NEW ORLEANS -- YouTube this week revealed a redesign of its desktop app that strips out superfluous information and makes videos the primary feature of the viewing experience. \u201cWe\u2019re rolling out a revamped design of our desktop application,\u201d Neal Mohan, chief product officer at YouTube, announced at the Collision conference.\nThe redesign, which is available for preview at youtube.com\/new, will be rolled out in stages during the next few months, according to Mohan. \u201cThe design principle is very basic, it\u2019s very simple, which is we really want the technology and everything surrounding the content to simply fade out of the way,\u201d he said. \u201cA lot of what might have been distracting text and things like that in the current YouTube experience fades away when you\u2019re consuming content. It has a much lighter, ephemeral feel to it.\u201d\nYouTube streams 1B hours of video per day\nThe Google-owned video platform, which has more than a billion monthly active users who stream at least a billion hours of video every day, strives to deliver a consistent experience across all platforms and devices, Mohan said. The new desktop version also includes an option for dark mode for users who prefer a black background and dark color palette instead of YouTube\u2019s familiar bright white design.\n[ Related: Digital advertising surpassed TV ads in 2016 ]\nThe desktop site refresh comes less than a month after the company launched YouTube TV, a new digital television service that includes content from all of the major broadcasters and many cable networks. The $35 per month service also includes an unlimited cloud-based DVR and access to Google\u2019s machine learning and search-driven recommendations, Mohan said.\n\u201cThe traditional television viewing experience, in our mind, is one that frankly doesn\u2019t keep up with all the great content that\u2019s out there,\u201d he said. YouTube is making a bigger push and investment in the living room because it believes it can improve on-demand services, make TV more personalized and include social components that are typically missing from other providers.\n\u201cThe idea there is we combine the best of cable and broadcast television with YouTube,\u201d Mohan said. \u201cWe think there\u2019s great content out there, but we wanted to build a television experience that was truly built for this century.\u201d\nInvesting in the living room\nYouTube's foray into the living room is also boosted by what Mohan and many others are calling \u201cthe golden age\u201d of video content. Massive investments are being made to produce videos across multiple platforms and the choices available to viewers has grown profoundly from the three major networks that dominated television as recently as three decades ago.\nVideo content is more widely available and choices are growing exponentially, but consumers want an easy and seamless way to access their favorite videos from any device or platform, according to Mohan. \u201cOur growth rates in the living room are higher than they are on any other channel \u2014 100 percent year-on-year,\u201d he said. \u201cThe session lengths on living room for YouTube are longer than any other platform that we have out there.\u201d\nYouTube\u2019s massive audience has attracted interest from traditional TV advertisers and other brands, but the company\u2019s momentum was seriously derailed in March when many large advertisers boycotted the platform after their ads appeared alongside extremist, hateful or otherwise inappropriate content. AT&T, Verizon, McDonald\u2019s, Tesco, L\u2019Oreal, Honda and many other household brands pulled their ads from YouTube and some remain skeptical about the policy changes that were implemented in the aftermath of the advertiser exodus.\n[ Related: YouTube rules at VidCon, but still empty handed on live mobile video ]\n\u201c[Companies] want to make sure that their advertising is showing up on videos that are suitable for their brands,\u201d Mohan said. \u201cWe\u2019ve tightened up our policies, but more importantly tightened up enforcement of those policies. And as a result, we\u2019ve now identified five times as many videos as we were before that we\u2019ve eliminated from the rotation.\u201d YouTube also introduced new tools to give advertisers more control over where their ads appear.\nRegaining trust\nMohan expressed confidence in YouTube\u2019s ability to regain the collective trust of advertisers, but he also framed the challenge as one that free and open societies consistently grapple with. \u201c[YouTube] is a place where any of us can express themselves freely, no matter how controversial of a message we have,\u201d he said.\n\u201cWe have no plans to change that fundamental ethos about YouTube,\u201d Mohan said. \u201cWe also want to make sure that there\u2019s a balance in terms of what we can do to foster that type of creative expression, free speech on our platform.\u201d\nThere\u2019s little debate over whether YouTube should remain open to all contributors, but at the same time there\u2019s no reason to think advertisers want their brands associated with some of the site's more controversial videos. Brands want to pair their ads with content that elevates affinity, and that will remain true regardless of how videos are distributed. If YouTube delivers on that, its competition with traditional content providers may get a lot more interesting.