New YouTube Channel Layout is Here!

New YouTube Channel Design

YouTube has started unveiling its new channel layout via select partner channels. The new design will roll out to everybody later this year.

As you can imagine, as with any time YouTube changes anything, people are PISSED OFF.

I’m not one of them. I think the new design is great. It fits in with the new design direction that is being implemented across all of Google’s different properties and more importantly it gives tremendous insight into YouTube’s strategy for 2013 and beyond.

So… instead of crying and leaving a blog comment about how much the new design blows, suck it up and see how you can take advantage of these changes and grow your brand.

I don’t have currently have access to the new layout on any of my channels but rumor has it I will be getting an invite code this week. Right now the new channel is only visible on the mega channels like iJustine, Geek and Sundry, EpicMealtime and our pals at Sorted (who just cracked 200,000 subscribers). Here’s a video of the Sorted guys walking you through the new Channel features.

Here are what I see as the major things to pay attention to:

Custom Trailer for non-subscribers. Now is the time to start thinking about a teaser video that quickly conveys what your channel is about. This will be shown only to non-subscribers. This is a great feature and is a little hint that 2013 is going to be all about building channel subscribers.

One Header Graphic For All Devices. I always thought the process of setting up headers and making clickable image maps was a pain in the ass. Now you can make one graphic and it will follow your channel across all devices. Some channels are already kicking ass with this, but it’s going to take a little experimentation to figure out a good layout for all devices. You can find a template and guidelines for creating your new channel art here. It looks a little crazy and time-consuming so it’s worth checking into this before your channel changes over to the new look.

Shelves. Now, in addition to playlists, we have something called Shelves. This is what you see below the main video area. This is something I’ve been eagerly anticipating because it lets us organize content better. Last year we split our Recipe Q&A into a separate channel because I didn’t like the way it displayed on the main page, I wanted that to be focused on recipes. Now I can move the Q&A back to the main channel and display it in one of the shelves. Shelves is also great for channels that have different types of shows.

More Subscription Guide Integration. I’m telling you, I have a VERY strong feeling that 2013 is all about subscribers and channels as opposed to individual videos. Check out how YouTube is recommending channels you might like as opposed to videos. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. But on the left are channels you already subscribe to and on the right are ones that are being recommended.

I will write more about this the minute I get access to the new features, but right now I’m pretty excited.

What do YOU think about the new channel layout? How are you planning on taking advantages of the new features? Let me know in the comments below.

12 Replies to “New YouTube Channel Layout is Here!”

    1. I don’t think they have actually announced a specific date. They are still testing and making modifications and improvements to the new channel layout. Yesterday they sent out an email with a bunch of new changes – one of them being that shelves are now called sections, improvements to the algorithym, etc.

  1. Majority of people usually dislike change, but to keep up with the speed of technology evolution, i.e. available devices, quality of graphics on the screen, information sharing, etc. – in my opinion, YouTube is definitely taking a step into the right direction. Fair to say, that it’ll take some time to get used to but once understood – you’ll fly. Very excited!

  2. hey christopher, good news! i’ve converted our youtube channel to the new layout. we love it! it’s clean, simplified and the sections are awesome! check it out 🙂

    1. Hey Queue! The new channel looks great. I also think your non-subscriber video does a really good job of explaining what your channel is all about. If I had one piece of advice, I would turn off monetization on your non-subscriber video. If the objective is to get people to subscribe, I think you want to hit them right away with your content and not distract them with an ad. The only reason I say this is I got distracted by a movie trailer that was playing and temporarily forgot why I had come to the page. Other than that, great job getting the new look up and running! I hope it works well for you. The sections feature is my favorite part of the new layout and is working out great for us.

  3. Is it too much to ask for youtube to let us make out channel more creative?

    Bland white with a very impersonal surrounding background does not a Youtube channel make…

    We should be able to choose what channel we want, is it that hard to ask for more option to the NOT technologically impaired?

    1. Thanks for writing! I totally understand why people don’t like the new design. But if there’s an upside, they are sure to change things again in the next year or two. The only thing we can be sure of is that the YouTube design will be continually evolving. I think that means less and less customization of the actual channel pages. I would almost rather have FULL control over the layout or ZERO control.

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