Three takeaways from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s keynote at VidCon

Susan Wojcicki speaks at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco on Oct. 9, 2014.

Susan Wojcicki speaks at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco on Oct. 9, 2014.

(Kimberly White / Getty Images )

YouTube Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki unveiled a series of product announcements, including a mobile redesign for the platform, during her keynote speech at VidCon on Thursday.

The longtime executive, who previously headed advertising and commerce at Google, received several rounds of applause as she addressed a packed Anaheim Convention Center conference hall at VidCon for the second year in a row.

Wojcicki’s speech at the annual online video conference comes on the heels of a successful year for YouTube. The video platform, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, boasts 1 billion users. A recent Bank of America report valued YouTube at more than $70 billion.


Last week, parent company Google credited its video platform for a strong second quarter, which helped Google surge nearly 16% to a new all-time high.

“Ten years ago, YouTube started with a simple idea: ‘Broadcast yourself,’” Wojcicki said. “We believed that anyone should be able to create content that everyone in the world could watch. It turned out with that simple idea, creators like you from around the world were able to spark a massive change: the reinvention of television. ... We’ve gone from an era of passive entertainment into a renaissance of immersive entertainment.”

Here are three takeaways from Wojcicki’s speech:

1. “Mobile, mobile, mobile”

Wojcicki called mobile YouTube’s top priority, which comes as no surprise considering the statistics shown during the presentation.

More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices, and mobile revenue is growing 100% year to year.

“We’re focused on three top priorities, mobile, mobile and mobile,” Wojcicki said. “Today, we are a mobile company.”


The CEO said that after listening to its creators, YouTube has redesigned the official YouTube app to focus on “maximizing discovery and expression.”

The revamped app has new capture and editing tools with filters and music, vertical video playback and the “most requested creator feature: a simple way for your fans to opt in to all notifications from your channel.”

It’s currently available on Android, mobile web, and will soon be on iOS.

2. Virtual reality is a the “new frontier”

Later this year, YouTube will add 360-degree, 3-D video support that will “enable truly immersive virtual reality experiences.”

YouTube Spaces will also be up to date with latest Jump cameras that capture 360-degree video so that creators can dabble with the immersive content.

“We’ve seen big name artists like Avicii and Bjork do some breakthrough things with 3-D video,” Wojcicki said. “But we want to empower all of you to chart this new frontier.”

3. Creators are key to the future of YouTube

Though entertainment will continue to become more immersive, Wojcicki emphasized YouTube’s strategy will remain to invest in its creators.

“I want to leave you all with one final message: YouTube succeeds only if you, our creators, succeed,” she said. “You’re the reason that we’re all here today; you’re the reason that VidCon exists in the first place. All of you have invested in building your channels, building your businesses, listening viewer feedback, pored over your analytics and, as a result, made great content and built strong communities.”

Wojcicki also announced the addition of two new YouTube Spaces in Toronto and Mumbai, India, set to open in the next year.

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