Kim Larson, Global Managing Director & Head of YouTube Creators, on Charting YouTube’s Future

Amanda Kahn
Amanda Kahn
Jun 11, 2024

As someone who was “raised” on YouTube (not actually, just where I learned how to do my makeup—thank you Tati Westbook), long-form content will always be near and dear to my heart. I was excited to hear in this episode that I’m not the only one—long form content just might be on the rise again.

In Ep. 132 of Earned, Conor sits down with Kim Larson, Global Managing Director & Head of YouTube Creators. 

To start, we dive into Kim’s background at Jamba Juice and Google, which helped shape her interest in diverse global markets, growing niche communities, and the intricacies of creator support. Kim discusses YouTube’s monetization strategies that empower creators with freedom beyond brand deals, the dedicated support systems for gaming content, and the rise of YouTube content on TV screens, which demands longer and higher-quality videos. Next, Kim reveals how generative AI, with tools like thumbnail A-B testing and Project Lantern, is revolutionizing content creation, offering a peek into YouTube's innovative features like Dream Screen and Dream Track. Switching gears, Kim talks about YouTube’s support systems, including community managers and partner managers that ensure tailored assistance to creators at every stage of their journey. To close the show, Kim shares about the joys and occasional challenges of raising multilingual children.

We’ve included a couple of highlights from the episode below, but be sure to check out the full video above, or tune into the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen!

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The following interview has been lightly edited for concision. 

“That's the best part of my job—the time I get to spend with our creators”: Kim Larson on How YouTube Puts Its Creators First

Conor Begley: What does a team look like that is supporting those creator relationships? I would imagine a lot of what you're doing is engaging with them outside of just paying them. What are some of the ways that you do it? You've got the brand lab, you've got other avenues, but how do you build those relationships with content creators?

Kim Larson: That's the best part of my job honestly—the time I get to spend with our creators. 

We have community managers, we have partner managers, and I'll talk a little bit about each of those, but the thing that we really try to do is to meet creators where they are. As I said before, it's a long journey, and creators that are just getting started need different types of support models than someone who's further along in their [content creation] journey. On the getting started side, it's a lot about community. We have scaled support, scaled training, but also things like Discord groups and WhatsApp groups. It's a lot of putting people together and letting them, peer to peer, answer questions and support each other as they're getting started. Then, as you can imagine, that model starts to scale as creators get bigger and they have different needs. We have what we call partner management. These are partner managers who have a book or a portfolio of creators and those ratios change depending upon how big, how small, or where the creators are in their lifecycle. 

We also have some really specialized needs for different verticals. I talked about gaming. You need a different level of YouTube understanding and expertise to manage creators in the gaming vertical than you might for creators in health or news, where you've got different policy questions and considerations. We not only have scaled expertise but also verticalized expertise. 

Keep up with new episodes of Earned by following the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, or by subscribing to our YouTube channel. To catch up on our previous episodes, featuring leaders from brands like Revolve, K18, Meta, Stanley, and Roblox, visit our Earned Podcast page.