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YouTube won’t reopen remaining creator Spaces as company shifts to new model

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The Berlin, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rio, and Tokyo locations are closing

Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

YouTube’s permanent Spaces locations, which were designed to offer resources and networking opportunities to its creators, won’t reopen after the pandemic, the company has confirmed. Instead, YouTube says it’s shifting to a hybrid model that will combine pop-up locations with virtual events. The Spaces that won’t be re-opening are in Berlin, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Rio, and Tokyo.

Although it was the pandemic that pushed YouTube towards a virtual model, the shift away from permanent Spaces has been underway for at least a couple of years. Back in 2019, TubeFilter reported that the company was moving towards a reliance on temporary pop-up locations to give it the flexibility to serve creators across a wider area. At the time it said it would shutter its permanent Spaces in Mumbai and Toronto, and serve the locations with pop-ups instead.

YouTube’s mix of virtual events and pop-up locations have already reached tens of thousands of creators, according to the company. It says that last year it ran over a thousand virtual events that were attended by over 70,000 people across 145 countries. Meanwhile, since 2016, its 45 pop-up events have reached over 15,000 creators across more than 20 cities.

“We truly believe this flexible new strategy will allow us to reach more regions,” YouTube says in a blog post. In 2021, the company says it’s running a multi-week virtual program as part of its #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, and continuing to invest in its NextUp program for emerging creators. There will also be live and recorded online workshops. Pop-up events and experiences will return once it’s safe to run in-person events again, YouTube says.