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YouTube, still the dominant player in online video, has seen increased competition from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Vessel in recent years, which according to its head of content, Robert Kyncl, has focused the Google-owned company on redoubling its efforts to support its creators.
“We’ve been investing in our creators quite a lot,” he said onstage at the Code/Media conference in Dana Point, Calif. He pointed to YouTube’s new Google Preferred advertising tier, which places the top percentage of creators into a pool that can be sold as premium advertising, and the company’s effort to fund original content from star creators.
But Kyncl also acknowledged that as YouTube creators’ stars rise, they will look to develop their brand off the platform. “We are a tremendous platform for brand creation,” he said. “You will only see more and more of this and people generating revenue from as many avenues as they can.”
United Talent Agency CEO Jeremy Zimmer, speaking onstage with Kyncl, echoed that a multiplatform approach is important for online stars, referring to the business brand that beauty vlogger (and UTA client) Michelle Phan has created. “She’s done well but she’s also been able to build businesses off YouTube,” he said.
Zimmer also noted that he sees potential in other platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat. “Our talent is excited about any of these platforms that have a massive audience,” he said, adding that it will take time to test these new players. “It’s early days yet.”
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