Last Wednesday YouTube rolled out a new feature that allows their partners to schedule videos to be published at any date in the future. According to all the tweets flying around about the new feature, many of YouTube’s top partners are singing its praises! Apparently they have been requesting this for a while.

So what are the benefits to YouTube for something like this? With all the features that could be released (not to mention bugs that could be fixed), why this and why now?

  • If YouTube wants to increase the number of web series’ on their site, this allows episodes to all be uploaded at once and published at a very predicable time that can be advertised and promoted, much like a TV show.
  • It could lead to increased views for partnered videos (and thus more revenue for Google) because partners can now ensure that their videos show up in subscription boxes at peak viewing times.
  • It allows partners to continue to publish videos on regular, scheduled times even when they’re traveling and tending to busy schedules. This keeps subscribers happy, creators happy, and thereby creates a more positive YouTube experience for everyone.

The part that will be interesting to watch is this: what happens when YouTuber partners all start scheduling their videos to publish at peak viewing times? How will subscribers react when at 6:59pm (for example) their subscription box is empty and at 7:00pm it’s full of new videos? Personally, I appreciate having the videos more spread out, at least I do right now. Maybe that’ll change as I grow to expect videos to show up at predicable times.

Really, maybe that’s what it comes down to — predicability for subscribers. People often arrange their lives to catch TV shows at scheduled times; it looks like YouTube wants you to do the same for them.