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In the past year, over 23,000 years worth of Olympic competitions and Olympics-related content has been viewed on YouTube (YouTube). To help YouTube’s parent company, Google, take advantage of what is predicted to be the most-watched Olympic Games ever (as well as compete with official Olympic partners NBC, Facebook, and Snapchat), YouTube is collaborating with 15 of the platform’s top content creators to bring the 2016 Rio Olympics to young, social media audiences around the world.
YouTuber Ben Brown Vlogs The Olympic Opening Ceremonies
To inspire young social media audiences to gain a unique perspective of the Olympic Games by watching YouTube content, Google sent 15 of the platform’s top digital stars—including Ben Brown, Liza Koshy, Brodie Smith, Chloe Morello, Caeli, and native Brazilian Felipe Castanhari—to Rio with phones in hand and cameras in tow.
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According to Google, the YouTubers will document “everything from their own commentary of the Games’ celebrations, from the first victory to the last defeat, to long days around Rio on bike rides and aerial tours,” thus giving teenage and millennial audiences to sort of off-the-cuff, authentic content they are accustomed to seeing on Snapchat, Facebook Live, and now, Instagram Stories.
Livestreaming content is fast-becoming the way social media audiences prefer to experience large events, and the Rio Olympics is no exception. Though YouTube has been offering livestreaming services since 2011, the video platform is leveraging the popularity of the 2016 Olympic Games to showcase its new mobile livestreaming service. According to a recent YouTube blog post, the mobile streaming feature will function similarly to other livestreaming platforms and will allow YouTube to compete head-to-head with social media rivals.
In the wake of NBC’s partnership with Facebook and BuzzFeed (which will produce Snapchat coverage of the Olympic Games), Google and YouTube cannot provide official Olympics coverage to U.S. audiences. By collaborating with top content creators to produce authentic, one-of-a-kind videos and livestreaming content, YouTube can leverage the social media stars’ massive audiences to give viewers—especially those in foreign markets where Google has forged partnerships with official networks and content providers (Fast Company)—a unique and engaging perspective on what it’s like to be at the Rio Olympics.