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Remember being a teenager? At times it was tough, especially if you were a girl. The gossip. The bullying. The self-doubt. For many girls, the path to finding themselves was littered with doubt, uncertainty and pressure from all sides.

But what if you could speak to your younger self? What if you could offer advice and encouragement to help make that path a little smoother?

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re encouraging people to upload a video letter to YouTube, addressed to their younger selves. It all starts with two words: #DearMe


Whether you’re worrying about your body (Laci Green), fearing being afraid (Grace Helbig), questioning who you are (Hannah Hart), failing to fulfill stereotypes (Issa Rae), or learning to be comfortable being your weird, wonderful self (Superwoman), you can share your experiences to help make that journey easier for a new generation of girls.

Take part in this movement by uploading a video letter to your younger self to YouTube and join the conversation with #DearMe. You can also put together a GIF using our easy GIF-maker on our Tumblr page at youtubedearme.com.

YouTube is a place where people can come together, share interests, relate experiences and offer each other support. From #ItGetsBetter to #ProudtoPlay, we’ve seen our community inspire and empower those in need of encouragement. Today, we’re asking you to do the same for girls who don’t have to face their problems alone.

It all starts with two words.



Cathy Tang, Marketing Manager for YouTube, recently watched "Girls & Body Image."

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Before your brackets have even been built or busted, we’ve got big college b-ball news. NCAA March Madness is now on YouTube and Google.

Starting with the 2015 NCAA Division I Basketball Championships, you can watch game highlights, pre- and postgame shows and more on the new NCAA March Madness YouTube channel. Subscribe to the channel to get all the latest updates around the tourney, from shows airing across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV.

 

As you’ve searched for March Madness on Google more and more every year, getting answers should be easy: you’ll see schedules, scores, links to game live streams and more just by doing a search for “March Madness” or any of the participating teams. You’ll now have more power at your fingertips than Jerian Grant and his disrespect for gravity.
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So stick around on YouTube and Google for your NCAA March Madness highlights and info, and if you need some selection inspiration, you can always brush up on your Barack-etology.

Roland Lange, Partner Manager, YouTube Sports, recently watched “2014 March Madness Moments.”

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From BeyoncĂ© embracing the super selfie, to OK Go’s mind-bending visuals, to Kurt Hugo Schneider connecting with fans through a tour announcement, artists on YouTube create music experiences that go beyond a song or video. And now it’s our turn to thank them with a YouTube Music Award.

These YTMA artists were chosen by you. Thanks to your love, they showed the biggest growth in views, subscribers and engagement over the last six months. That’s what makes them artists to watch on YouTube in 2015, and YTMA winners.
These artists prove that YouTube is not only a place to launch new music and be discovered by fans around the world, but also where artists and fans truly connect. In that spirit, this award is just one step in our effort to keep making YouTube a great place for artists and fans to experience music together. Next stop ... SXSW.

New music videos. All at once. The YouTube Music Awards.

At its best, music is about the full experience of sight, sound and participation. And for the 2015 YouTube Music Awards, presented by Kia, we’re giving you just that.

On March 23 at 10 a.m. PT, we’re doing something never before seen on YouTube—dropping a collection of exclusive, new music videos from established and emerging artists, all at once. We've selected some of the most original music video directors alive today to produce these new videos and enlisted VICE to produce the entire program. The performers include:


These artists will even pull some of you into the action, inviting you to go behind the scenes at shoots, be a part of their videos and more. Stay tuned by subscribing to the YouTube Music Awards channel, and prepare your eyeballs and eardrums to experience the music on March 23!

Eshan Ponnadurai, Music Brand Marketing, recently watched “Father MC - Everything's Gonna Be Alright.”

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Like most parents, I love helping my kids learn more about something they're interested in. For example, right now, I spend a lot of time on YouTube with my 3-year-old son, who loves watching videos of car washes, Super Simple Songs, and about the universe. We’re not the only ones: Families worldwide are watching millions of videos on YouTube. And lately, those of us at YouTube have been working on a new way for our kids—and yours—to discover and explore videos on every topic in, well, the universe.

Today, we’re introducing the YouTube Kids app, the first Google product built from the ground up with little ones in mind. The app makes it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore, and is available for free on Google Play and the App Store in the U.S.



