YouTube has effectively sent a message to Madison Avenue stating that the platform is far surpassing that of conventional television as it is vastly larger with billions of viewers and a better understanding of its audience.

On Wednesday, at the annual Brandcast event held during TV biz’s upfronts week, YouTube revealed its massive scale. According to Nielsen’s total TV and streaming report for the United States, YouTube has maintained the number one share in streaming watchtime every month since February 2023. These numbers come alongside an average viewership of over 1 billion hours of content on TV screens daily.

YouTube CEO Neal Mohan stated at the start of the event on Wednesday, “We’re redefining what TV looks like, helping creators reach new heights and using AI to expand creativity.”

With such an immense volume of content, YouTube’s latest moves attempt to make tapping into the best of the best much easier. The platform has now officially launched the expansion of YouTube “Creator Takeovers,” a program that began as a pilot at the end of 2023. The program allows advertisers to purchase inventory on channels representing the top 1% of content on YouTube. Creators at the start of the program included Jason and Travis Kelce’s New Heights podcast.

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YouTube’s Chief Business Officer, Mary Ellen Coe, said, “Our creators are the future of entertainment. We’re adding more of our incredibly talented creators [to the YouTube select creator takeovers program], including many you’ve seen here tonight, so you have even more choice when deciding which creators you want to work with.”

In his introductory statements, Mohan remarked that YouTubers should be eligible to win Emmys. He stated, “Creators are drawing audiences on the big screen because they’re the new Hollywood. They have business strategies, writer’s rooms, and production teams.” Mohan continued, “Creators are redefining what we think of as TV. And they deserve the same acclaim as other creative professionals. I believe it’s time a creator won an Emmy.”

YouTube’s most recent Brandcast event, Brandcast 2024, was held at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall in New York City, which was filled to capacity. A large banner outside the venue declared, “With millions of creators, billions of fans, and all the content we love most, there’s only one YouTube.”

This year marks the third straight year since YouTube began holding the event during upfronts week. However, YouTube is the outlier at the event. While other media companies are presenting new TV shows that will be available on their streaming services and networks, YouTube simply uses its time on the stage to boast about its undeniably massive reach and phenomenal engagement relative to traditional television.

During their presentation, YouTube handed the mic to some prominent YouTubers, including Haley Khalil, Cleo Abram, Ryan Trahan, Sydney Morgan, and top gaming streamer Valkyrae. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made his second consecutive appearance at the event to promote the NFL Sunday Ticket subscription, which is available on YouTube. Commissioner Goodell took the stage with former NFL player and TV personality Shannon Sharpe.

Nine-time Grammy Award winner Billie Eilish, featuring Finneas, finished off the evening with a relatively quiet performance. YouTube also announced a new Google AI-powered format optimized for connected TV during the event. The new format uses non-skippable ad assets across in-stream inventory. YouTube is also launching branded QR codes for advertisers and interactive placements.

Wednesday, YouTube also stated that Google has reached an agreement with Scripps Sports for locally televised WNBA Friday night games on ION to be streamed on YouTube TV in both home and away markets. WNBA games on YouTube TV will begin May 31 and continue through the regular season.