YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki admits even her kids said the 'Rewind 2018' video was 'cringey'
- "YouTube Rewind 2018" is the most disliked video on YouTube.
- On Tuesday, YouTube's CEO Susan Wojcicki said that "even at home, my kids told me our 2018 Rewind was 'cringey.'"
- "We hear you that it didn't accurately show the year's key moments, nor did it reflect the YouTube you know," Wojcicki said. "We'll do better to tell our story in 2019."
- As Business Insider speculated upon the video's release last December, keeping its contentious stars out of the video was likely a way to keep YouTube's advertisers happy.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki's kids are not very different than other YouTube users: they also gave the thumbs down to the site's "Rewind 2018" video.
In her quarterly letter to creators released on Tuesday, YouTube's chief exec said that "even at home, my kids told me our 2018 Rewind was 'cringey.'"Since its release in December, the video - which was supposed to be a "year in review" of sorts - has amassed more than 15 million dislikes, making it the most disliked video on YouTube. In fact, it only took 24 hours for "YouTube Rewind 2018" to surpass the previously most disliked video: Justin Beiber's "Baby."
A common criticism of the "Rewind" video, which featured highlight clips of more than 100 YouTube celebrities, was that it left out several well-known YouTube stars - especially those who had controversial moments in 2018 like Felix "Pewdiepie" Kjellberg, Shane Dawson, and the Paul brothers.
As Business Insider's Dave Smith speculated, keeping its contentious stars out of the video was likely a way to keep YouTube's advertisers happy. The Verge's Julia Alexander said that "[YouTube Rewind 2018] feels disingenuous, like YouTube is hiding its uglier side under a carpet while showing guests around."
Amid the backlash in December, YouTube said, in part: "Honest feedback can suck, but we are listening and we appreciate how much people care. Trying to capture the magic of YouTube in one single video is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle."
In Tuesday's note, Wojcicki reiterated that next time, the company would "do better.""We hear you that it didn't accurately show the year's key moments, nor did it reflect the YouTube you know," she said. "We'll do better to tell our story in 2019."
YouTube's "most disliked" milestone was discussed alongside some more favorable numbers for creators in Wojcicki's letter on Tuesday. YouTube reported that channels with more than one million subscribers almost doubled and that the number of creators earning five or six figures grew more than 40% in 2018.
On Monday's quarterly earnings call with investors, Ruth Porat, the CFO of YouTube parent company Alphabet, did not break out YouTube's financial results as some analysts had hoped. Porat did, however, say that the company's larger than anticipated revenues for the holiday quarter were due, in part, to a "strong contribution from YouTube."
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