tv Bloombergs Studio 1.0 Bloomberg April 8, 2017 10:30am-11:01am EDT
♪ emily: she has been one of the most powerful women at google from literally the very beginning. in 1998, two unknown entrepreneurs set up their first office in her garage. susan wojcicki became employee number 16 and became the starter of the advertising business. she urged her bosses to buy a one-year-old video streaming site called youtube for $1.65 billion. on the 10 year anniversary of that acquisition, youtube has more than 1 billion users
watching videos around the world. and wojcicki is in charge. joining me today, susan wojcicki of youtube. great to have you here. thanks so much for joining us. susan: thank you for having me. emily: how did they end up in your garage? susan: i wish i said i had a good eye and picked them out as students in stanford and said, "come in my garage." i wish i could tell you that, but it did not work that way. what happened is, i bought a house, and houses are very expensive in silicon valley, and i was a student, and so i wanted someone to help me pay the mortgage. they were looking for space, and it was just the two of them plus they had one employee. space is also expensive, so they knew they could move into my garage quickly and easily at a
relatively low cost for them. it was really appealing. so, they just moved in. emily: your mom was a teacher, your dad was a physics professor at stanford, and you have two sisters. tell me about a day in your household? susan: we grew up on the stanford campus which meant all of the neighbors we had were professors around us which definitely influenced us, because everybody was studying to do something and had a passion. so, i am the oldest, and i would say i am the more practical one as the oldest. growing up, i was also creative. i loved making things, and i think that is what led me to computers. emily: how did you parlay your history and literature degree at harvard into becoming the ceo of a giant technology company? susan: i studied history and literature at harvard, and i had no idea i was going to go into technology at all. if you have told me that when i was a student, i would have thought you were completely crazy.
i used to come home and do these temp jobs with a week free and call a service and say, "just place me anywhere." and one time, i was at a lawyer's office, another time i was placed at a garbage company to answer the phone. the third time, i got placed at a startup. i realized they can use technology, and they have these big ambitions, and i thought, "that is cool and i want to be part of it." i went back as a senior and decided to take the computer science class at harvard which was crazy, because there was no other humanities senior taking a computer science class. but it was really good, and i got a good basis. when i moved back home, i came to silicon valley, and i was able to get a job, and i have been there ever since. emily: you were google's 16th employee. the first marketing manager. you built the ad business, google blogs, how many hats have you worn in 18 years?
susan: when you join a startup, you have to be willing to do whatever the startup needs you to do. part of it was -- because i did not have a fixed role, is always looking for the opportunity. and so, look, there is an opportunity. nobody else is working on image search. there are all these other people working on the text search, but images would be really cool. today, that is a very popular search. so, i think doing a lot of things, and having the freedom to move around the company, enabled me to be able to see a lot of opportunities and grow them. emily: it has been 10 years since google bought youtube, and you wrote the original justification plan that convinced them to buy the company. what did you see back then? susan: i did a spreadsheet, but i also believed in youtube. there was one video we had, and that video convinced me and showed me that people all over
the world can create content and be entertaining. the video was of these two students in their dorm room, and their roommate is in the background doing his homework. and they are singing to the backstreet boys, and they are incredibly funny. i still laugh when i watch it. that was our first hit. i realized that people all over the world can be creative, funny, and that other people want to watch it and i thought, "if it continues like this and continues to grow, this is going to be a big phenomenon." emily: i always hear this about youtube -- it has become so much, but it could be so much more. susan: well, i think the growth has been amazing. the fact that we have one billion people who use youtube every month -- that is a big number. variety did this study where they went and they asked teenagers, "who are your stars?" in 2015, they said eight of the top 10 of their stars were youtubers.
