The new CEO of YouTube, Neal Mohan, has given a glimpse of his plans for the platform’s future. Mohan took over the lead role at YouTube after Susan Wojcicki stepped down in February.
Mohan revealed his thoughts in an open letter titled Our 2023 Priorities. The letter was posted on YouTube’s official blog. He opened by acknowledging the financial challenges businesses face worldwide and pledged to support the success of creators. Mohan also cited research by Oxford Economics which showed that YouTube supported more than two million jobs in 2021 in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea and India combined.
Support for creators
In the post, Mohan said that going forwards YouTube will give creators more ways to make money outside of advertisements. He cited the expansion of the platform’s subscriptions business and promised investment in shopping and continual improvement of the paid digital goods offerings. Mohan also said he would meet more creators in person to listen to their needs. In addition, he promised more support to creators through chat, email and YouTube’s partner managers.
Neal Mohan on building for the future
Mohan went on to explain his vision of YouTube in the future. More and more people are watching YouTube via smart televisions. As a result, televisions were the platform’s TV fastest growing screen around the world last year. In response, YouTube launched Primetime Channels and will soon be starting football coverage with the NFL Sunday Ticket. Mohan also said that Shorts, YouTube’s response to TikTok, is now averaging over 50 billion daily views.
On the topic of podcasts, Mohan claimed that YouTube is now the second most popular destination for listening to podcasts, according to Edison. To build on this, YouTube Studio has new features to make it easier to publish podcasts. In addition, the company is bringing both audio and video-first podcasts to users of YouTube Music in the United States and will be expanding this to other regions in the future. In addition, Mohan talked about new creation tools for Shorts users and the introduction of AI-powered features.
Protecting the community
Mohan stressed the importance of safeguards to protect YouTube users, especially children. As well as introducing parental controls via YouTube Kids, he explained that the company is talking with governments worldwide. In the United States, YouTube is engaged in the debate regarding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The company is also part of the discussions around a proposal in Europe that may limit political speech and Bill C-11 in Canada that could force YouTube to show content based on government requirements instead of user interests.
What we think
Neal Mohan’s letter was upbeat, as you would expect for the first words from a new CEO. Mohan wants to make it clear he recognizes that the strength of YouTube comes from the content on the platform and the creators who make it. The additional ways to earn an income from your content and additional support for creators are all positive steps. Mohan clearly wants to build and grow the YouTube community which should ensure a positive future for the platform in the years ahead. Now, we will just have to see if he follows through on his promises.