Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, recently shared about the platform’s priorities for 2021. Their main priority is the creation and promotion of education content. AIR Creators Ecosystem gathered the most interesting news on what creators should focus on this year and what opportunities lie ahead.
In 2020 we faced numerous circumstances that affected creators and their content: the pandemic, lockdown, elections, natural disasters, and racial injustice to name just a few. Remarkably, these challenges united creators and their audiences even more around the world.
In 2020, the majority of YouTube users were either searching for trustworthy information about COVID-19 or wanted to learn something new.
What was happening in the digital world in 2020
In the first quarter of 2020 watch time on YouTube increased by 25%.
The platform gaming content generated over 100 billion hours of watch time which became an absolute record in the Gaming section.
In the first six months of 2020, the number of daily live streams grew by 45%. In 2020, over 500K channels have used live streams.
Music artists supported their fans and came up with new content formats: performing live concerts on virtual platforms in computer games, home video, and songs with social messages.
Young channels worldwide experienced fast growth on YouTube. The number of authors that joined the YouTube Partner Program doubled compared to 2019.
The YouTube team has identified 3 top priorities for 2021: creating and promoting educational content, increasing opportunities for creators, and fighting against fakes. Every year YouTube identifies priorities based on popular content analytics, viewer requests, and creator complaints and proposals. The platform’s goals for next year will benefit both authors and their audiences.
Priority 1: Promote Educational Content
2021 has been declared a year of Education on the platform. This year, YouTube plans to help more people learn new skills and to promote channels with educational content. Creators should consider this fact and focus on creating useful videos.
According to the Ipsos research data, 77% of those surveyed used YouTube throughout 2020 to learn new skills. One video that included the keyword ‘beginner’ has been watched over 1 billion times.
YouTube’s goal for 2021 is to double the number of users that watch educational content on YouTube and to help more people watch videos that will guide them on the path to professional and personal growth and financial opportunities.
Priority 2: Expand Creators’ Opportunities
YouTube has long ceased to be simply an entertainment platform. Many authors create media projects with their production teams and multi-million audiences. Besides helping people find jobs, YouTube does much more — They help people find their calling which affects the overall economy of the country. According to Oxford Economics, in 2019 creators contributed $16 billion in the US GDP (the equivalent of 345K jobs). That same year GDP in the UK increased by 1.4 billion pounds (the equivalent of 300K jobs), and in France by 515 million euro (the equivalent of 15K jobs).
It’s important to YouTube that they support creators in their endeavors and help increase their revenue. For the past three years, the platform has paid out to authors, artists, and media, over $30 billion. In 2021, YouTube plans to increase its influence on creators’ revenue with the following updates:
- YouTube guidelines and principles will become more transparent for authors.
YouTube policies protect the community from breaking the law, fake information, and content that could harm the physical and mental health of the audience. But creators often fail to adjust their content to the platform updates. Because of this, authors can face strikes, blocking, disabling monetization, and other platform sanctions. This is especially true for the guideline updates in kid’s content.
The YouTube team has taken into account all complaints and will make the following changes in 2021 to help authors: more transparency in the guidelines, increased support, and a simplified process for disputing sanctions.
The AIR Creators Ecosystem can also help dispute YouTube sanctions. Our 24/7 support contacts the YouTube team directly to help creators. You will be able to receive an answer and a decision within 4 hours. You can ask any questions you have on our Discord channel.
- Investment in instruments for additional revenue will increase.
Today, creators are finding new ways to connect with audiences and increase revenue. In 2020, the number of channels that receive most of their revenue from Super Chat, Super Stickers, or YouTube Sponsorship has tripled. In the third quarter of 2020, YouTube Music and YouTube Premium subscriptions reached over 30 million paying members. In 2021, the platform team plans to continue investing in additional sources of revenue for creators.
- Creation of an inclusive platform.
YouTube has always strived to be a place where creators can speak up, make friends with similar interests, or even build a business. The team is now studying how the platform guidelines and policies work for different communities, and whether the system expresses bias, in particular, towards Black and LGBTQ +. To make YouTube even more comfortable for creators and to help them create and express themselves in 2021, the platform will start asking US creators for information about themselves (on a voluntary basis). This data will include gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity. By collecting this data, the team will be able to better understand how content from different communities is processed in search, detection, and monetization.
This information will help protect against hateful comments, improve commenting functions, and help creators promote content on the platform more safely.
So, with the help of new technology in comment moderation since the beginning of 2019, YouTube has increased the number of daily deletions of hateful comments by 46 times. And in the last quarter of 2020, over 54K comments were removed for incitement of hatred.
Priority 3: To Fight Against Fake Information
It’s important that the platform audiences receive only reliable information, and that distributors of fakes are aware of the penalties for violating the guidelines.
What YouTube will do with fake information in 2021:
- Delete videos and channels that, as experts believe, may harm viewers.
- Reduce the distribution of questionable content.
- Support and distribute competent and reliable content.
What YouTube Creators Should Focus on in 2021
2020 has proved that YouTube audiences need content. People united through watching the content of their favorite creators. That’s why YouTube is working to create better conditions for faster growth on the platform. Creators should simply follow these recommendations:
- Create educational content. Even if you’ve only created entertainment content before, try teaching your audience something new and useful. This will not only diversify your content but will also increase your channel traffic.
- Use opportunities provided by YouTube. This applies to Super Chats, Super Stickers during live streaming or Sponsorship, and paid subscription to a channel.
- Take responsibility for the information you share. Do not spread fakes otherwise, your channel will face sanctions from YouTube.
Create only high-quality educational content, and YouTube algorithms will take over the promotion! :)