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YouTube Unveils New Streaming Features at Vidcon

Variety logo Variety 6/22/2017 Andrew Wallenstein
© Provided by Variety

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki unveiled an array of feature upgrades coming to the Google-owned video powerhouse at her annual keynote presentation Thursday at the Vidcon conference in Anaheim, Calif.

As she typically does, Wojcicki touted select stats to represent YouTube’s continued robust growth. She noted that 1.5 billion users log in to YouTube every months worldwide and that the TV is the screen with the streaming giant’s fastest growing audience.

Wojcicki said YouTube is closing the gap on TV, noting that users currently watch an average of 1 hour of mobile viewing per day as compared to four hours per day on the boob tube. “There’s lots of room to get people to watch even more YouTube,” she said.

Wojcicki also noted that YouTube’s increased emphasis on live streaming has resulted in an increase in viewing four times greater than last year.

Redesigns to the mobile and desktop YouTube user experience will allow the size of the screen to automatically adjust to whichever video format is uploaded. A new sharing feature that is currently being tested in front of a limited YouTube audience in Canada is now going to roll out to the United States and Latin America.

YouTube is also working on a new format for virtual reality with manufacturers including LG and Lenovo called VR 180 that provides half of VR’s traditional 360-degree purview, which should help given the reduced cost of equipment necessary to produce for that format.

Wojcicki also touched on YouTube TV, which she said recently expanded its footprint from the five U.S. markets in which it launched earlier this year to 15.

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