The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is the world’s largest and most prestigious annual awards and celebration of creative excellence in advertising and communications. Every year, the Festival organisers present The Media Person of the Year Award to a prominent personality who is an influential figure in the development of today’s media landscape, ultimately playing an integral part in shaping the future of the industry.
This year, Cannes Lions is proud to honour YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar, who leads the video community that 1 billion people across the globe use to access information, share video, and shape culture.
Founded in 2005, YouTube was acquired by Google the following year. Since taking the role in 2009, Salar has overseen the expansion of YouTube into a global broadcast platform. Under his leadership, YouTube’s site design and its investments have been reshaped to focus on channels and the emerging content creators behind them. YouTube’s usage has been increasing at tremendous rates, to six billion hours of video watched each month, a 50% increase over the past year. YouTube has also launched TrueView, the advertising format whereby advertisers only pay for ads watched, and has doubled the number of advertisers using it in the last year.
Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions says, “YouTube has become a global phenomenon under Salar’s leadership. The statistics say it all: more than one billion unique users a month watch more than six billion hours of video. In 2011, YouTube had more than one trillion views – a simply staggering statistic. But YouTube is more than a formidable communications tool of everyday life. YouTube has become a key way for people throughout the world to share their cultures and stories, helping us understand and connect with one another. And for businesses, YouTube is enabling the next generation of great channels, similar to how cable systems enabled the emergence of modern TV programming and advertising. In the coming years, YouTube will surely become ever-more important to content-creators and advertisers the world over, and so Cannes Lions is delighted to recognise Salar’s achievements and present him with the Media Person of the Year award.”
Salar Kamangar says, “Content creators and advertisers alike are building successful YouTube channels that tap into a global community of fans, with more than one million of these channels now earning revenue. I’m delighted to accept this award not just on behalf of YouTube, but on behalf of the artists and producers across the world whose creativity has established YouTube as the global destination for video.”
Google’s ninth employee, Salar’s early roles at Google included drafting its first business plan, starting its early legal and finance functions, and helping to found Google’s product team. While leading product management for Google’s advertising and monetisation products, Salar and his engineering partner designed and launched AdWords, helping the program grow into a business generating billions of dollars a year. Salar also led product management teams for Google’s web applications, including Gmail and Docs. Salar earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences with honours from Stanford University.
Salar Kamangar will be presented with the Media Person of the Year honour on Wednesday 19 June in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France.
Previous recipients of the Media Person of the Year Award include, Jack Dorsey, Creator, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Twitter; Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook; Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation; Tsuneo Watanabe, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings; Sumner Redstone, Chairman and CEO of Viacom; and Gerald Levin, CEO of AOL Time Warner.