YouTube had the entire audience on their feet and dancing by the end of its NewFronts Brandcast presentation in the Theater at Madison Square Gardens last night.
After bringing to the stage YouTube stars Grace Helbig and iJustine, author John Green, and even the president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures Ze Frank, YouTube closed the show with Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson performing their hit Uptown Funk.
Mars and Ronson weren’t the only rockstars at Brandcast. Nate Ruess, the lead singer from the band Fun, took the stage mid-show to perform “Nothing Without Love.”
Before turning it into a rock concert, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki kicked off the presentation highlighting YouTube audience metrics.
She said the site now reaches more 18 to 49 year olds on mobile than any cable network, and the number of people visiting YouTube daily has grown 40 percent year-over-year.
Wojcicki also said viewers are skipping fewer TrueView ads, “In fact, four of the top ten trending videos from last year were actually from brands,” said Wojcicki.
YouTube’s head of content and business operations Robert Kyncl also presented, further driving home YouTube’s ability to deliver on mobile.
“In the not-so distant future, ad-supported video equals mobile video,” said Kyncl, “And that shift requires partnering with a new set of players who are as successful today on mobile as Hollywood has been in the living room.”
Kyncl said YouTube’s mobile watchtime grew 90 percent year-over-year, and that Millennials are twice as likely to watch mobile video on YouTube than anywhere else.
YouTube shared its Brandcast presentation with fellow NewFronts participant BuzzFeed, giving stage time to BuzzFeed Motion Pictures president Ze Frank.
Frank said YouTube is at the center of how his company considers the ways content spreads and how it impacts audiences.
“We release over 50 videos to our YouTube channels each week,” said Frank, “And have just crossed the five billion lifetime YouTube views.”
According to Frank, BuzzFeed videos have averaged 185 thousand likes, 25 thousand comments and 500 thousand hours of watch-time a day during the last six months. He played the following sponsored video from Purina to reinforce how BuzzFeed works with brands to build an audience on YouTube.
Author of the New York Times bestseller The Fault in Our Stars and YouTube celebrity John Green gave one of the most compelling presentations.
“I’m not here to entertain you. I’m not here to educate you,” said Green, “I’m here to scare you. See, most people on stage tonight are arguing why you should advertise on YouTube. But I’m going to offer you something different. I’m going to offer you a vision of what will happen if you don’t.”
Green and his brother’s YouTube channel “Vlog Brothers” has earned more than 2.5 million subscribers, and the two have built a company from the success of their YouTube presence. According to Green, less than 20 percent of his company’s revenue comes from advertising.
“Many of the strongest communities, and much of my favorite content in online video, is frankly, undervalued by advertisers,” said Green.
Universal Pictures president of worldwide marketing Josh Goldstine also presented, touting the success his company has experienced on YouTube.
“For the first time in our history, online video was the No. 1 source of information for why people showed up at the theater,” said Goldstine of Universal Picture’s latest release Unfriended.
The studio executive said Universal put 60 percent of the film’s entire budget into digital, with the vast majority invested in YouTube – more than double what they had ever previously invested.
Costing only a million dollars to produce, Goldstine said Unfriended generated $16 million during its opening weekend.
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