YouTube is not worried about the existence of new players aiming to take their share of the massive online video industry pie.
Susan Wojcicki, chief of YouTube herself, took to Fortune Magazine's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado to speak about YouTube's plans for the future, and she says she is not losing sleep over companies such as Facebook, Snapchat and Vessel trying to take a dig at the video platform she is in charge of.
The main takeaway from Wojcicki is that YouTube as a video-sharing network is very different from other platforms. She points out Facebook as an example; although Facebook has just reported that it has reached the 4 billion mark in monthly views of videos, Wojcicki says Facebook videos play automatically in a user's News Feed, whether the user wants them to or not. YouTube videos, on the other hand, are sought out by the users.
"We want our users to engage. We want them to not be channel surfing," Wojcicki says. "We want them to say, 'I saw a video, I cared about that video, I commented on that video, and I continued watching it.'"
This comes as YouTube is preparing to launch its own music streaming platform called Music Key, which is rumored to charge $10 a month, the same subscription fee that Apple and Spotify charge for their own ad-free streaming services. However, Wojcicki dismisses speculations that Music Key will rival Apple Music and Spotify.
Instead, the service will offer users the ability to watch music videos, and not just listen to music, without the ads, play music in the background while users access other apps, and watch music videos offline. And unlike current streaming services, YouTube also has the advantage of offering millions of song covers uploaded by users and being the exclusive home of many of YouTube's homegrown video stars who have made their music careers on the video platform.
Ultimately, however, Wojcicki believes the online video market is so big that other players are welcome to join in on the fun.
"This is a big market and I think Facebook and Twitter and everybody else has recognized this is a big opportunity and they are coming into the market," she says. "And I don't think that's a surprise because of the size and opportunity and really the movement from traditional to online is really what I think is the most important move."
Even as new competitors challenge YouTube, Wojcicki says the video platform continues to grow, with a 50 percent year-over-year growth in user base for the last few years, although she declined to provide specific numbers on how much YouTube is making from its enormous user base.
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