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Over the past four years, YouTube has gone through a dramatic transformation. We’ve seen the fidelity of our videos evolve from the grainy footage of webcams to the crystal clear beauty of 4K. We’ve seen teenagers who began by vlogging in their bedrooms emerge as media heavyweights, with passionate followings and shows that draw more fans than similar shows on cable TV. And we’ve seen partner revenue continue to grow at a healthy pace, giving our creators the chance to do what they love by finding their fanbase on YouTube. Today, more than 1 billion viewers visit YouTube every month to follow their favorite shows and channels and our daily watchtime continues to grow at 50 percent annually.

Throughout that time, we’ve made a number of key decisions to accelerate this transformation. We first made a series of investments in channels to jumpstart our creator ecosystem. Eighty-six of those channels are now among the top 1 percent of YouTube’s most popular, but the real sign of success was the massive global fan base our creators built.

Then, to ensure our creators had the production support they needed, we created the YouTube Spaces in L.A., Tokyo, London and soon New York. The Spaces offer creators free access to the latest and greatest equipment, sets and support to facilitate creativity and content innovation.

This year, we’ve expanded our support to full-scale marketing and advertising campaigns, helping turn successful creators with large fan bases like Bethany Mota and Epic Rap Battles of History into household names, broadening their appeal to new audiences. These campaigns started in the U.S. but we’re now extending them to places like the U.K., France, Germany and Brazil to ensure that creators around the world can continue to serve as beacons for the creator community at large.

Now, we feel the time is right to make another important investment in our creators. That’s why we’ve decided to fund new content from some of our top creators, helping them not only fulfill their creative ambitions but also deliver new material to their millions of fans on YouTube.

As any creator will tell you, making compelling new content isn’t easy, and we expect to learn a lot through this process. We’ll experiment with new formats and ideas. We’ll get our hands dirty. We’ll make some mistakes. Together, we’ll (hopefully) create some fantastic new content on YouTube. But one thing is certain: there’s no one we’d rather go on this adventure with than our creators.

It’s been an incredible few years for YouTube. And with YouTube stars jumping from their bedrooms to billboards in Times Square, we think there’s never been a better time to be a creator. 

Alex Carloss, Head of YouTube Originals, recently watched, “Kutiman - Thru You Too - GIVE IT UP.”

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Ten of his 13 album releases have reached #1 on the Top Country Album charts. He’s married to the gorgeous and talented Faith Hill. And he’s never seen without a cowboy hat. Who else could we talking about but the immensely talented Tim McGraw?

Tonight, Tuesday, September 16, the star is performing live from the Hammerstein Ballroom as part of the American Express Unstaged series, in partnership with VEVO and YouTube. Starting live at 6 p.m. PT, you can watch this exclusive performance directed by Bennett Miller, from the comfort of the American Express YouTube channel.

To get amped before the show starts, watch and share the trailer; get your sing-along on to "Meanwhile Back At Mama’s"; learn to line dance; and catch up on special Unstaged moments from the past like Sugarland and Kenny Chesney.

Now tip your hat, put on your boots, and join us for a night of country to remember.

Nicola Young, Music Programs Manager, recently watched "Heartist - Skeletons”

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Today's guest post is from Ann Shoket, Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen magazine.

The first-ever YouTube issue of Seventeen magazine hits stands today and celebrates the new generation of stars we love. But we obsess over YouTube stars for different reasons than we like traditional Hollywood stars. Those celebs seem so perfect—we can only dream about living their glamorous lives. But on YouTube, we root for the people who are sort of unpolished, a little weird even. We connect with them because they show us their authentic selves, because they are accessible to us.



There’s a moment of total freedom when a girl is alone in her room watching her favorite YouTubers and all the expectations of who she should be and the judgments of people around her just melt away. In that moment she is most powerfully, herself.

The connection is just as deep for the stars. Our cover girl Bethany Mota, the first-ever YouTube personality to grace the cover of a national women’s magazine, told us how the community on YouTube was an escape from bullying and the loneliness she was feeling. Shane Dawson says that he used to be shy, but on YouTube, he felt free to show his wild side.

 

It’s liberating to surround yourself with people who just get you. The power of finding your tribe on YouTube is creating a space where it’s okay to be 100 percent you!

Ann Shoket, Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen, recently watched Jimmy Fallon, Meghan Trainor & The Roots Sing "All About That Bass" (w/ Classroom Instruments).

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(Cross-posted on the Google for Education blog.)

This September, as millions of young people head back to the classroom, we’re opening our digital doors to a brand new type of school--and you’re all invited.



The School of YouTube will see many of your favorite YouTube stars learn or teach something new. From figure-skating to salsa dancing, baking a cake to landing a plane, you’ll be able to watch a whole range of weird and wonderful lessons during the week of September 8 to 12.