Bright and playful design
Your 4-year-old may already be a swiping expert, but the app’s design makes it even easier to find Pocoyo or the latest episode of Sesame Street’s The Furchester Hotel. With larger images, bold icons and more, it’s fast and simple for little thumbs to navigate. And we’ve built in voice search so that even if your child can’t spell or type, they can still find videos of things they’re curious about.

Family-focused content
For years, families have come to YouTube, watching countless hours of videos on all kinds of topics. Now, parents can rest a little easier knowing that videos in the YouTube Kids app are narrowed down to content appropriate for kids. You can browse channels and playlists in four categories: Shows, Music, Learning and Explore. Or search for videos of particular interest to your family, like how to build a model volcano, math tutorials, the amazing (and endless) world of trains—and everything in between.

Along with favorites from DreamWorksTVJim Henson TV, Mother Goose Club, Talking Tom and Friends and more, your kids can watch new series from YouTube channels they already like. Discover new facts about dinosaurs from National Geographic Kids; learn about technology from Reading Rainbow; or watch Thomas the Tank Engine leave the world of Sodor for the first time in 70 years to travel the globe. Plus, more new videos are coming soon from beloved YouTubers like John and Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers and Stampylonghead.

Parental controls
We realize every family is different, so we’ve built options into the app that help you control the experience for your kids:
  • Timer: Let the app be the bad guy with a built-in timer that lets you limit kids’ screen time. The app alerts your child when the session is over, so you don’t have to. (You’re welcome. ;) )
  • Sound settings: Sometimes you need a little peace and quiet! You have an option to turn off background music and sound effects, so your kids can keep watching while you catch a breather.
  • Search settings: If you’d rather limit your children to just the pre-selected videos available on the home screen, you can turn off search.
  • Product feedback: Our goal is to improve YouTube Kids all the time, so we’ve included a space for you to give us your feedback.



YouTube Kids is available for free starting today in the U.S. on Google Play and the App Store, and will soon be available on Kurio and nabi kids’ tablets.

This is the first step toward reimagining YouTube for families, but with your help, the app will continue to get better over time. We’re excited to start this chapter with you—so from our family to yours, enjoy!

Shimrit Ben-Yair, mother of two and YouTube Kids Group Product Manager, recently watched “How Big is the Universe” with her kids, along with countless “car wash” videos.

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The last great battle for big game ad supremacy was waged last week as votes for your favorite ads came flooding in. Not only was this the biggest year ever for big game ads on YouTube, this was a banner year for the ads on the YouTube AdBlitz channel.

With nearly 40 percent more total votes cast this year than last, this year’s fan favorite received 60 percent more votes than last year’s top pick. And which brand landed on top of the list this year?

Congrats to Nissan, voted by fans to be their Favorite Super Bowl Commercial of 2015. Nissan tugged your heartstrings showcasing their “With Dad” commercial, and garnered the most votes against some very stiff competition to become the YouTube AdBlitz 2015 Champion!

 

Here are the rest of the top 5 favorite big game ads as determined by your votes: Landing in second place is Clash of Clans’ “Revenge” spot featuring one “Angry Neeson.”

 

In third, Dodge inspired us with some generational “Wisdom.”

 

Last year’s winner, Budweiser, had another strong showing with their “Lost Dog” commercial coming in fourth.

 

And rounding out our top 5 is Jeep, who explored the beauty of the globe with “Beautiful Lands.”

 

Visit the AdBlitz channel to watch all of this year’s big game ads.

Matthew Williams, Sports & Gaming Sponsorships Project Manager, recently watched "GoPro: Afterglow - Night Skiing.”

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This year’s football season might be done and dusted, but the battle for most popular big game ad is still in play. To see how trends have played out in the days since the game, we took a look at the top trending videos, facts, and stats about big game ads on YouTube.

We found that viewership is growing faster than before - people have watched more big game ads and teasers in the first six weeks of 2015 than all 52 weeks of 2014. More than 7M hours of big game ads and teasers have been watched on YouTube, up from 6.3M hours for all of 2014.

