CES 2016: YouTube Leader Robert Kyncl Invites Scooter Braun to Tout the Video Giant

In case there was any doubt, YouTube is serious about music.

The launch of the YouTube Music app in November is one of the key reasons digital video will “win the decade,” Robert Kyncl, YouTube's Chief Business Officer, said at CES. “Video is more important to music than ever. More than half of teenagers use us as the main way to find and listen to music.”

No one knows that better than Scooter Braun, who took the stage to give big love to Kyncl and the platform he used to break artists including Justin Bieber, Psy and Carly Rae Jepsen.

“YouTube changed my life because I was that kid in my early 20s with all these ideas of how to take any artist and make them significant because I didn’t have a major label,” said Braun.  

“Everyone told me I was crazy,” he added. They said, ‘You’re not going to make a superstar.’ To have had this happen and to be on this stage… this is the only moment of the week that was exciting for me as a New York Jets fan.” Enough said.

The key is the intimacy of the experience. “It’s not about a billion impressions, it’s one at a time.” He said he never let Bieber begin his early videos with an introduction. “I just wanted him to sing.”

Braun’s advice for digital video creators in any genre? “Don’t make content for billions of people. Screw that. Just look at your phone. If I feel something, I’m just guessing someone else will feel something too.”

Kyncl emphasized the marriage of music and YouTube makes good business sense. To date, YouTube and Google Play combined have paid more than $3 billion to the music industry, “between record labels, publishers and artists directly,” he told Billboard.