Today, I will be continuing our exploration of YouTube, picking up from where we left last time - Problems with YouTube.
Today’s writing is in a positive light. I will be taking a look at how YouTube is helping creators thrive. Over the past few years, it has launched several new features that help creators thrive on its platform.
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I plan to write a lot more deep-dive articles into trends & products, like this article.
YouTube for creators
With all the criticism YouTube receives for not helping the very people that helped it grow so fast, a deeper dive shows that YouTube is actually helping creators make a living off its platform.
A majority of the $15 billion YouTube earned in 2019 went to its creators.
Let’s look at some YouTube features for creators.
If you’re a YouTuber, you need to understand how your videos are performing. You need to look at how many people are looking at your videos, how many people have dropped off from your videos at the nth minute, see what kind of videos are doing better than others, etc.
If you’re a seasoned YouTuber, the data that YouTube provides you is the best way for you to analyze where you need to improve.
For example, if you see that at an average, your videos are not being watched for more than 30 seconds, you can say that people like the title of the content, but don’t like the content itself. On the other hand, if you see that your videos have high retention, meaning people watch 80 to 90 percent of the videos, but not many people watch the videos, then you need to improve your title and thumbnail.
These are just a couple of examples. There are numerous ways in which you can interpret the data provided by YouTube.
Not just help you analyze your own videos, YouTube also has tutorials around how you could get make money as a YouTuber. From channel creation to content strategy to monetization, YouTube is here to help you through its creator academy.
All of these courses are free to access, and if you start watching them as you create your channel, chances are high that you would have a great quality of content. You will be aware of YouTube’s policies and guidelines, which will help you identify what not to do.
If you’re a YouTuber, you are running a businessman, which means you need training on marketing, monetization, content strategy and growing your business. Through the Creator Academy, YouTube provides you with tips on how to do this.
What if you do not have high-quality computers to edit videos? No problem, the YouTube Creator Studio is here for you.
You can do the basic editing, like trimming a video and adding thumbnails and end screens to your videos. What’s more, YouTube also helps with translated subtitles, which means your videos are inclusive for people who have a hard time hearing or foreign language speakers.
The Creator Studio also allows you to interact with your subscribers through comments and posts, thus creating a community around your content.
In 2016, Google acquired Famebit, an Influencer marketing platform. This allows advertisers to find the right creators for their marketing needs. As a result, you as a creator don’t have to worry about not finding partners.
Otherwise, you would have to worry about getting in touch with ad agencies who work with partners, and will usually take a huge cut out of the deals that partners want to have with you.
Coming from YouTube itself, this looks promising.
Of course, the most important way in which YouTube helps you - making money. YouTube helps you make money primarily through advertising. Whenever you see an ad before a video, a creator gets paid.
Though advertising is the primary mode in which a creator can earn money, it is not the only one. YouTube also allows creators to make money through memberships to a channel, donations to a creator and ‘super chat,’ which allows you to pin your comment to a live streaming video. Creators can also offer premium memberships to their subscribers by adding premium content to their existing offerings.
For the creators who want to sell their own merchandise, YouTube also works with multiple merchandising partners.
But why write about all these features?
My goal is to figure out where YouTube is going next. Through all this, we see that YouTube wants to stick to its core audience - the content creators. If creators love the platform, they would keep adding new content, thus bringing viewers.
Looking at the features above, we can expect the following:
For creators who use videos to sell products, taking users away from YouTube to a different site is not a good user experience. I would not be surprised to see YouTube introducing a checkout process - for creators who want to sell things, you can have a payment and checkout process integrated into the experience.
YouTube introduced stories last year, following the trend on other social media apps like Instagram and Facebook. Creators need assistance connecting with their community in more ways than just their videos. It is, ultimately, about creating a personalized experience.
Today, creators have to engage with their audience on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and other apps.
It can be expected that YouTube wants to pull some of the attention away from these other apps onto itself.
More video formats
From the rise of apps like Tiktok, it is clear that short-form content is as potent as the free-form video format on YouTube. At the same time, with phones, vertical videos are in vogue these days, popularized by Tiktok and Instagram.
Products like Quibi are launching innovative formats, where a user can toggle between vertical and horizontal formats. At some point in the near future, we can expect YouTube to innovate in this aspect as well.
Looking at the above articles, I am convinced that if there is one company that has the potential to empower its creators in multiple ways, that is YouTube. The above three are the most obvious areas where YouTube would innovate if its creators need these things.
Other areas, like multiple monetization strategies, updating its algorithm to meet the changing socio-political climate and improving recommendations are all areas where it has to constantly evolve to stay on top of the game.
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