We all know that YouTube is already like a huge virtual school--a place where people come to learn, to teach, to hang out and make friends--so it makes perfect sense to celebrate this for one week. And the best thing about this school is that you’ll be able to make a real difference to young people who desperately need your help.

The stars of the School of YouTube will be asking for donations to help some of the millions of people around the world who don’t have the opportunity to go to school or get an education. These kids may be struggling to survive on city streets, in slums or in refugee camps. Or they may be in a situation like 10-year-old Daniel from Ghana, who has very little time to get an education because he has to work long shifts in a dangerous gold mine so that his family can afford to eat.

Getting an education is by far the most powerful route out of poverty for these children and that’s where the School of YouTube comes in.

Money raised from donations will go to the U.K. charity Comic Relief, to help give kids an education across some of the world’s poorest countries. And even just £10 or $17 can pay for a Zambian orphan to go to school for two months where they also get a healthy meal--often the only one they’ll eat all day.

So hands up, who’s ready for a lesson at the School of YouTube? If you laugh a little or learn a little, please give a little.

Kevin Cahill, Comic Relief CEO, recently watched video “2 Girls, 2 Lives.”

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An Epic Rap Battle of History looks even more epic on the big screen, but finding the battle you want on your TV can take longer than it took Wallace to layeth the smackdown on Washington because of all the clicking around you have to do. That’s why you’ll soon be able to find videos you want more easily with the updated YouTube app for TV designed for the big screen, which will also bring you all the videos and playlists from channels. This update already started with Xbox One, and we’ll roll out the updated app to other streaming devices in the following weeks.

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Find it all more easily with the guide
The channels you subscribe to and videos you care about will be a click away with a guide on the left side that’s just like the guide you see on YouTube on your computer, phone, and tablet.

When you sign in, you can jump to all the latest videos from your subscriptions and recommendations in the What to Watch section, or pop on a playlist you've saved such as Blogilates’ Cardio AB Attack and turn your TV into a workout buddy.

See all the videos and playlists from channels
Your favorite creators are making new playlists every day, and with the updated YouTube app for TV you’ll be able to see all of them. With new channel pages, you’ll see everything they’ve curated for you, helping you find even more to watch from your favorite creators.


Tyler Breisch, software engineer, recently watched “'No Diggity' - The Hangover Brigade Covers Blackstreet.”

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You connect with your favorite and new musicians on YouTube in so many ways. You sing along with the crowd, get them into the Billboard Hot 100 and even watch them hear their songs on the radio for the first time. Now there’s a new one: the YouTube 15 on SiriusXM.



Beginning today at 6 p.m. ET, you can listen to an hour-long weekly show on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 channel featuring songs from emerging and established artists based on what’s trending on YouTube. The SiriusXM Hits 1 team will select songs to play from established artists based on the biggest YouTube view counts over recent weeks, and songs from emerging artists who are seeing the biggest percentage growth in views. To make the show even more awesome, SiriusXM tapped Jenna Marbles—a.k.a. the hostess with the mostess—to talk you through the week’s song selection.

Why SiriusXM? Along with YouTube, many artists reach fans and get discovered by having their music played on the radio. SiriusXM shares our love of connecting artists and fans around great new music from today’s biggest names like Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea and emerging stars like Shawn Mendes. So, just like a collab from your favorite artists, we teamed up.

The YouTube 15 will air Fridays at 6 and 9 p.m. ET, Saturday at 2 p.m. ET and Sunday at 8 a.m. ET, and on-demand via SiriusXM.com. If you’re not a SiriusXM subscriber, you can also find the featured songs in playlists on SiriusXM’s YouTube channel.

AJ Frank, New Business Development, recently watched “#LEH - Superwoman & Humble The Poet (Official Video)."

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You subscribe to PharrellVEVO and iAMOTHER on YouTube. You’ve watched Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” a bazillion times. You don’t think you could get any closer to him as a fan.

Challenge accepted.

Tonight Pharrell Williams is performing live from the Apollo Theater as part of the American Express Unstaged series, in partnership with VEVO and YouTube. You can watch the performance--directed by Spike Lee--live at 6 p.m. PT on the American Express YouTube channel.

 

What on Earth will you do with yourself in the three hours between now and then? We’ve got you covered. Check out the trailer; add a few more views of Pharrell’s euphoric anthem “Happy” to the 273 million it’s already collected; dance around with the many fan tributes from all over the world; and, catch up on special Unstaged moments from the past like Kings of Leon, Sugarland, and Usher.

Nicola Young, Music Programs Manager, recently watched "I The Mighty - Speak To Me.”