4/20/2014

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Technology

What's on YouTube? 'YouTube Nation' lets you know

NEW YORK (AP) - How do you cope with an exploding world of YouTube video? Starting Tuesday, you can get help by visiting "YouTube Nation."

The video-sharing website has teamed with DreamWorks Animation to create this daily highlight reel of brand-new, trending and yet-to-be-discovered content.

It will serve as a handy sampler, says DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. "In a sea of the infinite, this is a lighthouse."

Every minute, some 100 hours of new video content is uploaded to YouTube. Now a task force of "YouTube Nation" curators will be plowing through this cache to identify not only what's most popular, but also what's poised to go viral with YouTube consumers.

"Our choices aren't driven purely by algorithms and analytics," says Katzenberg. "You don't want to just know what's the most seen. What you really want to know is: What's GOING to be the most seen?"

The five-minute "YouTube Nation" program will post weekdays at 9 p.m. Eastern Time/6 p.m. Pacific Time starting Tuesday. It's hosted by Jacob Soboroff (from HuffPost Live, the streaming network of The Huffington Post, and Pivot TV's "TakePart Live").

But each episode will be more than a digital tip sheet. It will come equipped with links and playlists that enable the user to delve fully into the video being recommended.

"For every five minutes of our show," says Katzenberg, "we'll have an hour or more of content."

"YouTube Nation" is geared chiefly to 18-to-30-year-olds and "casual viewers who would like to be heavier users," he says.

But Robert Kyncl, YouTube's head of content and business operations, says, "We look at 'YouTube Nation' as a way to promote the great breadth of content on YouTube in an easily digestible way for anyone - and that's the key word, 'anyone.'"

The advertiser-supported "YouTube Nation" is the first daily series produced by DreamWorks Animation and marks the first use of the YouTube brand for a daily series. The project, an equal partnership of the two companies, has been in the works for a year, with a current staff totaling 50.

But that's just the beginning, says Katzenberg. Within two months, a second daily edition of the show will be added to the mix, posting at 12 noon Eastern/9 a.m. Pacific.

Then, mid-year, specialization will be introduced with a dozen or so "vertical" guides such as "YTN Sports," ''YTN News" and "YTN Music" - more than a dozen in all, says Katzenberg.

The mission is to bring to a waiting audience video that otherwise might never be found, discovered and presented by YouTube insiders.

"We'll answer the question, 'Can you tell me what's the most interesting, cool stuff?'" says Katzenberg. "I don't want to have to learn about it on 'Good Morning America.'"
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