YouTube Is ‘Now the Largest Content Licensor in the World,’ Says Exec

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Don’t ignore YouTube when looking at streaming video success stories, such as Netflix, a top executive of the Alphabet-owned giant told a media and entertainment industry conference in Cambridge, England on Wednesday.

Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, shared some data and stats about the video streamer during the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention, saying it has become a diversified platform after starting with “grainy home videos” and the like. “Now, media companies present about 25 percent of YouTube watch time globally, another 25 percent is music, and 50 percent is YouTube creators,” he explained.

Addressing financial trends, including revenue, the executive said: “We are roughly neck-and-neck with Netflix on revenue, actually we are slightly larger and growing faster.”

Second-quarter advertising revenue at YouTube was reported at $7 billion, up 83 percent from the year-ago period, after $6 billion in the first quarter, up 49 percent. That don’t include subscription revenue generated by YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. Netflix recorded $7.3 billion in the latest quarter, up 19 percent, after $7.2 billion in the first quarter, up 24 percent.

The executive also discussed content spending. “When you think about our payouts, we are now the largest content licensor in the world,” Kyncl said. He mentioned that YouTube’s partner program covers about 2 million creators, with the company paying out $30 billion to them over the past three years.

Kyncl said to ensure diversity, companies must focus on it, including in hiring and creative relationships. “Unless you always take the extra step …., you just take the easy way out and never change anything,” he said.

Before his appearance, Ben McOwen Wilson, YouTube’s managing director, U.K. and Ireland, had said in opening remarks that no company, including YouTube, was doing enough for inclusion yet. “None of us … is delivering the audience that represents our country, none of us is doing well on any dimension of diversity,” he said. “Collectively, we must shift that … for our audiences, the talent we have behind the cameras and in front of the cameras.”

With talent able to build an audience on YouTube that can rival that of many TV channels, “we must ensure that representation and equality opportunity is baked in for all, or we will miss the opportunity to work with that talent,” he said. “It cannot be sprinkled on top as diversity dressing. It must be in the cake mix.”

he theme of the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention is “Broadcast Britain: Reshaping Britishness on the Global Stage.”

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

 
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