VidCon: YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Announces Creator Tip Jar, Analytics App, More

Susan Wojcicki

The keynote presentation from the YouTube CEO ended the first day of VidCon in Anaheim.

At her first VidCon as CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki unveiled a suite of new products and initiatives designed to make the YouTube experience better for creators. Among the announcements that got the most applause from the audience is a tip jar to show support for creators up to $500, fun-sourced subtitles and an app for creators to access analytics and channel management tools on the go.

“I have to say, a lot of people prepared me about what I would see,” Wojcikci opened. “But nothing really pares you for actually being here in real life.” 

She categorized the new features into three bullets: engaging a bigger and global audience, building a successful business and managing creative work.

Wojcicki also announced at the keynote that YouTube’s new advertising campaign, featuring beauty blogger Michelle Phan and other creators, has helped more than double the awareness of those creators. It will now be adding Vice News to the campaign.

Meanwhile, the Google Preferred advertising tier announced at Brandcast in New York has already signed Heineken and Johnson and Johnson.

Another YouTube projected announced during the presentation was a Sirius Radio show devoted to hits from emerging and established artists on YouTube. Longtime creator Jenna Marbles will host the show on Sirius XM Hits 1.

Wojcicki’s speech capped off VidCon’s afternoon keynote session, which also featured vlogger and best-selling author John Green (The Fault in Our Stars). Together with his brother Hank Green, they are known collectively as the VlogBrothers, he co-founded VidCon, which has grown to about 20,000 attendees in its fifth year.

YouTuber Grace Helbig also took the stage to talk about her decision to leave multichannel network My Damn Channel and go independent with the it’sGrace channel. Helbig described the welcome response she received from other YouTube creators following her move: “It made me feel like a truly authentic member of this community.”

She also discussed that the move has opened her up to new opportunities, announcing her latest project, a travel series with Mamrie Hart called #HeyUSA that premieres July 1.

The final panel of the day addressed how the independent world of YouTube has converged with mainstream media, topical given Jeffrey Katzenberg’s earlier talk about his interest in the online video space and Ynon Kreiz’s discussion about Disney’s acquisition of Maker Studios.

The panelists — indlucing Big Frame co-founder Sarah Penna (now owned by DreamWorks Animation), Annoying Orange creator Dane Boedigheimer, Henry Reich of channel MinutePhysics and Endemol COO Ben Samek — concluded that helping make YouTube stars household names will be an important moment for YouTube.