Neal Mohan published his first open letter as YouTube’s new boss after CEO Susan Wojcicki stepped down from the post last month, Variety reports.
Mohan, who was previously chief product officer of the video platform, detailed the new features and tools that will emerge in 2023 and beyond. And in the letter, he says that creators and artists will always come first. Wojcicki, in turn, will continue to serve as an advisor to Google and Alphabet.
In outlining YouTube’s priorities for 2023, the Mohan said the platform is “providing more opportunities for creators beyond ads by expanding the subscription business, investing in shopping and continually improving our paid digital offerings.” He also says that in the past year, “hundreds of thousands” of YouTube channels have made money from the platform for the first time.
Mohan says more than 6 million viewers have paid for a YouTube channel membership as of December 2022, up more than 20% from the previous year.
Another area of focus for YouTube in 2023 is podcasts. This year, the platform plans to add new features to YouTube Studio to make it easier to publish podcasts, and will begin delivering podcasts with audio and video content to YouTube Music users in the US (with more regions to follow).
Generative artificial intelligence also enters YouTube’s feature expansion plans
“Creators will be able to expand their storytelling and raise their production value, from virtually swapping outfits to creating a fantastical film setting through AI’s generative capabilities. We’re taking the time to develop these features with thoughtful guardrails.”
This year, YouTube plans to launch a new tool that allows creators to record a short clip in a side-by-side layout.
YouTube’s new investments targeting creators aim to increase overall watch time and engagement – and accordingly increase ad dollars.