For years, independent creators and savvy brands have made YouTube their playground. Now, TV-like content from Hollywood pros has them competing for the audience’s attention. As we explain in our look at how Susan Wojcicki is transforming YouTube, the new mix of video has already changed the service, but Wojcicki and her team have plenty more work left to do.
Only On YouTube
1. Webs & Tiaras: Grown-ups in comic-book and princess costumes perform surreal silent-movie vignettes, the latest genre innovation taking root among the service’s creator class.
2. Dude Perfect: Bros work together to create Rube Goldberg–like trick shots or play golf in a hurricane, marrying sports and comedy in a way ESPN or Comedy Central never could.
3. Lego: The toy maker showcases clever fan creations such as a Beauty and the Beast tribute, as well as its own work, one of many brands turning marketing into entertainment.
4. Casey Neistat: The ur–video blogger returned to YouTube in 2017 after a break and continues to redefine the diary format, shooting footage from drones and electric skateboards.
1. Coachella: YouTube has exclusively live-streamed the immensely popular annual music festival the past two years, including shooting 360-degree videos.
2. “Lost” Pop Culture: From unaired TV pilots and long-forgotten shows to scores of film noir movies, YouTube offers 24/7, on-demand access to a museum of film and television.
3. The Morning After: YouTube brings together last night’s most popular late-night-TV segments, all of which can be watched without enduring the surrounding fluff.
4. Best.Cover.Ever.: Ryan Seacrest’s new singing competition, hosted by Ludacris, pays homage to the YouTube tradition of kids posting song covers in hopes of getting discovered (e.g., Justin Bieber).