YouTube’s virtual Brandcast at home opened with a focus on the way the video platform is being used in these unprecedented times.
Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, opened the presentation by noting the the enormous tragedy and losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the violence inflicted on the Black community.
“At YouTube, we believe Black lives matter,” she said.
Robert Kyncl, chief business officer for YouTube, said that had set up a multi-year $100 million fund “to help amplify the voices and stories of Black Creators.”
With people quarantined in their homes, people have been using video on YouTube to get together and figure out how to get by, as in how to cut your own hair lessons, said Kevin Allocca, head of culture & trends at YouTube.
Even celebrities have gotten into the act, he added, pointing to John Krasinski, whose Some Good News webcasts were watched by 73 million people.
“The relevance of web video comes from the way people use it,” he said.
The entertainment segment was led by Lilly Singh, who started on YouTube in 2010 and now has a late-night show on NBC. But she still creates videos for her YouTube channel.
Alex Rodriguez led the sports segment, Karlie Kloss hosted fashion and lifestyle, Gordon Ramsey cooked up food and Cookie Monster MC’d learning and education.
The presentation also got down to business. YouTube Select, an upgrade of Google Preferred, was announced. It lets advertisers buy packages that feature only the most popular YouTube channels and creators.
It also unveiled YouTube TV on TV Screens which features commercials that are seen by viewers on big screens and Brand Lift for YouTube, which measure the impact of campaigns.
Video action campaigns were also introduced as a “simple and cost-effective way to drive more conversions across YouTube.
The company unveiled the 2020 YouTube Works winners, including the Grand Prix and creative innovation award, which went to Bacardi and its ad agency BBDO.
Some new programming coming to YouTube includes a four-part docuseries with Demi Lovato; The Ultimate Home Championship, hosted by Stephen Curry; Lockdown, a 10-episode scripted series for kids and families that’s produced remotely, and an untitled David Blaine live event.