You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

UTA’s Jeremy Zimmer Weighs YouTube Against Growing Options

The growth of platforms like Facebook and Snapchat has UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer considering his options versus YouTube as the leading digital video hub faces new challenges.

The talent agency chief addressed the shifting landscape Wednesday at the Code Media conference in Dana Point, Calif., alongside Robert Kyncl, global head of content and business operations at YouTube, who made the case that there’s plenty of room for competition even as his own company continues to grow even faster than his own expectations.

But Zimmer made clear that his priority is obtaining data from content buyers. “The challenge for us on behalf of our clients is getting access to the kind of analytics that help us make intelligent deals,” he said, noting Netflix and Amazon don’t provide information on content consumption from their video services.

While he praised YouTube for being more forthcoming with data, he conceded that there is a challenge with understanding the analytics that are provided.

Another challenge Zimmer and Kyncl identified is that the multiplicity of platforms providing video with very different use cases makes for a lot of work in the absence of unified standards. But he welcomed the new players in the category.

“They’re going to become more aggressive,” Zimmer said of Snapchat, noting its new Discover platform. “Facebook continues to signal it’s more focused and organized.”

Noting the incredible growth of video on Facebook, Zimmer observed, “They have to decide what kind of content hey want to find and feature and develop there. They’re in the early phases there. There’s an emotional leap from being a platform to being a content financier. I think they’re very much a technology company, and getting over that hurdle is going to take some time and be challenging. But if they get there, there’s a massive opportunity for them.”

While Zimmer also acknowledged Amazon and Netflix as viable content buyers, he also made clear he’s not impressed with everyone. “God knows what will happen with Yahoo.”

Kyncl defended YouTube’s spot atop the digital video marketplace, emphasizing his belief that the sheer size of the business will mean multiple players.

“I think you’re seeing tremendous validation of the space, and we’re happy to be part of it,” he said. “Competition sharpens your edges.”

Kyncl also indicated YouTube is exploring additional measures to attract top talent as other companies try to woo its talent away, including more promotion, increased ad load and utilization of YouTube Spaces, its production facilities around the world.

Zimmer gave YouTube credit for improving its standing on Madison Avenue. “Really getting advertisers to lean in and spend the money and believe that it matters and believe that there’s really value has been part of the challenge,” he said. “It’s clearly changing.”

The panel was moderated by Dawn Chmielewski, senior editor, mobile, at Re/code.

More Digital

  • eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    eOne Names Bill Wilson Senior VP

    Entertainment One (“eOne”) has tapped Bill Wilson as Senior Vice President Digital Operations and Innovation, Music, the company announced today. Wilson will oversee all aspects of digital strategy across the company’s music business, including label service, talent management, music publishing and live entertainment, according to the announcement.  Wilson will be based in New York City and [...]

  • Jennifer Kaytin Robinson Someone Great

    'Someone Great' Director Jennifer Kaytin Robinson on Reimagining the Rom-Com

    Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, creator of the MTV series “Sweet/Vicious,” recently made her feature debut with “Someone Great,”  now streaming on Netflix. The film follows three friends as they navigate relationships and work in New York City.  Here, the writer-director opens up on reimagining the rom-com, and women changing the face of Hollywood. The three young [...]

  • Hulu-Logo

    Comcast Mulling Sale of Hulu Stake to Disney (Report)

    Comcast is holding talks with Disney to see if they can hammer out a deal to sell Comcast’s one-third stake in Hulu to the Mouse House — which would give Disney full control over Hulu, CNBC reported. The report comes a little over a week after AT&T sold its 9.5% stake in Hulu to the [...]

  • Cox Cable Testing a Form of

    Cox Cable Testing Gamer Network Service to Reduce Lag

    UPDATED: Cox Cable is testing a new “Elite Gamer Service” that is designed to speed up connections between gamers and games, but which the company says doesn’t prioritize internet use. The service began testing in Arizona this week and Cox tells Variety it plans to run the test for about three weeks. The $15 a [...]

  • Angie-Nwandu-The-Shade-Room

    The Shade Room, a Top Instagram Celebrity and Gossip Publisher, Unveils First Slate of Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Shade Room, a top Instagram-based media publisher focused on black culture, entertainment and celebrity gossip, is launching three new original series on the social platform. The five-year-old venture, the brainchild of entrepreneur Angelica Nwandu, runs one of the most highly engaged accounts on Instagram: @TheShadeRoom, which has 15.3 million followers (referred to as “Roommates”), [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content