July 31, 2017 7 months 3 weeks ago

Updated: YouTube launches dedicated Cancon channel

Its Canadian vids aren't CAVCO pointed

TORONTO — Canadian content creators looking to become the next online sensation are getting a boost from YouTube with the launch of a dedicated Cancon channel that will showcase emerging and established Canadian talent.

YouTube Spotlight Canada every month will highlight both French and English Canadian creators and videos that are creating buzz online and will also feature themed playlists to help Canadians explore trending topics and news stories.

“Canada is the first country to have its own Spotlight channel dedicated solely to local creators,” said Marie Josée Lamothe, managing director, Quebec, Google Canada, in a press release announcing the Canadian channel’s launch. “Canadians make up one of the world’s most vibrant communities on YouTube — watchtime in Canada has grown 30% over last year, and our Canadian YouTubers are exploding internationally. We are so proud of their success and want to do more to share it here at home.”

The launch edition of YouTube Spotlight Canada will allow Canadians to meet the country’s favourite YouTubers, check out highlights from Canada 150 celebrations, relive moments in Canadian history and dive into an incredible roster of indigenous music artists.

In addition, starting on August 2, YouTube is launching its Creator on the Rise feature in Canada, which will identify Canadian creators who are growing rapidly and showcase their content in the Trending tab on YouTube, helping them build an even bigger audience, the press release said.

According to YouTube internal data for 2017, 90% of views on Canadian YouTube channels come from outside Canada, which is higher than any other country on the platform. Watchtime for Canadian channels has grown 185% in India, and more than 40% in the U.S., France and Australia, according to YouTube.

“Canada is home to some of the world’s most creative people and YouTube is empowering this generation of creative Canadians to express themselves to the world,” Lamothe said. “We are thrilled to shine a spotlight on the diverse Canadian voices creating on our platform.” 

Canadian content rules being what they are for the traditional TV industry, Cartt.ca asked YouTube parent company Google to define what qualifies as Canadian content on its platform.

Responding via email, Jason Kee, public policy and government relations counsel for Google Canada, said this was one of the many challenges that had to be addressed while developing the YouTube Spotlight Canada channel.

“There aren’t very many ‘signals’ we can use to identify ‘Canadian content’ on the platform (and certainly nothing as robust as the CAVCO point system),” Kee wrote of the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office. “Generally, we use a combination of a channel’s declared country (i.e., a channel identifying itself as Canadian) and upload location (i.e., a channel’s videos are predominantly uploaded from Canada) to determine if the channel and its associated videos are ‘Canadian’ for the purposes of the Spotlight channel. For us, whether a creator identifies as Canadian is more significant than upload location, so that factor receives greater weight.”