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Pharma and the New YouTube Layout

Posted by | 7:27pm on Thursday, January 19, 2012

Users can now add clickable links to their Facebook, Google+ and Twitter accounts along with a list of other links 

At the end of 2011, YouTube redesigned their homepage and rolled out a new layout for channels. According to our rep, channel owners have until March 1 to migrate to the new design. After March, channels will automatically be transitioned. The good news: pharma has been granted an exception and can wait until June 1 to make the change. Kudos to Google for being sensitive to the regulatory constraints on pharma and recognizing that getting a new design reviewed and approved takes time.

What is a brand channel?
There’s some confusion over a YouTube “brand channel” versus a YouTube channel. What’s the difference? Advertising. These customized “brand channels” are developed by a company or brand in conjunction with YouTube and requires a significant advertising spend. Pharma examples including Johnson & Johnson Health channel and SanofiTV.

In contrast, a YouTube channel is free and can be designed within specific parameters. Per YouTube, a “channel page shows a user’s profile information, uploaded videos, favorite videos, subscribers and more.” The confusion stems from the fact that a brand or company can be a “user” and have a YouTube channel.

What’s new?
This post will address what’s different for regular YouTube channels. The redesign makes some subtle changes, such as a shortened character limit to the About This User section, to more obvious ones, such as new design templates. There are four options that users can choose to lay out the content on the Featured page. According to Siren’s Interactive art director, PJ Macklin, “YouTube is effectively streamlining channel pages by putting a focus on content. From a visual perspective, channels have less opportunity to differentiate themselves, but it results in a cleaner user experience.”

Users can now add clickable links to their Facebook, Google+ and Twitter accounts along with a list of other links. This ability to cross-promote is a nice feature.

Channel views are no longer visible publicly. This data will be available to channel owners via the analytics.

The news feed
YouTube has added a Feed tab to every channel, which is a news stream of all your activity on the site. It will update whenever you:
• Like a video
• Comment on a video
• Subscribe to a channel
• Favorite a video
• Upload a video
• Add a video to a playlist
Users can also choose which information will be shared in a public feed

Most importantly for pharma, you can still disable comments or moderate them prior to posting.

Updated analytics
YouTube also has new analytics. A key new feature is the ability to tell how long people continue watching your video and when they are dropping off.

What do you think of the new YouTube design? Did I miss any key features?

(Image courtesy of Andrew Perry on Flickr.)

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

View other posts from Eileen

34 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

    20 January 2012 at 12:01am
    My thoughts on the new YouTube ...
  • Eileen O'Brien
  • 20 January 2012 at 1:01am
    Nice article@EileenOBrien: My ...
  • Joyce Ercolino
  • 20 January 2012 at 7:01am
    Una explicación de los cambios que ...
  • Aitor Guitarte
  • 20 January 2012 at 8:01am
    Una explicación de los cambios que ...
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    Read about "Pharma and the New ...
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    Review of new YouTube layout for ...
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  • 27 January 2012 at 2:01pm
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  • http://twitter.com/Casey_CEI Casey Ferrell

    Great post, Eileen. I was wondering about whether a feature that was brought up last summer is now in effect for brand channels. An excerpt from a blog piece I wrote back in July:

    “In a bit of welcome news to marketing departments across the industry, the Google-owned website YouTube is making a concession to pharmaceutical companies in an apparent effort to woo ad dollars. Kate Kaye, senior editor at Clickz, wrote an illuminating blog post in which she describes the changes. According to Kaye, the change involves allowing pharma (or any channel owner, for that matter) to control what appears adjacent to the video that a user is watching.
    Previous to the change, a channel owner could control what someone saw on their channel’s homepage, but when a user clicked on a video they would be taken to a “watch page” that would play the video. The problem was with the list of suggested videos that would appear in a column to the right of the screen. Those suggestions were not controlled by the channel owner, but instead were generated by YouTube algorithms determining related content.
    Many in regulatory affairs departments saw this setup as a deal-breaker, worrying the FDA would hold their companies responsible for the related content found on its watch pages, which the company could not control. Partially as a result, Google introduced a feature called “Safe Watch” which allows YouTube channel owners with 10 or more videos to control what appears on individual watch pages, thus effectively eliminating an obstacle blocking pharma from more fully engaging in video-sharing social media marketing.”

    Do you know if this was implemented with the new interface, if it had been in place previously, or if it is yet to occur?


    • http://twitter.com/EileenOBrien Eileen O’Brien


      So sorry to have ignored your comment for so long! I think this was already been in effect but I’m going to check with my YT rep on that.

      • http://twitter.com/eileenobrien Eileen O’Brien

        Casey, here’s the answer from my very responsive YouTube rep. The safety watch is a former YouTube pharma feature that is continuing in the new format. If you have more than ten videos, you can rotate which videos show up under Related Videos.

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  • http://twitter.com/EileenOBrien Eileen O’Brien

    Check out the Eli Lilly YouTube channel that shows the new layout: http://www.youtube.com/lillyhealth

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