Conventions & Awards

YouTube Past And Present: 10 Things We Learned At VidCon

VidconlogoAt this year's VidCon, a rapidly growing annual conference for the online video community, we learned about the state of YouTube, and where we can expect the video sharing site and its content to go in the future.


Guest Post by Chris Robley on CD Baby's DIY Musician Blog


VidCon, the annual conference for lovers of online video, was already a huge deal (last year’s attendance was 16k), but it seems to be growing in size and impact every year. The 2016 VidCon just drew 25k attendees. CD Baby sent three of our team members down to Anaheim for this gathering of video culture and content.

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Here’s what we learned:

1. YouTube is still on top of the video world

YouTube has now been around for more than a decade. It might seem like old news to some people. It might seem like increased competition in the video space means that YouTube will inevitably lose some influence, but…

2. YouTube is the only platform that provides an immersive experience

Despite the fact that Facebook continues to push itself as a video platform, and other video services like Vine and Instagram have become hugely popular, no other online destination allows you (the creator) to provide a whole experience where viewers can immerse themselves in your content.

3. Successful YouTube creators build out a channel that has specific programming

Part of providing an immersive experience is about using your YouTube channel to pull together an audience around a unique topic (a food network, solo-sailing adventures, impressive long-distance Frisbee feats, etc.). So think about YouTube as a place not just to post occasional videos, but to create your own network of regular programming (music videos, gear reviews, music lessons, live sessions, vlogs, etc.)

4. “Pro” content creators are shifting to YouTube

Even traditional cable networks are investing more and more into creating YouTube content because it’s driving more results.

5. YouTube steps up its education game for creators

YouTube has aggregated the educational content from seven different YouTube sites (including the Creator Academy, Creator Blog, Creator Monthly, YouTube Spaces, Creator Community, Creator Services Directory, and Creator Awards) into one location:, available in 23 different languages.

6. The more subscribers, the more tools you unlock

As part of YouTube’s resource section, you can gain access to more tools and opportunities as your audience grows. For example, when you pass certain subscriber milestones (10k, 100k, 1million, etc.) you receive play button badges. At the 10k mark, you get production access at the YouTube Spaces. And so forth.

7. YouTube makes significant updates to their commenting system

You will now be able to pin comments to the top of your feed, and channel owners can allow preferred subscribers to moderate comments on your channel. This could be huge for creators who don’t have time to moderate and respond to every comment. By entrusting those duties to their community, you can let fans be directly involved with your channel and give them a sense of ownership.

8. YouTube improves their Content ID system

This isn’t a totally new development, but it’s recent enough that YouTube was using VidCon to spread the word: Content ID now allows users to monetize a video while that video is in dispute.

9. Get help as a YouTube creator

YouTube will provide email support to all creators who are monetizing their channel, promising to provide feedback to your emails within one business day.

10. Stream live to YouTube directly from your phone

YouTube has built a “Go Live” button into the YouTube app that will let you stream live from your phone, and the video will become immediately available in the YouTube search just seconds after the stream has completed.

Which of these items means the most to you? Will any of them change the way you’re using YouTube? Were you at VidCon, and if so, what did you learn? Let us know in the comments.

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