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Liam cinches his “Revenge”

One of the surprise hits this week was Clash of Clan’s “Revenge” ad featuring Liam Neeson. The spot gained over 20M views this week alone and now clocks in at more than 30M views, making it the most viewed big game ad on YouTube so far. Here’s a look at viewership of game day ads over time, from a report by Pixability:

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(Source: Pixability report “Super Bowl Ads on YouTube,” February 5)

Beards and selfies infiltrate top trending ads
As expected, puppies and celebrities dominated the top trending ads on YouTube. But there were also some lesser-reported trends that spanned across the top game day ads. We found that:

  • Half of the top 10 ads featured men with beards
  • 21 different types of animals (animated or otherwise) made an appearance
  • Two ads had people taking selfies
  • Two ads featured no dialogue at all
  • One: the total number of “Angry Neesons”

Here’s a list of the top trending game day ads on YouTube (based on views as of 2/6):

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There are still three more days to cast your vote for your favorite ad of the game. Visit our AdBlitz channel to cast your ballot before voting ends on February 9 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Kellen Spadafore, Insights at Google, recently watched “Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots vs. Seahawks highlights.”

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From a “super brawl” to a giant lion, yesterday’s big game was filled with many notable moments. That’s true on YouTube and Google too—people watched more game day ads and teaser videos on YouTube than ever before, YouTube hosted its first-ever halftime show, and a throwback PSA became a top trending search term. Here’s a look at the top trending searches, videos and more across Google and YouTube:

Battle of the brands
As the battle for football supremacy was taking place on the field, a very different battle was raging across the country: Which ad would reign supreme? Whether via smartphone, tablet or laptop, people spent nearly 4 million hours watching game-day ads and teaser videos on YouTube—up from 2.2 million hours from this time last year.

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This year’s most popular ads came from a wide range of advertisers—newcomers and veterans alike. But one thing’s for certain—puppies, pranks, and Kim Kardashian continue to “break the Internet.” Here are the ads that scored big on YouTube so far:


YouTube has evolved to become the place brands go to engage with their audience before, during, and after the big game. That’s why revenue from our AdBlitz program set a new record this year, with brands investing more on YouTube around the big game than years past. And, we’ve hit a new record in watchtime across YouTube—the growth rate at which people are watching YouTube has nearly doubled in the last year, leading to the fastest growth we've seen in years.

Tom Brady and Missy Elliott dominate on search
While people turned to YouTube to watch the ads, people turned to Google to search for everything from “how old is Tom Brady” to “buffalo chicken dip recipes” to “Katy Perry Halftime performance.” Before kickoff, people asked Google “Why did John Travolta call Idina ‘Adele’?”—a throwback to John Travolta’s infamous mispronunciation of National Anthem performer Idina Menzel's name at the 2014 Oscars. Searchers were also interested in Menzel’s performance (or researching prop bets), asking “How long will it take Idina to sing the National Anthem?”

Tom Brady, Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson were the top three searched players before, during and after the game. Thanks to some standout in-game performances, by the end they were sharing the spotlight: Rob Gronkowski and Chris Matthews (replacing Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor). And MVP Tom Brady wasn’t just an MVP on the field—he captured the title of “Most Searched Quarterback” in every state except for the Seahawks’ home Washington.

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Of course, for many people the halftime show is the highlight of the night, and Katy Perry’s performance delivered. She came in on a lion, danced with sharks and went out on a star—one that was, for some, reminiscent of NBC’s old “The More You Know” PSAs. The phrase "The More You Know" spiked 190x in search for the 10 minutes after Katy’s starry flight. And although Missy Elliott was a late addition to the halftime lineup, she was a popular topic in search. Top questions related to Missy Elliott included “When was Missy Elliott popular?” and “How does Katy Perry know Missy Elliott?”

A very YouTube halftime show
For the first time ever, this year YouTube hosted a Halftime Show produced by Collective Digital Studio, with the help of more than 25 YouTube creators including Epic Meal Time's Harley Morenstein as host, Rhett & Link, Toby Turner, Freddie Wong and Tyler Ward. From Kurt Hugo Schneider’s "Epic Patty Cake Song" to the “Elephant’s Toothpaste” science experiment with Science Bob, the show delivered a one-of-a-kind experience for YouTube fans.



With the last touchdown scored, we’re taking votes for your favorite ad, so visit our AdBlitz channel to cast your ballot before voting ends on February 9 at 11:59pm ET. Thanks for making this year our biggest game ever.

Whether you’re a loyal 12th man or a Boston fan for life, chances are you turned to YouTube and Google to watch your favorite ads, answer your questions or witness a new generation of halftime entertainment. We’re happy we could be a part of your game.

Posted by Riki Nakasuji, Sports & Gaming Sponsorships Manager, recently watched “Top 10 Super Bowl games of all time.”