Outside of the Jacob Javits Convention Center on New York’s far
West Side—where You Tube is hosting the Brandcast, its annual presentation to advertisers—fans crush together behind barriers. Young and
mostly female, they hover giddily on this chilly May evening, angling
for a glimpse of the You Tube stars who are making their way down a
red carpet toward the entrance. One fan clutches a sign that reads ;’;
;;;;, ;;; ;;’; ;;;;; ;;.
Inside, the cavernous hall is filling with 2,800 ad-industry insiders,
video creators, and members of the press who will soon sip wine and
nibble popcorn as the streaming-video giant debuts a slate of original
series. They will be entertained by indefatigable Late Late Show host
James Corden, who will perform a splashy number (“You Tube: The
Musical”) alongside dancing T. rexes and a Pikachu. Katy Perry—her
hair in a new blond buzz cut—will tout her upcoming live-streamed
special and return to end the event with a concert.
But even the surprise appearance of the world’s most successful
comedian, Kevin Hart—the star of an upcoming funny fitness show
on You Tube—isn’t the evening’s most memorable moment. That comes
when You Tube CEO Susan Wojcicki stands alone onstage in a purple
dress, issuing something you normally wouldn’t expect to hear at a
bash like this: an apology.
For the previous two months, You Tube had been beset by controversy in the wake of newspaper investigations that discovered
brand advertising being paired with videos featuring terrorist and
ISN’T DONE YET.
You Tube is catering to its
most passionate fan groups.
Wojcicki has pushed the company to tailor services for
some of the most popular ways
people use You Tube, creating
dedicated apps for kids, gaming enthusiasts, and virtual-reality early adopters.
You Tube generates
revenue from more than
Red is a premium service
that’s ad-free and costs $9.99 a
month. You Tube offers Hollywood movies and TV shows to
buy or rent (just like Amazon),
and You Tube TV provides 40
broadcast and cable channels
for $35 a month. In October
2016, Google acquired the influencer marketing firm FameBit
to help You Tube match
brands and stars.
You Tube is building a
deep slate of original
Wojcicki has quietly undertaken
the most ambitious content initiative in You Tube history. She
has funded dozens of Red Originals, which target You Tube’s
core audience of teen viewers, a
market that’s been underserved
thus far by Netflix and Amazon.
The programming is often created by some of You Tube’s most
successful producers and features homegrown stars.
You Tube is now a mobile-
Wojcicki has pushed significant