Cannes Lions 2018: Openness has real challenges: Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube

Wojcicki was part of a session that demonstrated how people use and engage with YouTube

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 20, 2018 8:59 AM

Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube, Google, made her debut at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Tuesday. She spoke about the importance of 'Openness' to YouTube and how that core value has also been misused by bad actors.

"We are opening up the world to anyone who has internet connection and a cell phone. Open platform can inspire creativity, share information and bring meaningful communities at scale," she said. Referring to the brand safety concerns that brands have been flagging on YouTube Wojcicki said that 'openness' has real challenges. "This year we saw many take advantage of our services. Hence, we tightened our content guidelines, our policies, and increased our monetisation thresholds. We have committed to having 10,000 people across Google to address content that violates our policies by the end of the year.”

She further added, "You Tube's focus for 2018 and beyond is to enhance the power of 'Open' while delivering on our responsibility to viewers, creators and advertisers. Today, users are going digital, brands are also going digital. That is a great opportunity for us to enable new connections, reinvent advertising, be able to innovate and build next generation of media.”

Wojcicki was part of a session along with Lubomira Rochet - Chief Digital Officer of L'Oreal, and Lyor Cohen - YouTube's Global Head of Music discussing about engaging the global crowd across platforms, devices and agnostic of the medium.

L'Oreal and YouTube

L'Oreal, one of the world's biggest cosmetics companies, purchased ModiFace, a Canadian firm that specializes in artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology. The cosmetic company is hoping it will bolster its previous work on virtual beauty products. Rochet said that ModiFace's engineers, researchers and scientists would help it develop apps and in-store services. The two companies are working on technology that can scan a human face and provide suggestions for skin-care products based on facial wrinkles, pores, hydration levels and pigmentation.

Rochet spoke on L'Oreal embarking on a seismic shift of moving to a digital first strategy. “Digital has profoundly changed the dynamics of our beauty market, and has brought positive disruption. Beauty is one of the most engaging category online. It thrives on content platforms and is a favourite topic for bloggers and influencers. Our CEO crafted the digital strategy and digital acceleration on three important strategic access, the first was acceleration of e-commerce, second – willingness to put data and precision advertising at the heart of our model and reinventing our advertising model around sequencing, targeting and personalising our content, out of which 65% is programmatic. And third was to move on from campaign based marketing to an always-on based marketing. Really engaging influencer led marketing.”

"YouTube played a very important role in our digital transformation. The evolution of digital beauty market became all about embracing diversity, self-expression, creativity, I think You Tube as a platform empowered the voice of millions of consumers to showcase their own version of beauty; this has democratised beauty for us. And it was instrumental for our business growth. We say this in our office that double digit growth in make-up market can directly be traced down to what happened in You Tube with democratisation of tutorials and educational content, etc.,” added Rochet.

YouTube Music App

YouTube has launched the YouTube Music app in the UK and as seventeen other countries taking on music steaming giants like Spotify and Apple. The app has music videos, official albums, singles and remixes as well as live performances from shows like Jimmy Fallon, etc. There are also recommendations tailored to the listener, which adapt to the time of day as you continue to use the app. The playlist will change depending on what a user is doing, her mood, and her location.

Speaking about the YouTube Music app launch, Cohen said, “I’m on constant stage of evolution. I’m not frightened about evolving in fact I’m excited of the possibilities of what could be next. I love the music industry too much and was worried that distribution could be too consolidated. Creative community, the labels and artist need many distributors. If there is a healthy ecosystem of distribution it becomes safe for artists and labels. If it’s too consolidated and only one or two people own distribution then it’s a problem for the creative community. We’ve invested on a layer of infrastructure that speaks on a daily basis to all the labels, and understand what is important to them. Our team is not simply engineers and tech but people who come from the label industry where they understand finding an artist and breaking an artists is really difficult, and if we could help labels build products that make their life easier it would be fabulous. I believe that the present and future of the music business is direct to consumer.”

“The only place artists and labels can own their consumer and communicate, sell tickets and merchandise and sell music is on YouTube. This is valuable. There is artist discovery and cultural discovery on YouTube,” he added.

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