitted that YouTube’s not so good about announcing changes before they happen.
When you surprise people with changes on a site they love, especially a site they use to make money, people get mad. Remember Bob and his tank army?
To prevent this from happening again, Matt and his team created this video teasing all of the new ideas that are coming down the virtual highway. If they do half of what they promised in this vid, YouTube is going to soar like never before. Here are the highlights from least exciting to most:
Creator App Upgrades: YouTubers live on their mobile devices, so the company is investing in new mobile tools that will allow creators to manage their accounts and do pretty much anything they can do when they’re logged in on the web. Helpful, but not all that cool.
Global Captioning: YouTube is working on a community captions project that will use the power of the community to caption popular videos in a wide variety of languages.
Revenue sharing on music protected by copyright: This move sounds like the musical version of Amazon’s Kindle Worlds fan fic publishing program. Matt says that some of his favorite YouTube videos are covers of popular songs. “Wouldn’t it be nice if you could share in the revenue?” In the near future, he’s going to make it so. No details, but I imagine we’re talking about an ad revenue split between creators and music companies that agree to loosen their licensing. Smart. Smart. Smart. YouTube videos don’t stop people from buying official tracks, it encourages people to seek out the originals so this is an excellent move.
BEST IN SHOW
Funding from Fans: An increasing number of YouTube creators are asking fans to subsidize their channels with donations or virtual tip jars. Many fans are willing to pay a few dollars to keep the content flowing but using an outside tool is cumbersome. People might be willing to give but unwilling to sign up for a funding site they don’t know or trust. Now YouTube is talking about bringing fan funding home. Imagine that – a “tip” button right on your video that let’s fans donate before or after watching. No details on how it will work exactly, but that’s the idea and it’s brilliant.
Here’s the full video from YouTube: