John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

YouTube’s Salar Kamangar on Building a Video Channel Ecosystem

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban once said “only a moron would buy YouTube,” the implication being that Google was exactly that for purchasing the popular video site. That was back in 2006. Six years later, the site is a juggernaut — by far, the largest online video content property around. And Salar Kamangar is the guy charged with ensuring its continued success and stewarding its increasingly important relationship with Hollywood.

Onstage at D: Dive Into Media this afternoon, Kamangar talked about the transformation YouTube is currently undergoing. “We are channelizing YouTube the product,” Kamangar said. “We want for YouTube to become the platform for the new video channel ecosystem developing on the Web.”

Kamangar said that video on the Web is becoming much more niche-driven; and importantly, participatory. Enhancing these niches are interactivity elements and social experiences that Kamangar compares to a “5-D experience” that can add audience input, choose-your-own-adventure-style participation, and the gamification of content to the typical video viewing experience.

The theory behind the channelization of YouTube is that users will simply set a niche channel, and then Google will just serve up related content. Said Kamangar, “We think this is going to increase minutes watched and user engagement.”

And user engagement with ads.

“The rules around ads have changed a lot around TV and video,” Kamangar said. “YouTube has been known for dogs on skateboards, for example. The CPM for ads on those videos is relatively low. But if you packaged those videos as part of a dog-lovers channel or a skateboard channel, the CPM increases substantially.”

So how does this all tie in with Google TV? Does it tie in at all?

Kamangar says it does — or rather it will, eventually.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest from broadcasters to build apps, and someday those apps will be available over Google TV,” he said.

A few other remarks worth noting:

We couldn’t be more against piracy. We think the way SOPA was written, it would have done more harm than good. … We want piracy to stop, but we want it to stop with as little collateral damage as possible.

On YouTube’s infrastructure demands:
What YouTube is doing is creating higher demand for broadband services. We’re really creating a business opportunity for providers of data.

On the future of the TV user interface:
On the TV side, I think we’ll see voice and gesture control. I think it will also incorporate ideas of identity. The TV will have to know what you like to watch, what you’ve watched and what you haven’t.

On Apple’s rumored HDTV:
I can’t wait to see it. Sounds like it’s going to solve all my problems.

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