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Digital Summit Opens Licensing Expo

Digital Summit Opens Licensing Expo
Malik Ducard, YouTube's director of content partnerships, opened the inaugural Digital Media Licensing Summit Monday, kicking off Licensing Expo 2015 in Las Vegas, Nev. 

Malik Ducard, YouTube's director of content partnerships, opened the inaugural Digital Media Licensing Summit Monday, kicking off Licensing Expo 2015 in Las Vegas, Nev.

As part of the Licensing University educational series (organized by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association), Ducard and moderator Richard Raddon, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Zefr, spoke about YouTube’s influence in the last decade.

Ducard, who oversees business development for YouTube's family entertainment and educational content, opened the summit with a speech that addressed the strength of the new generation of digital content creators and the opportunities that content presents to the licensing world.

“YouTube drives engagements and love from its fan base and it turns into a large, massive audience,” said Ducard. “It really shows an opportunity for licensors to engage.”

Both Ducard and Raddon discussed the swift evolution that is taking place in the digital landscape.

“Compared to cable, YouTube would actually be the largest channel for viewers 18 to 49, just on mobile” says Raddon, who also compared YouTube’s daily content uploads to all three major network’s content in the last five years.

Ducard also spoke about the "YouTube Kids" app, which launched in February. So far, the app has been given great reviews by its fans for its focus on what Ducard called “The Three Es” of content: "enriching content, entertaining engagement and exploratory content.” But what is truly making "YouTube Kids" a success is its parental control, says Ducard.

Ducard also noted how YouTube has influenced how celebrities interact with their fans. Citing the success of the film The Fault in Our Stars as a surprise hit due to the support of author John Green’s YouTube fan base. 

Native advertising is now key for YouTube, as its creators are turning their passion into a profit. Ducard cited YouTube vloggers Bethany Mora and Michelle Phan as prime examples of creators who are turning into businesspeople. “They are their brand. These creators have an awareness, so they have been fans of a product for years not knowing a company would pay them to [promote them],” says Ducard.  

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