YouTube Spotlight is YouTube's official video channel for spotlighting videos and events on YouTube. Events shown on the channel include YouTube Comedy Week and the YouTube Music Awards. Additionally, the channel uploads annual installments of YouTube Rewind.
On November 2, 2013, the YouTube Spotlight channel briefly surpassed PewDiePie's channel, to become the most subscribed channel on the website. The channel ascended to the top position through autosuggesting and pre-selecting itself as a subscription option upon new user registration for YouTube. Throughout December 2013, the channel and PewDiePie struggled for the top position, until PewDiePie secured it on December 22. As of February 2018, the channel has earned over 27.2 million subscribers and 1.3 billion video views. The channel is ranked as the 21st most subscribed channel.
Since 2010, YouTube has released an annual YouTube Rewind video through its Spotlight channel. All YouTube Rewind videos from 2012—2017 have surpassed 100 million views, while the 2016 edition surpassed 200 million views. The 2010 and 2011 videos, however, have less than 10 million views each. The 2016 video became YouTube's fastest video to reach 100 million views, doing so in just 3.2 days. It is also the eighth most liked non-music video of all time with over 3.40 million likes. On December 14, 2016, shortly after the 2016 Rewind video was released, the Spotlight channel surpassed 1 billion total video views.
In January 2014, YouTube Nation was launched on its own channel, as a collaborative project between YouTube and DreamWorks Animation. DWA oversaw the production while YouTube managed the sales and marketing of the series. The series is a news series that rounds up information from the Spotlight channel. YouTube promotes the series through its Spotlight channel, as well. Early in its history, the series used guest hosts Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, and Mamrie Hart (no relation) to help propel the series and its audience.
Due to regularly being promoted on the Spotlight channel, YouTube Nation was able to reach the 1 million subscriber milestone within three months of its launch. The series was nominated for the 4th annual Streamy Award under Best News and Current Events but lost to SourceFed. After 350 episodes, the series aired its last episode on December 5, 2014.
Themed week events
In May 2013, the Spotlight channel was used to stream its Comedy Week event, produced by ChannelFlip. During the event, YouTube used its homepage to spotlight comedy videos made specifically for the event. The video of the 2-hour kickoff event has earned 1.06 million views as of September 2014. The event was met with mixed critical reception, with the particular mixture of new and traditional media personalities, as well as technical difficulties being specifically scrutinized. The event was the first of its kind in relation to being streamed by YouTube. Although it was marketed as the first annual Comedy Week event, there have been no announcements in regards to a follow-up Comedy Week event.
On August 4, 2013, YouTube launched "Geek Week", which was kicked off by Freddie Wong in the United States, and Tomska in the United Kingdom. The week was composed of themed days, which included Blockbuster Sunday, Global Geekery Monday, Brainiac Tuesday, Super Wednesday, Gaming Thursday, and Fan Friday. The event was launched in conjunction with Nerdist in the US, and ChannelFlip in the UK.
During the 2013 LGBT Pride Month, the channel was used to bring light to LGBT and LGBT pride-related information and videos. Google, which owns YouTube, has been documented to be a champion of gay rights. An article on the Official YouTube Blog was attached to the event.
YouTube Music Awards
In November 2013, YouTube launched its first Music Awards presentation. Announcing its nominations in the previous month, the award show aimed to create traffic through its social media voting format. The event was streamed onto the Spotlight channel, and has earned over 4.5 million views as of September 2014. The event's technical difficulties and its plethora of nominations for mainstream artists, rather than YouTube artists, were at the center of overall mixed critical reception.
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- YouTube Spotlight's channel on YouTube