YouTube is Making it Easier to Watch and Find News

YouTube has announced new initiatives aimed at enhancing the news-watching experience on its platform and supporting journalism.

The announcement was made by Brandon Feldman and Geoff Samek, Director of News & Civics Partnerships and Director of Product Management for News on Wednesday.

“YouTube has long been a home for news viewers to learn more about the world and the news industry to reach them through innovative digital formats,” said Brandon Feldman and Geoff Samek. They added that the platform has been committed to connecting people to high-quality information, especially during times of elections, unrest, and natural disasters.

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The first initiative introduces an immersive watch page for news stories. This feature aggregates content from authoritative sources, including video on demand, live streams, podcasts, and Shorts. Users can access this watch page by clicking on a video with a newspaper icon on the homepage or in search results. The feature is initially rolling out for mobile users in approximately 40 countries, with desktop and living room integration planned for the future.

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The second initiative is the Shorts Innovation Program for News. This program aims to bolster news organizations’ short-form video capabilities through financial grants and specialist support. Initially, YouTube is collaborating with over 20 organizations across 10 countries and providing a total of $1.6 million USD in grants. Participants are selected based on their strong existing long-form video presence on YouTube. Organizations like Univision in the U.S., AFP in France, and Mediacorp in Singapore will be among the first to benefit from this initiative.

“Our goal with the Shorts Innovation Program is to jumpstart innovative news publishers who are interested in embracing short-form news capabilities, but haven’t had the resources to do so,” said the directors.

In Canada, Google (and Meta) are currently in a battle with the federal government over Bill C-18, also known as the Online News Act. The government wants big tech to pay media publishers when users share news links on platforms. Meta has pulled news sharing across its apps to comply with the law and Google plans to do the same in December.

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