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 videos and shape culture.
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 investments have been re-shaped 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 videos 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.
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.”
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 programme 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.