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In brief: YouTube this week said it won't be reopening physical YouTube Spaces in major markets after the pandemic. Instead, the company plans to shift its focus to a hybrid model that involves both virtual events like workshops and pop-up Spaces in order to reach a more diverse audience.
It’s been close to a decade since YouTube first introduced Spaces, dedicated production facilities located in strategic markets around the globe. These Spaces were equipped with everything a budding YouTuber would need to create content with high production value – all one needed to do was bring their own film crew.
In 2016, YouTube started experimenting with pop-up Spaces, smaller and more nimble temporary locations that could reach creators in other parts of the world. Over the span of four years, YouTube hosted more than 45 pop-up events that welcomed over 15,000 creators and artists.
Then, the pandemic hit, prompting YouTube to close all of its facilities and adopt a completely virtual model. During 2020, YouTube’s virtual events reached more than 70,000 people across 145 countries.
Moving forward, YouTube said it is going to double down on its strategy to be more flexible. Part of this plan includes not reopening physical YouTube Spaces in several locations including Los Angeles, Berlin, London, Paris, New York, Rio and Tokyo, but rather, focusing on a hybrid model that includes both virtual and pop-up events.