emily: it has been three years since you became ceo. what is the personal stamp you want to put on the company? susan: i love being at youtube and meeting the creators in the -- meeting the creators, and the creative aspect of it. i love the way entertainment is opened up to anyone. i also really care deeply about the value that we have which is the freedom of expression, and the fact that people all over the world can use it to tell their story. when i think about what we want to do with youtube and where we want to grow it, video has never been easier to create or watch. we think about ourselves as a platform for the next generation of media companies to be able to create content and distribute it to the world. we also want to work with traditional media companies so that content can be distributed to all of the millennials. emily: some estimate the value of youtube at $70 billion, and that it could easily be a standalone company. why is it not? even within the alphabet family?
susan: it is an important part of google, and we benefit from a lot of things being a part of google. we run on google infrastructure, and we also benefit from google's ad team. within youtube, we are a company within google and so we have all , parts that a company has, sales, marketing, engineering. and so, we have some of the benefits of being with google, but then we are also able to be a standalone brand within the company. emily: there are reports that youtube makes billions of dollars and still you said youtube is still in investment mode. how would you describe your goals around profit short and long-term? susan: what we want to focus on is growing the business when you're in a big growth area. you have to balance doing that and doing that in a responsible way. tv -- which is one of the biggest markets by any metric --
from a subscription number, from atv ad number, from watch time this is one of the biggest , markets we have. millennials -- we are not seeing them watch as much tv, and so we see this as an opportunity to invest, and continue to grow the product, and continue to grow youtube to be a great experience. we need to do that in a responsible way. but we are definitely still in investment mode. emily: according to a recent piper jaffray survey -- for the first time, teenagers are watching more youtube than cable. 26% said they watch it every day. compared to 37% for netflix. what do the demographics actually look like? because some say youtube focuses too much on younger ages. susan: to get a billion users, you need people from all different demographics. when you look at any demographic, we have a very significant number of users. i do think, if you look at the millennial audience, you do see their behavior really shifting from traditional tv to online. mobile is really driving a lot
of usage. also, on demand. this is a generation that has grown up expecting, "of course, we should be about to see whatever show we want, whenever we want." emily: snapchat is rising. facebook and twitter are doubling down on online video. amazon and netflix are spending a lot of money on original content as well as apple. youtube does a little bit of all of these things. do you see any focus or priority down the line in any one particular area? susan: we are focused on being a platform. we are an at-supported platform, so we have content that is available to anyone and everyone. if you want to have the broadest reach -- you have content anyone -- content you want to get out to everybody, youtube is a great way to do that. we also have a subscription service. our largest creator has more than 45 million followers and subscribers on our platform. if you look at those creators, they, a lot of times, will be doing one thing on youtube, but also thinking, "maybe i should do a movie or a series?"
and so, we have been doing original content as part of our subscription service for our creators to be able to take it to the next level. emily: what is the balance you intend to strike between subscription revenue and ad revenue? susan: if you look forward maybe five years from now, you will see that both were very important to youtube. they actually work together. the fact that we have a free business, free with ad supported, enables an opportunity for users to come and say, "i actually want to have the subscription service." this is an upsell. i think they work well together. ♪ emily: how do you feel about getting the mom question? ♪
emily: you were google's first employee to go on maternity leave, and you joined google when you were four months pregnant. tell me about telling them, "i am four months pregnant." susan: most all of the other employees were students who i do not even think they had a girlfriend let alone thinking about having a baby. so, i was just in a completely different world from them. i told them upfront that i was pregnant, and they -- it took them a minute to register that, but then they actually thought about it, and they said, "you know what? we are going to build you a daycare." i said, "you only have 16 employees. you are just getting started. you do not have any revenue models." i said, "it is ok," and, "i'm glad you are supportive," and, "yes, i'm going to join google." in the end, we were able to open a daycare. they have always been very supportive of families, and we continue to operate that daycare today. it has been really hard to scale with all of the employee growth,
but we continue to operate the daycare. emily: you have five children. you are a hard-working mom. how do you feel about getting the mom question? susan: i do think it is a question that a lot of women have. so, i want to be open, and share my point of view, and share my experience as i think women want to hear it, and also men want to hear about it. having kids and working, it is hard for both sides. emily: how do you do it? how do you run youtube with five kids? susan: the main thing for me has been to focus and prioritize. and so, i'm really good about saying, "this is my work time." and when i'm in the office, i am really, really focused on what i am doing, and i am prioritizing. i always thought about, "how do i get from point a to point b as quickly as possible?" i do not have forever. i cannot work nights or weekends.
