With the arrival of Instagram’s IGTV, many have pondered whether or not the new division of the social media platform will be a worthy rival for YouTube; the reigning champion for online video content. However, the latest news from YouTube suggests that the website is gearing up for the competition. The company is reportedly building a new division centered on fashion and beauty partnerships.
YouTube has hired David Blasberg to head the new division. Blasberg’s operations will be based in New York City. According to Business of Fashion, “he will be tasked with cultivating relationships with brands and high-profile people in the industry so that they will use the platform more often, more effectively and build audiences there.”
Blasberg was a columnist and editor for publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and Style.com. He was most recently the host of CNN Style. “I’m looking forward to bridging the world of YouTube creators with the global style and beauty industries in this newly created role and department,” said Blasberg.
This move is definitely worthy of notice, especially when one considers that Instagram, a primarily visual platform, is well-known for the role it plays in the fashion community. In fact, back in 2015, Instagram hired Eva Chen, a former editor of Lucky Magazine, to do a very similar job. She works with a similar clientele in order to also assure that they can engage with the platform.
Therefore, it is clear the YouTube is eager to make sure it is on par with the competition. However, this will surely be a difficult task. As mentioned earlier, Instagram is a major digital platform and as such, it has already become a major fixture in the fashion industry. After all, the platform sponsored a table at the Met Gala and even had events at the CFDA Awards. This new edition of longer videos could be very attractive to certain users.
Nonetheless, YouTube need not despair. It already has the larger base – 1.8 million a month versus Instagram’s lesser 1 billion. It is already home to numerous fashion content creators, including the large fashion houses themselves. For example, Chanel, which has 1.1 million subscribers, got 3.8 million views on their latest Bleu De Chanel commercial. Furthermore, YouTube is largely used by younger people, with a recent study by the Pew Research Center stating that teens between the ages of 13-17 largely rank YouTube as their most visited platform.
Whether or not YouTube and IGTV can truly be compared remains to be unseen. The fact of the matter is that it is a question that can only be answered in time.
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