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YouTube broke with tradition during its annual presentation for advertisers, known as Brandcast, on Tuesday evening.
The event, which typically occurs during IAB’s digital-focused NewFronts earlier in May, instead happened in the midst of Upfronts week at New York’s Imperial Theatre. And this year, instead of announcing a slew of new original programming led by top talent, YouTube executives focused on live shopping, short-form video and the work of individual YouTube creators like Jimmy Donaldson (best known as MrBeast), Patrick Starrr and Marques Brownlee.
The absence of an Originals slate announcement at Brandcast, which was bookended by live performances from Jon Batiste and Lizzo, wasn’t entirely unexpected. In January, YouTube announced it was cutting down its originals programming — while maintaining support for programs coming out of the company’s Black Voices and YouTube Kids funds — and saw the departure of Susanne Daniels, YouTube’s former global head of original content.
Speaking about the future of YouTube at the Brandcast event, CEO Susan Wojcicki highlighted YouTube Shorts, the platform’s short-form video competitor to TikTok which averages 30 billion daily views, and live shopping. As part of the live shopping push, YouTube will host its second Beauty Festival on June 16; this time around, YouTube will have a shoppable livestream with exclusive product drops coming from partner brands like Glossier and Lancôme.
Later this year, Wojcicki said YouTube will release a new shopping feature that will allow creators to redirect viewers during a livestream to a brand’s YouTube channel, essentially letting two channels to co-host a single livestream.
Earlier in her remarks, Wojcicki also shared YouTube’s “deep commitment” to combat misinformation. (In 2017, Wojcicki had apologized to advertisers after reports that some ads had been showing up next to violent, racist or otherwise inappropriate content.) “We have a very deep commitment to responsibly protecting our community and making sure that we are on the right side of history. We have invested in our people, policies and machine learning technology to make sure that we can responsibly tackle misinformation,” the executive said.
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