YouTube Has a New CEO Who Actually Gets NFTs

New YouTube CEO Neal Mohan previously outlined potential use cases for NFTs on the leading video streaming platform

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Shutterstock.com/Alex Yeung, modified by Blockworks

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Crypto fans have another reason to be hopeful of Web2 giants going Web3: YouTube has a new chief executive officer who once floated integrating NFTs into the video sharing platform.

Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s long-serving CEO and one of its earliest employees, stepped down last week, ending her 25-year-long stint at the Google subsidiary.

She has been replaced by Indian-American tech executive Neal Mohan, who joined Google in 2008 and became a senior executive in the company’s display and video advertising business.

Mohan, an engineering graduate from Stanford University, was appointed chief product officer at YouTube in 2015. He was instrumental in building some of the platform’s biggest projects including YouTube TV, YouTube Music and Premium.

He was once offered the role of chief product officer at Twitter, but turned that down after Google put forth a counteroffer of $100 million so he would stay, TechCrunch reported in 2011.

“He has a wonderful sense for our product, our business, our creator and user communities, and our employees. Neal will be a terrific leader for YouTube,” Wojcicki said in a blog announcing her departure.

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Early last year, incoming CEO Mohan hinted at potential future plans for NFTs, saying YouTube believes in the underlying technology’s potential for helping creators develop deeper relationships with fans. 

“For example, giving a verifiable way for fans to own unique videos, photos, art, and even experiences from their favorite creators could be a compelling prospect for creators and their audiences. There’s a lot to consider in making sure we approach these new technologies responsibly, but we think there’s incredible potential as well.”

Mohan also touched on the metaverse, saying YouTube was “thinking big” about how to make the viewing experience more immersive. He said it’s still early days, but YouTube would work to bring more interactions to gaming and “make them feel more alive.”

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That same month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company was “definitely looking at blockchain” and “looking at how we might contribute to the ecosystem and add value.” It was one of his first public comments on the technology.

Pichai described an example in which Google’s Cloud team explored how to support customer needs in “building, transacting, storing value and deploying new products on blockchain-based platforms.”

Google parent Alphabet was among the largest listed companies to invest in blockchain last year. 


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