On stage today at Radio City Music Hall, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki made a revelation: the service gets 1.8 billion logged-in viewers every month. And people who aren’t logged in are not even included– which means the actual number of people watching YouTube is way higher than we think.
Last June, the service had 1.5 billion logged-in watchers. On TVs alone, people are now watching 150 million hours of YouTube every day. The latest figures are yet another sign that YouTube’s reach is staggering, something that Wojcicki wanted to make crystal clear for the audience of advertisers and potential partners at its annual BrandCast event.
The CEO announced the milestone at YouTube’s Brandcast presentation to advertisers, alongside some of the year’s most noteworthy successes — like Beyoncé’s record-setting 41 million livestream views at Coachella and the “Despacito” music video passing 5 billion views last month. The company previously announced that it had 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users in mid-2017.
Wojcicki mentioned other changes like a YouTube Kids option for human-curated videos and a promise to hire 10,000 moderators — something that appears to still be in progress. “There is not a playbook for how open platforms operate at our scale,” said Wojcicki. “But the way I think about it is that it’s critical that we’re on the right side of history.”
Wojcicki also added that YouTube has built an “infrastructure and tools” to properly manage its platform over the past year.
Additionally, it’s also made guidelines and policies more restrictive, committed more people to monitoring content, and it’s relying on the “latest machine learning” technology to help. While that’s all well and good, she also didn’t reveal any new strategies for better managing YouTube’s platform.
“It’s incredibly important to me and everyone at YouTube that we grow responsibly,” the CEO said, addressing concerns about the company’s ability to properly monitor offensive content. “There is not a playbook for how open platforms operate at our scale… The way I think about it, it’s critical we’re on the right side of history.
The streaming also took the opportunity to reveal its next batch of originals. Will Smith’s Grand Canyon bungee jump was the biggest announcement this year. And in addition to its high school basketball series with Lebron James, Best Shot, there’s also If “I Could Tell You Just One Thing, which features Priyanka Chopra traveling the world and talking with inspirational people. Jack Whitehall will also work out with professional soccer players in Training Days. As for existing shows, YouTube is renewing three: Kevin Hart’s What the Fit, The Super Slow Show and the Untitled Demi Lovato Project. The details of the shows have been provided on the company’s blog.
Notably, YouTube has also announced the beginning of its Google Preferred advertising system, “so that brands can continue to access some of the most popular stars and inspiring stories on YouTube.” Music from Sony Music, Universal Music Group, Vevo, and Warner Music Group will get Google Preferred ads play alongside eligible channels and videos.