A Note on Bill C-10: Standing with Canadian creators and their fans
YouTube is a place where we give creators a voice and show them the world. Canadian creators are no exception. In fact, the Canadian YouTube creator ecosystem is one of the most diverse and successful in the world. And it is no surprise to us that they have earned loyal fans from both at home and abroad, in fact, over 90% of watch time of Canadian content comes from viewers outside of Canada.
Making sure that people can find and enjoy all of this quality Canadian content is a big priority for YouTube and we support the goal of Bill C-10 to make sure Canadian creators and artists have a shot to be heard. However, we are deeply concerned about the possible unintended consequences that could negatively and unnecessarily impact the two communities we care about most: our creators and the millions of Canadians who use YouTube every day.
YouTube gives Canadian creators a voice and shows them the world
At YouTube we have built a platform on a foundation of openness, enabling a rich diversity of Canadian creators to express themselves and share their artistry with the world. The openness of YouTube provides the opportunity to find a niche among an audience of billions. This is particularly the case for diverse creators and artists who may not fit the mainstream mould. Aysha Harun, a Muslim beauty vlogger out of Scarborough, Molly Burke, a blind fashion creator now based in LA or AsapSCIENCE, a duo of LGBTQ+ science educators or Leah Wei, an Asian creator out of Montreal who vlogs in French, Mandarin and English. All successful Canadian creators who would have likely been overlooked elsewhere but found their home on YouTube.
How YouTube is supporting Canadian creators
Creators’ success is what makes our platform thrive and we make substantial investments to specifically benefit Canadian Creators and the Canadian creative ecosystem. For example, through our YouTube Partner Program, the majority of advertising revenue is shared directly with the creator. We also offer tools such as Super Chat, Merch and Channel Memberships for creators to grow and build their businesses. In addition, creators retain full ownership of their content and get analytics on how their fans are engaging with their channel.
Canadians are flourishing on our platform and we work to amplify the best of Canadian content, cultural moments and rising talent. We work closely with media and entertainment industry partners such as the Canada Media Fund with Encore+, Just for Laughs, CBC/Radio-Canada, Blue Ant Media, and more, to help them reach new domestic and global audiences. And to shine a light on up-and-coming talent, we launched Creator on the Rise a few years ago to give promising Canadian talent more local and global visibility to help them find their fans. Last year, we launched Artist on the Rise in Canada, which showcases a new music video from an emerging music artist to Canadian users every week.
The “discoverability” debate
Today, Canadians know what they search for on YouTube will be the most relevant, helpful content to them. If someone is searching for Canadian content, we will show them Canadian content. And we’ll continue to do so especially if that person likes or engages with that content. But if a student is researching American history or someone is looking for the best way to fix a flat tire, we want to make sure they have access to the most relevant content for their needs. If Bill-C10 rules were to go into effect as currently written, people would be seeing suggestions not based on their personal preferences or even what is most relevant, but what the government decides is “Canadian.” The rules around what is considered Canadian content are complex and it is very difficult to qualify. This stands to impact all creators but we are especially concerned about the impact on new and emerging creators as they will be up against players who have been following these rules for decades.
We know that Canadians punch above their weight on YouTube and their content is wildly successful everywhere. So, what happens when other countries follow suit, favouring their own local voices? This could mean our creators and stories get less reach around the world, impacting the businesses and livelihoods of thousands of entrepreneurial Canadians.
Modernizing broadcasting for the digital age is a worthwhile goal. It should not come at the expense of Canadian creators or the millions of Canadians that use platforms like ours. YouTube is the place for Canadian creativity without compromise. Let’s keep it that way.