YouTube’s recent design changes to its homepage have put the emphasis more on channels rather than individual videos. That’s a very deliberate strategy, as YouTube’s head of original programming Jed Simmons explained at the MIPTV conference yesterday. “We’ve redesigned the site away from being a site for videos, to being a site for channels,” he said, before explaining how this affects how YouTube measures the success of its partners. “We’re moving away from the metric of views to a metric of time spent watching.” Simmons said that YouTube channel-owners – he was talking to an audience of TV people but it’s just as applicable to music artists – need to spend time building their audience rather than just slapping videos up. He also talked about YouTube’s social growth. “Each day, 500 years of YouTube programming is watched on Facebook. That comes out to 4.8 million hours.”

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