ouTube’s UK and Ireland boss has insisted long-form videos will always have a future despite increasing competition from the likes of TikTok.
Alison Lomax, who took up the post in January this year, told the PA news agency that YouTube was pursuing a multi-format offering with its traditional longer videos as well as shorts launched in 2021 to lure some of the viewers back to short-form rivals such as Switched to TikTok.
She said YouTube Music is launching its new podcast feature in response to increasing demand for podcasts from younger viewers who aren’t turning their backs on longer-form content, she stressed.
After launching in the US in April, Ms Lomax says it will now be launched in the UK by the end of the year.
But TikTok continues to enjoy exponential growth and mobile phone usage is driving consumers to embrace short-form videos.
Speaking at the launch of YouTube’s latest UK impact report, Ms Lomax said: “Gen Z have really embraced the podcast, but they’re not 60 seconds.”
She said that in the future “there will be a world for multiformats, and you can see that with the creatives.”
“Just because you can create short-form content doesn’t mean they will.
“People are experimenting with different formats.”
(AI) is the buzzword of the year, but it has been part of our work for many years
The group, owned by Google parent Alphabet, said in its impact report that more than 45,000 full-time jobs were created in its creator economy in 2022, while its “creative ecosystem” contributed over £2 billion to the wider UK last year contributed to economic performance.
Research conducted by Oxford Economics found that more than 65,000 creators and partners in the UK earn income linked to their YouTube presence, with over a third of UK creators who make money from YouTube saying it is their main source of income be.
Ms Lomax said recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) also presented “real opportunities” for its developers.
The group has worked with UK-headquartered Google DeepMind to develop AI solutions to deliver performance improvements on the platform for creators and viewers.
Ms. Lomax said YouTube has been using AI since 2017, including to develop content moderation in the fight against misinformation, which is increasingly important in the health sector and particularly in light of the upcoming elections in the US and UK.
She said: “(AI) is the buzzword of the year, but it has been part of our work for many years.”
She echoed recent comments from YouTube boss Neal Mohan, saying the industry is “at a critical inflection point” when it comes to AI.
“We have to accept it courageously, but also with a sense of responsibility.”
YouTube recently announced an initiative to partner with the music industry as artists face increasing challenges caused by the rise of AI technology.
The company launched YouTube’s Music AI Incubator to clarify its approach to the technology and how it can enhance creativity and address problems.
“We are aware of the great opportunity, but we are also aware of the downside… we want to be part of the solution and the opportunity,” Ms Lomax said.
The music initiative is the first in a series of YouTube announcements in the AI space this year, she said, adding that it is “something we’re thinking very hard about for the ecosystem.”
https://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/longform-video-content-is-here-to-stay-says-youtube-uk-boss-b1106893.html Long-form video content is here to stay, says YouTube UK boss