YouTube Has 1.5 Billion Monthly Users and Made Several Announcements at VidCon

The new VR180 format makes virtual reality videos more accessible to creators

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced at VidCon this week that the Google-owned video site now has 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users.

She wrote in a blog post that the 1.5 billion figure is the equivalent of one out of every five people in the world viewing videos on the site at least once per month, adding that its viewers average more than one hour per day on mobile devices alone.

Wojcicki also introduced the new VR180 format, which YouTube developed with fellow Google company Daydream, saying that it enable more creators to produce videos for virtual reality even if they don’t have the capability to film in 360 degrees.

Product manager Frank Rodriguez provided more details on VR180 in a separate blog post:

VR180 videos focus on what’s in front of you, are high-resolution and look great on desktop and on mobile. They transition seamlessly to a VR experience when viewed with Cardboard, Daydream and PSVR, which allow you to view the images stereoscopically in 3-D, where near things look near and far things appear far. VR180 also supports livestreaming videos so creators and fans can be together in real-time.

For creators, you’ll be able to set up and film your videos the way you normally would with any other camera. And, soon, you’ll be able to edit using familiar tools like Adobe Premiere Pro. From vlogs to makeup tutorials to music videos, your videos will work great in VR.

But supporting the format is just the beginning. We want to make cameras that are easy to work with, too. The Daydream team is working with several manufacturers to build cameras from the ground up for VR180. These cameras are not only great for creators looking to easily make VR content, but also anyone who wants to capture life’s highlights in VR. They will be as easy to use as point-and-shoot cameras, for around the same price. Videos and livestreams will be easy to upload to YouTube.

Wojcicki had more to announce, as well:

  • “In the coming weeks,” the YouTube mobile application will dynamically adapt to whatever size users opt to view videos in: Vertical, square and horizontal videos will fill the screen the way they should as the app seamlessly adapts itself.
  • She reminded users about the new desktop experience YouTube began previewing in early May.
  • YouTube introduced a feature last year that allowed users to share videos directly from its app, and Wojcicki said it will be available in Latin America “in a couple of weeks” and throughout the U.S. “soon after that.”

  • YouTube TV will be available in 10 additional markets “in a couple of weeks”: Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas-Fort Worth; Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla.; Detroit; Houston; Miami-Fort Lauderdale; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix; and Washington, D.C.
  • YouTube Red is getting 12 new original projects: David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.