What is Happening?
YouTube is a big business with big ambitions and big challenges ahead.
During the first quarter of 2020, YouTube saw a 25% increase in watchtime around the world. 2020 was also YouTube Gaming's biggest year yet. Over 100 billion hours of gaming content was watched on YouTube in 2020.
CEO Susan Wojcicki's latest blog post has explained YouTube's priorities for 2021. These include creator economy growth, helping people learn new skills and building the future of YouTube. The post also made note of the challenges in regulation and the company's plans on working with governments.
Whether it was music, arts, performing or churches moving their services online - More than 500,000 channels live streamed for the first time in 2020.
What Does it Mean?
This year will see continued platform growth and increased watch time. We also expect to see product advancements that help advertisers and commerce businesses Yet, despite the bright future the challenges around regulation, copyright and free speech will be far reaching.
There has been lots of debate on Section 230. Section 230 is a piece of Internet legislation in the United States. This law helps YouTube publish a large amount of content without liability. Simply put, companies like Facebook and YouTube can't be sued because of their users' bad behavior.
The European Union also introduced the Digital Services Act which could have major implications for online speech.
⚖️ YouTube's legal teams will be working overtime for the foreseeable future. It also brings into question how effective the legal system(s) are when dealing with platforms like YouTube that have global scale.