Sharp-eyed visitors to Google’s popular video-sharing site YouTube would have noticed something a little different with its logo today: the familiar red icon has been stylised with the portrait of a merlion and topped with the Marina Bay skyline.
The change in icon celebrates the launch of a localised site which promises to give Singapore users easier access to local content. With the addition of Singapore, YouTube is now localised in 35 countries across 51 languages.
According to Adam Smith, Director of Product Management of YouTube in the Asia-Pacific Region, 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. “Through localising YouTube in Singapore, we hope the world will continue to discover the amazing culture and talent that exists in Singapore today,” he said.
Advertises will also benefit from more precise targeting of ads: at the time of writing, a large SingTel banner is already dominating the top of YouTube’s home page.
That said, little would have changed from the user’s perspective as the new home page is largely indistinguishable from the old one. YouTube’s algorithms still determine which videos are currently popular in Singapore and feature them on the front page, and these videos are not necessarily made-in-Singapore.
As a result, other than some local videos featured at the side and a noticeable serving of Korean girl bands, front page content is still very much international.
In an attempt to highlight local productions, YouTube has signed up top Singaporean media companies, including Refinery Media, Oak3 and Interactive SG, to establish their presence on YouTube and use the site to distribute their content.
In addition, it is officially extending its coveted Partner Program to Singapore with the site’s launch.
Created in 2007, the Partner Program allows content creators in Singapore who make original, high-quality videos on a regular basis to get a slice of the site’s advertising revenues. Partners will also be allowed to customise their channels to give themselves a more distinctive brand.
According to official statistics, hundreds of Partners worldwide are currently making 6 figure sums annually.
To encourage unrestricted content creation and sharing from users, YouTube also signed a licensing agreement with the Composers & Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS).
Under the agreement, YouTube will give a cut of its advertising revenue to Singaporean composers and lyricists when their works are performed on the site.
To kick things off, YouTube has produced a short video showcasing numerous local celebrities, including bloggers mrbrown and xiaxue, and actors Nat Ho, Chua En Lai, and Hossan Leong. Watch it below!
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