SoFi Stadium’s new neighbor – YouTube Theater


YouTube Theater to launch this summer Image: Hollywood Park

YouTube, the Google-owned division known for its vast online video library, is lending its name to a 6,000-person performance venue in Inglewood (US).

‘Los Angeles Times’ stated that YouTube Theater, opening mid-summer near the striking 70,000-capacity SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California (US), and the 15,000-capacity American Airlines Plaza, will host live entertainment and include YouTube creator events, esports competitions, award shows, concerts, and other events.

San Mateo (US)-headquartered YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform launched by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim in February 2005. Its users watch more than one billion hours of videos each day. YouTube content creators, popularly referred to as YouTubers, upload over 100 hours of content per minute.

‘Los Angeles Times’ further stated that the theater is part of a 10-year naming rights deal between YouTube and Hollywood Park, an Inglewood development backed by the National Football League (NFL) team Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Angela Courtin, YouTube’s Vice-President, Brand Marketing, stated, “YouTube Theater will drive the uniqueness of YouTube by combining physical, ‘in real life’ events that bring creators and fans together, while simultaneously sharing that same event experience with our two billion global monthly users through livestreams and video on demand (VOD) content.”

YouTube Theater will help the company continue to build brand awareness in the community at a time when YouTube faces stiff competition from social media rivals such as TikTok (Chinese video-sharing focused social networking service) and free ad-supported streaming services that are jockeying to grab eyeballs.

In recent years, the American multinational technology company Google has expanded its presence in Southern California, opening an office inside the Spruce Goose hangar. Part of the complex also includes soundstages for productions.

The Spruce Goose was the largest wood plane ever built, and flew only once, in 1947. Google restored the hangar into a 450,000-square-foot office and event space, preserving the original construction and adding to the interior, creating an unusual mix of old and new.

YouTube, once treated as persona non grata in Hollywood, has worked to change its image by working in close coordination with media companies to help them market their movies and shows. During the pandemic, YouTube’s viewership skyrocketed, as late-night show hosts turned to the video-sharing site to film themselves at home and performers hosted live-streamed events when productions and venues were closed.

The three-story, 227,000-square-foot theater is part of Hollywood Park, a roughly 300-acre complex in Inglewood, California. The theater will boast a large exterior video screen that will feature content by YouTube creators and artistes.

Hollywood Park said it has a multiyear booking agreement with Beverly Hills-based concert promoter and operator Live Nation. Musical artistes including American rapper Pitbull, Welsh singer-songwriter Marina and soul funk duo Black Pumas will perform at YouTube Theater this year or next year, as per a statement sent out from Hollywood Park and YouTube.

YouTube Theater has sold out Live Nation concerts, including a September 11th performance with family band Los Ángeles Azules, and March 12th and March 13th shows with singer-songwriter Louis Tomlinson, known as a former member of the English-Irish pop boy band One Direction. The first Live Nation show revealed at YouTube Theater is a concert by Mexican band Caifanes on September 4th.

Jason Gannon, Managing Director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, stated, “When he set out to build YouTube Theater, Stan Kroenke envisioned an intimate, world-class venue that exemplified three core aspects: Technology, creativity and entertainment. We cannot imagine a better partner to help us bring this vision to life than YouTube.”

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