YouTube CEO Responds To Unilever’s Threat

At the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual summit on Monday, Unilever’s head of marketing Keith Weed laid down a gauntlet to tech giants like Facebook and Google: Clean up your platforms, or risk seeing the consumer packaged goods giant pull its advertising.

It’s not an idle threat. With an annual ad budget approaching $10 billion, Unilever is one of the world’s largest spenders.

Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of Google-owned YouTube, responded Monday night at Recode’s Code Media conference. “We take their feedback very seriously. We are an advertiser-supported platform,” Wojcicki said.

“We want to do the right set of things to build [Unilever’s] trust. They are building brands on YouTube, and we want to be sure that our brand is the right place to build their brand.”

She added that “based on the feedback we had from them,” YouTube changed its rules for what channels could be monetized, and began to have humans review all videos uploaded to Google Preferred, the company’s premium monetization product.

Wojcicki added that YouTube still has different relationships with different advertisers, and is attempting to balance the needs of giants like Unilever with direct-response advertisers that collectively make up a big chunk of the site’s ad revenue.

“Not all advertisers are the same. Some are very brand-sensitive, and some are saying, “you know what, we are more focused on direct-response — we are OK with content being a little edgier,’” she said.

Her comments come as YouTube continues to grapple with the brand safety fallout from Logan Paul, the YouTuber thrust into the spotlight after uploading a video that showed him and his friends finding a dead body.

Wojcicki noted that the company suspended its projects with him, and this week suspended all advertising from his account after he posted more offensive videos.

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YouTube: Channels with more than 1 Million Subs up 75%

At its annual Brandcast presentation last night during the two-week-long NewFronts video ad conference, YouTube announced a slew of new shows and also revealed some noteworthy stats.

Citing a Google-commissioned Nielsen study, CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that more 18- to 49-year-olds visit YouTube on their mobile devices during primetime television — when ratings are at their highest — than any cable or broadcast network. YouTube also announced that there are now 75% more channels that have surpassed 1 million subscribers than there were last year. And smart TV sets represent the company’s fastest-growing screens, Wojcicki said, with watch-time doubling year-over-year.

Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, discussed the growth of Google Preferred, which aggregates content from the likes of Michelle Phan, Good Mythical Morning, and other top creators into packages for advertisers. Google Preferred has expanded into 20 countries, Kyncl said, and the number of advertisers using the service has grown three-fold since its launch in 2014.

On the subject of advertising, Wojcicki also took a moment to deliver a sincere apology in the wake the ad boycott, whereby marketers were aghast to discover that, in some cases, their ads were running against extremist videos. “We apologize for letting you down,” Wojcicki said. “We can and will do better.” She noted that the company was working around the clock in order to ensure brand safety. Accordingly, certain advertisers, including Johnson & Johnson, have resumed their YouTube spend.

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YouTube Announces Original Programming

YouTube has decided to make a bigger investment in original programming. One year after creating originals for its YouTube Red subscription service, it’s creating ad-supported original programming that everyone can view. At its YouTube Brandcast event tonight in New York City—an annual event that takes place during NewFront Season—YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and CBO Robert Kyncl announced the company is working with a handful of proven commodities—Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart, Ryan Seacrest, Demi Lovato, the Slow Mo Guys, and Rhett and Link—to create original series. Speaking to an audience made up of thousands of advertisers and agencies, Kyncl plugged the programming as a way for advertisers to find a home is a streaming world increasingly dominated by ad-free SVOD originals.

DeGeneres’s program will be called Ellen’s Show Me More Show, and will bring viewers backstage with celebrities. Hart’s program will be called What the Fit?, and will show the fitness-loving comedian taking part in unusual fitness regimens. Other originals include Seacrest’s Best.Cover.Ever, Lovato’s I Am: Demi Lovato, Rhett and Link’s Good Mythical Morning, and the Slow Mo Guys’ The Super Slow Show. You Tube will also create an original special with Katy Perry. YouTube didn’t offer details on its financial investment in these programs.

This year’s newfronts have been dominated by brand safety conversations thanks to YouTube’s recent disaster where it ran major brand ads on videos from hate groups, leaving publishers working extra hard to assure advertisers that their content is brand safe. Wojcicki addressed the issue early in her Brandcast presentation, offering an apology and a pledge to do better.

“The last several weeks have been challenging for some of you,” Wojcicki said, promising YouTube will put more controls in place and work with trusted third-parties like ComScore to create a “stronger and better platform.”

At the 2016 Brandcast, Wojcicki said YouTube was visited by more 18- to 49-year-olds in a month on mobile devices than any cable or broadcast network. This year, she added that even during primetime YouTube is visited by more 18- to 49-year-olds on mobile than any network. In all, YouTube is watched by over 1 billion people worldwide, she said.

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YouTube TV unveils live OTT service

YouTube has unveiled details of its live OTT service, offering major US networks ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, for $35 per month.

The announcement was made by Susan Wojcicki, YouTube CEO.

The live TV streaming platform will also offer sports networks including ESPN, Fox Sports Networks and Comcast SportsNet and dozens of popular cable networks, such as MSNBC, Fox News, USA, FX, the Disney Channel, Sprout, E! and Bravo. Showtime and Fox Soccer Plus are available for an additional charge. In total, YouTube TV gives access to more than 40 networks.

YouTube TV offers unlimited cloud PVR recording. People can stream up to three channels simultaneously, and a single subscription can have up to six accounts.

It is possible to stream to a regular TV set with a Google Chromecast or watch on a Chromecast built-in TV. YouTube TV works on both Android and iOS.

In addition, subscribers will have access to YouTube Red premium content.

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