YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Says It’s A “Big Deal” To Move Into Upfronts; Google Division Welcomes Lizzo, MrBeast & More To Broadway

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki called it “a big deal” that the digital video giant shifted this year from the NewFronts to the broadcast upfront week, kicking off a presentation to advertisers featuring Lizzo, MrBeast and other crowd-pleasers.

“Viewers have more choices than ever about what to watch or where to watch it,” Wojcicki said in her opening remarks. “And they continue to use YouTube.”

After taking up residence at Radio City Music Hall for multiple NewFronts before Covid forced proceedings online, the Google-owned video outlet moved to Broadway’s Imperial Theatre, where Temptations musical Ain’t Too Proud played until last January.

The night’s opening number suited the space, with Grammy-winning Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste and Scary Pockets leading an exuberant musical spectacle through the aisles and onto the stage. The musical theme was threaded through the presentation, including appearances by Lizzo and Nija. The creator community was also front and center, with subscription giant MrBeast among the participants.

Wojcicki cited a Nielsen study that found YouTube reaches 230 million viewers a month in the U.S. and 135 million through connected TV. “The audiences that you care about are coming to YouTube to watch content that is the most relevant to them in their lives,” she said.

Allan Thygesen, president, Americas and global partners for YouTube, said advertisers’ return on investment on YouTube was 23% higher than that of TV, and twice the level of other digital video outlets, according to Nielsen.

Along with affirming the importance of YouTube in the streaming space, he announced a new tool enabling advertisers to set a frequency target. The technology, he said, would help eliminate waste and also create a more palatable environment for viewers.

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