in some ways, it actually causes me to see some of the shortcuts, some of the new opportunities, because i'm thinking, "how do i grow this faster, really quickly?" let's just forget about all of those other things that are growing slowly, not going anywhere. i do not have time for that. i have to focus on the big idea, and we have to get them done now. and so, that is actually really good, because tech is about growing big ideas quickly. i use my work time to focus on that, and, when i get home, i really try to focus on my family, my kids. my husband is very helpful. realistically, to be fair, as i have risen in my career, i have been able to have more help at home. i think the hard part, and when i really struggled was when i had my first baby. i did not know what i was doing at work, did not know what i was doing at home, and you do not really have any support at home or work. i think that is when it is the hardest. emily: what do you think about lean in? susan: there are a set of women
that read it and say, "this is very helpful for me." and i think there are other women who say, "i have made a very conscientious choice not to lean in, that i want to be able to spend more time with my family, not working." and so, i think some women find it offensive or disagree with it, but, you know, i think of it as a business book for women, and so not everyone wants to be in business. not everyone wants to lean in, and i think that is fine. i think cheryl was open about that in her book. the book is not for everyone, but, to the extent that you have to, there are many women that have to work. i think she has great points about how to ask for a salary. go advocate for yourself. i think it really applies to a lot of women that want to work or have to work. emily: what about in places where there are still barriers? like, you cannot lean in if the door is nailed shut. susan: there are a lot of ways the world can change to make
things easier for women. the reality is those things get changed by having more women in the workforce, right? like summer camp. when i was growing up, i do not remember there being summer camps. we just stayed home all day and did nothing, but now there are so many choices like karate camp, computer camp, art camp, design camp. and so, i think that is a way that the market has responded, too. there are all of these parents that want their kids to be able to do activities during the summer. here's an opportunity for you. emily: how big of a problem do you think it is that women are underrepresented in technology? susan: i think it is a big issue for the world, because we are missing voices -- innovation from women that could be creating all of these great products, and ideas, and services. i think technology is missing out, and it is a problem for women. it is a problem for women, because you look at it and say, "women have made a lot of strides in the workforce, and here is this huge economic driver of change, and women are
not participating in it." if tech is what is driving the new jobs, it is what is driving change, influence, and women are not part of it, then that means they are not part of that change, and that is a problem. emily: google, for it being one of the best companies to work at, has the same dismal numbers as everybody else. why is that? susan: you look at the people graduating from college, and you still see that the overall number of women having computer science degrees is at the most 20%. emily: do you think it is a pipeline problem? susan: today, there is a pipeline issue problem. but then you say, "why is there a pipeline problem?" once you have a pipeline problem, it causes other issues, right? if you are asking that 20% to go into an environment where 80% of their peers are male, already you may be at a disadvantage
when you graduate, because you are going into a more male environment. i think the question is, why do you have the pipeline issue at the beginning? i think that, at some level, it is a problem that women think that computer science is boring, not interesting to them, or they would not be good at it. and what happened to me was, i saw computers as creative, and i love to create, and i was able to overcome some of the challenges that may be some of the stereotypes about it being very geeky, and numbers driven, and boring, and see it as the creative industry as it is. and i wish more women would see that. ♪ emily: how much would youtube spend on original programming? ♪
emily: how much will youtube spend on original programming this year, next year? susan: it is the first year we have been in it. so, we have been learning about creating shows. we've been pleased with the shows we have created and the feedback we are getting from our users. emily: what is the most successful show? susan: pewdiepie has the most subscribers. he is a gamer who plays games does this really funny commentary. he did a real-life game where he was put in real situations that were like a game. emily: twitter, amazon, facebook
