This week on the Reel Web we look at the updates YouTube has made in the past week including the roll-out (finally) of custom thumbnails for all monetized users, some experimenting with mood-based video recommendations, their new politics destination channel and more.  Additionally, we cover recent survey results of viewers using Smart TVs.

YouTube Updates: Custom Thumbs, Playlists, Mobile Ads & More

Finally the long awaited custom thumbnails for YouTube partners are being rolled out.  Every week YouTube is expanding the ability to customize the thumbnails to those people who have normal monetized YouTube accounts.  If you do not have the ability yet keep a look out as you will have it soon.

While you are waiting for the thumbnail customization feature you do currently have access to a feature that allows you to add different videos and text as well as different videos into the playlists you are creating.  For example, if you have a playlist of videos that are important to you and the next video in the playlist is not your own - so you are not able to change it.  The feature allows you to add in an intro that your audience will see where you can give a synopsis of what they can expect to see in the video coming up.

YouTube now has the ability to have ads shown on mobile views.  This is mainly happening with Android phones currently.  Over the next several months we will see if the effect is an increase in revenue as the ads engage more mobile viewers or if mobile viewers are less tolerant of ads and will just skip it.

Another update on YouTube is the combination of the Creator Layout and Network Layout into the "Everything" layout.  This means you can now have all of your playlists displayed as well as other channels you feature so that you have the ability to combine everything.  They have also added an overview template that lets you see everything on your channel with all the content populated on different shelves to enable the viewer to choose what they want to see more of.

YouTube MoodWall & Related Videos Experimentation

As many people have noticed, YouTube is experimenting with how they show different related videos.  The results used to be a result of the search query that was entered whether it be a particular person, channel topic or niche.  Now it appears that they are showing content based on the mood of the content - scary, funny, epic, etc and showing similar videos with those guidelines.

The experimentation seems to be on a small level currently and is no way a definite indication of a direction YouTube will be going with the site in the future.  However, it is a good reminder for video creators to pay attention to tagging.  There should always be specific tags but it is also important to include the more generic tags such as ones that relate to feelings your video might evoke.

Smart TV Video Survey Results

New research recently came out showing how individuals across 14 different countries use their Smart TVs.  Of those polled, 18% said they watch online videos on their televisions daily and 25% of them say they watch online video through their televisions at least several times a week.  Even more interesting, it appears that people are more likely to watch advertising when they are watching online videos on their TVs than on their mobile devices.

Political Channels Available on YouTube

YouTube has recently created a channel that is specifically dedicated to politics.  With the presidential elections heating up it makes sense to have a channel that will show different sides of topics, political parties, debates and more.

QUESTION: What affect could showing related videos based on mood have for video creators?