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.