YouTube recently announced that it would be shutting down its YouTube “Spaces” worldwide. In 2012, YouTube launched Spaces in London as a premium space where content creators could come together to network and access state-of-the-art studios and classes. The Spaces studios shut down during the pandemic and will not re-open in many locations around the world, including London, Los Angeles, Berlin, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Instead, the video-sharing giant wants to focus on a more scalable pop-up strategy to reach artists and content creators. Moving forward, YouTube will focus on launching Pop Up Spaces and hosting virtual events.
YouTube said in its statement, “In just over four years, we hosted over 45 Pop-up events reaching over 15,000 creators and artists, as well as NGOs and educational institutions. We truly believe this flexible new strategy will allow us to reach more regions, positively impact more new and existing creators and artists by giving them the guidance and resources they need to take their craft to the next level.”
The move to shut down physical locations calls into question how content creators can leverage resources and technology to better manage their online presence. One of the biggest benefits for YouTube Spaces was its ability to help users build valuable creative connections. Without this resource, larger organizations and even individuals may turn to other hosting opportunities or explore accessible alternatives.
For instance, businesses are investing in their own enterprise video platform technologies for more versatile video tools, while individual YouTube users with small and medium-sized continue to leverage digital YouTube resources. The enterprise video space is growing, particularly as businesses need a reliable infrastructure for communicating with remote workforces and building better relationships with customers. In 2018, the enterprise video market was valued at $18 billion, with expected growth of 6.8% year over year.
Eliminating YouTube Spaces detracts from the user-platform relationship, as YouTube has historically been unattainable for customer support. Like many big companies, YouTube doesn’t respond to the majority of its social media inquiries and only qualified content creators can communicate with the Creator Support Team. Companies that use YouTube for client and customer-facing content might have difficulty reaching support personnel.
However, YouTube has high hopes for its new 2021 program, which will include multi-week development programs, online workshops dedicated to helping users navigate YouTube tools, and artist and label workshops. Once in-person workshops are permitted, YouTube will resume hosting Pop Up events for its creators.