are all pursuing live feeds for sports. is that something you will consider? susan: we do a lot of highlights for sports. we did that in the whole football season, and it did really well on youtube. a full game, right? those are very competitive, and a lot of people are bidding for them. they are very expensive, and traditional media are also competing for them. i think there will be a lot of change over the next five years, but, at this point right now, we are really focused on the highlights so that users can see those key moments. emily: how do you think things will change over the next five years? susan: the bigger players have stronger ad models, subscriptions, and they will be more competitive and able to compete for more of the sports rights. emily: the headlines talk about youtube at war with the music industry. everyone from taylor swift to paul mccartney that say they do not like the way you do business. do you see a future where there is a middle ground? susan: working with the music
industry, i learned there are a lot of constituents in the music industry, and they do not all agree with each other, right? there will be labels, artists, publishers, and so i remain very hopeful that, as the online models of subscription and advertising become more developed, that over time we are able to come to a place where everyone agrees on that future vision. i actually think we are getting there, because we are starting to see the online subscription and streaming numbers pick up. we are starting to see more revenue from advertising. we have paid out $3 billion to the music industry sense inception. i think, as more time goes by, it will become more clear on what these models are and will -- we'll be more aligned. emily: how are you thinking
?bout the later -- about vr because some people think google needs to buy or develop their own. susan: i think everyone is trying to figure out what is the best way, because it is a new medium. there are a large collection of 360 degrees video, so we are leaning in and see this is a great way to have an experience where you can really feel immersed and able to experience that story. emily: harassment is a problem for a number of different technology companies. if you look at the comments on youtube, they are not kind. what are you doing to get that under control? susan: i think that is a really important area that we are putting a lot of energy into. we have community guidelines. anything that promotes violence, anything that promotes hate -- that would violate the community guidelines. so, if there's something on our platform that violates the community guidelines or that a user feels uncomfortable with, they can flag it, and it goes to a queue, it is reviewed by a youtube employee, and they can decide if it meets the community guidelines.
if it does not, we will take it down. we are trying to do more. one of the things we just did that i think is really impactful is -- we created this program called "creators for change." they are creators that are taking these tough topics, and they are doing a great job to encourage understanding, to encourage empathy. we give them additional funding, a fund of $1 billion in promoting them on social media. so the idea is -- how do we get creators, who are so influential themselves, to help promote these positive messages of understanding across youtube? emily: do you think the internet will become a friendlier place? susan: i think technology has good and bad sides to it just like the real world does. there are friendly people and difficult people. i have seen all of the good that has come out of it. i have seen the way that people can connect with people like them on the platform who otherwise would not have been able to connect with. as our technology gets better,
as we are better able to identify what are the right ways to enforce, that we can continue to do an even better job and promote even more of the good stuff on the internet. emily: where do you think youtube will be in the next 10 years? you see the more like netflix -- do you see it being more like netflix? susan: our goal at youtube is to be the platform for the next generation of media companies. and if you look at youtube, it started out as cat videos and people uploading things they saw in their backyards. then we had creators that started doing it for a living, and now we have this new generation of creators that are building media companies on youtube. if you fast forward 10 years, you will see that there will be a new generation of these media companies that have really strong followings. they will be able to create amazing content. it will be global. they will be able to interact with their fans in all types of amazing ways. i'm really looking forward to
♪ caroline: i am caroline hyde. this is the "best of bloomberg technology." we bring you our top interviews this week in tech. president trump hosts president xi jinping. we will dive into the top issues impacting major tech players and startups. plus, trump's administration cracks down on one of silicon valley's beloved visa programs. visa restrictions may drive top