YouTube launches Cancon channel

Spotlight Canada will highlight top English and French Canadian YouTube creators and the most-watched videos in the country.
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YouTube has launched a new channel dedicated to showcasing Cancon.

YouTube Spotlight Canada will highlight top English and French Canadian YouTube stars and creators, alongside emerging talent. Every month, the YouTube channel will feature top watched and shared videos on the platform in Canada as well as themed playlists, including sports and news content. This month, Spotlight Canada features playlists covering Canada 150 celebrations, moments in Canadian history, Indigenous music artists and Canada’s top YouTube creators, including global sensation Lilly Singh and CJ Creative’s How to Cake It.

While the channel is geared at promoting YouTube’s own creators, Lindsay Lynch, partner manager at YouTube, said that the channel could offer opportunities to partner with traditional broadcasters. She gave the example of CBC’s Canada Day 150 special, which is currently one of the highlighted videos on the platform. “As we look at how we define creator, there are opportunities across the industry for those partners to be highlighted and for their content to be highlighted, especially as we roll out monthly themes,” she told Playback Daily.

Content will be selected based on watch time, view count, subscriber growth and other factors, said Lynch.  She added that YouTube is also working with its trends team to find the right content to feature around its monthly themes.

According to a release announcing the launch, 90% of views on Canadian YouTube channels come from outside of Canada, which is higher than any other country on the platform. Moreover, in the past year, Canadian channels have seen their watch-time grow 45%. Breaking that down geographically, YouTube says watch-time for Canadian channels is up 185% in India, and 40% in the U.S., France and Australia.

In a statement, Marie Josée Lamothe, managing director, Quebec at Google Canada said the popularity of Canadian YouTubers is exploding internationally and the platform wants to do more to share that success at home. 

In addition to Spotlight Canada, YouTube is launching its Creator on the Rise feature in Canada, beginning Aug. 2,. which is already available in the U.S. The feature will identify Canadian creators who are gaining traction and showcase their videos in the Trending tab on YouTube.

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