“Writing on the web is the next generation of French culture”

While its rival TikTok has sponsored the Cannes Film Festival, Google’s video platform, also on Croisette, wants to remain the benchmark in terms of creativity. Interview with the head of YouTube France.

Is YouTube getting old? The 16-year-old video juggernaut has established himself as a reference in the video industry and has taken his place among the most recognized institutions. She was alongside CNC (the National Center for Cinema and Motion Picture) and Artie at Cannes this year. To celebrate the creation and recall its investment during the roundtables, but also, even if the brand refused to, to take the field when TikTok is now an official partner of the festival. An interview with Justin Rist, President of YouTube France.

What do you do in Cannes?
In particular, we participate in creators’ residencies with CNC: we take budding YouTubers, filmmakers or movie enthusiasts to meet the profession. Other YouTubers are even producing content, such as Arte CNC resident Amélie Zimmermann, who created “Cannes en short” in the new vertical format, or Clara Runaway, YouTuber cinematic. Today, projects will be presented to producers or studios. And these producers want to work with this new creation. This allows, for example, the rediscovery of heritage works for new purposes. It is also a chance for Seventh Art to meet these creators.

What mission did you give yourself by being there?
Facilitating the meeting between the two worlds. Creating French websites – short films, fiction, and documentaries – has never been so rich and professional, and the bridges with the more historical and more traditional audiovisual sector have never been so strong. Our role is to support or materialize this crossroads, with the audiovisual sector in general and cinema in particular, to ensure its growth.

“We make a big distinction between influencers and creators, who have business logic, creative idea, production writing, and long-term perception.”

These writings on the Internet, are a little bit the new generation of French culture, the Caliphate. The best example is certainly Cyprien. He’s been on YouTube for thirteen years, today he has his own production company and, on permanent contracts, he’s working with Gaumont on a joint film project. But we can also mention François Descres, whose format Le Visiteur du futur started on YouTube and who will be releasing in theaters at the beginning of the school year!

We make a huge distinction between influencers and creators. Creators, i.e. YouTubers, are in business logic, creative idea, production writing, and long-term realization.

I can clearly see the interference in TikTok. How did you experience his partnership with the Cannes Film Festival?
There is no brand awareness work to be done with YouTube! But it is very good to have an ecosystem with a lot of different platforms. These social networks are part of the complementary uses. We have our idiosyncrasies. On YouTube, these are long formats but also an economic model: we donate half of our income to content creators. Moreover, we follow the logic of community participation, even in specialized sectors.

However, like TikTok, it has developed a short vertical format…
It is a symbol conditioning signal. There was a real need to allow users to gain a foothold on YouTube. The format follows simpler logic, without the need for detailed production, just the development of an idea.

About protecting works online
Justin Rist: “YouTube tackled this problem very early on: the illegal and illicit uses of the video format. In 2007, we developed a technology solution, Content ID, which is a digital footprint of business; a free solution. It’s for us an investment of $100 million because it’s in Our DNA Ten thousand rights holders use it worldwide, and there are eighty million fingerprints of digital works. There is no need for his YouTube channel to protect his work there, the right holder can simply turn to Alpa (Anti-Audiovisual Piracy Association) to implement these fingerprints. Today If the work is on YouTube in an unprotected way, it is because the rights holder did not protect it himself.”

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