YouTube will make a “big push” in launching its subscription offering YouTube Red, as well as a revamped YouTube Music service, in new markets this year, according to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.
The move was listed among Wojcicki’s top priorities for creators using the video service for this year, alongside tightening and enforcing its policies and pushing thorough “new innovations in AR and VR”.
Wojcicki said that YouTube is testing new ways for creators to earn revenue on their channels through donations, merchandise and ticket sales, and said that sponsorships would expand from selected gaming channels to more channels this year.
The wider launch of YouTube Red was listed as one of the ways YouTube said it aimed to help support the success of its content creators in 2018.
Wojcicki said that the number of YouTube creators making six-figures a year grew by 40% in 2017, but acknowledged the community’s frustration when they felt their content was at times being unfairly demonetised or ‘age-gated’.
“While we worked hard this year to provide an appeals system and quicker responses to creators when a video is demonetised, we’ve heard loud and clear that we need a better system,” she said.
“We’re currently working on a more accurate solution that includes more human review of your content, while also taking your own input into account (since you know your videos best).”
Google previously said it aims to bring the total number of people working across YouTube and Google to address content that might violate its policies to over 10,000 this year.
Wojcicki added that YouTube is also developing policies that would “lead to consequences if a creator does something egregious that causes significant harm to our community as a whole”.
In terms of engagement, Wojcicki said there is a “much larger opportunity to build engagement around video”.
“Some of the features we’ve begun to roll out include giving more creators access to our community tab and Reels, our new way to create fast, lightweight stories,” she said. “We will also push new innovations in AR and VR to create more immersive experiences.”
The news comes after YouTube’s chief business officer Robert Kyncl said in a recent interview that YouTube Red would expand internationally this year. Google’s European president Matt Brittin also said last year that it would roll out in the UK “at some point”.
YouTube Red launched in the US in late 2015 and is currently available in the US, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and South Korea.