Youtube's Priority Shifts Towards Mobile Viewing

Mobile Viewing YouTube

YouTube targeting mobile users

When the world's largest video sharing site, Youtube, says its top three priorities for the future are 'mobile, mobile, mobile' it gives a fairly good indication as to the growth and opportunities available in the mobile video landscape.

And that’s exactly the message put forward by current Youtube CEO, Susan Wojcicki at the Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech Conference last month. Talking all things Youtube, Ms Wojcicki told the audience that the focus moving forwards was to begin capitalising on the growth of mobile, more precisely, the growth of video content being viewed on mobile devices.

In 2014, Youtube generated over $4 billion dollars in revenue. It now has viewer numbers over the billion mark with 50% of those watching from their mobile device (up from 41% in 2014).

The shift towards mobile viewing seems to be consistent with the overall direction of the market. With results gathered from Ooyala for the first quarter of 2015, eMarketer reports that 34 percent of digital video views worldwide came from mobile phones, versus seven percent coming from tablets, an astonishing growth in such a short period of time.

The Growth

Mobile Growth

Video content sharing is now at an all-time high. It's believed that on Youtube alone, roughly 300 hours of video content is uploaded every minute, spread across 75 countries. Cisco are predicting that by 2019, 73% of mobile traffic will be made up of video content. That's some serious viewing.

In 2011, US adults spent an average of just 1 minute per day watching video on tablets, and 2 minutes per day watching video on smartphones. This year, it's estimated that the average adult will watch a total of 41 minutes of mobile video on a daily basis (23 minutes on smartphone and 18 minutes via tablet) sniffing at the heels of the PC (25 minutes).

The other component is the type of video content being viewed. According to eMarketer, the mobiles sweet spot was short-form content clips, videos that run for under three minutes, which made up nearly half the time spent watching videos on mobile devices in 2015. On the other hand, tablet devices - viewed by many to be the closest competitor to the smartphone - reported that 60% of users were watching video content that went over ten minutes.

Why the Shift?

Mobile Viewing Shift

Many are attributing the shift to the growth and innovation mobile technology now provides for its users. Ultrafast network connections accessible from all corners of the globe, crystal clear HD screens which often have better picture quality that most televisions on the market and innovative applications are all heavily attributed to the shift towards mobile viewing.

As applications have allowed consumers to view content on the go, mobile users have become able to watch and stream live content as they wish or catch up on old programs. They can now watch sports events like the world cup, or tour de France when they wish, keep up to date with news and current affairs... they can even live stream the latest TV shows and programs through applications like Netflix and Plex.

The other component is, well, conveniences. More mobile users are heavily reliant on their mobile devices, keeping it constantly by their side for the majority of the day, often only setting it down to charge the device (wondering how often you check your phone?). As a result, may of the world's global leaders (advertising, technology, music, movies, sports etc.) have woken up to the shift and have begun to tailor video content designed to be maximized on mobile devices, enhancing the viewing experience.

What to Expect

A greater shift towards mobile viewing that's for sure as consumers and organisations become more acceptive to the growth as they being to offer greater innovation in their application of mobile videos. In my opinion, the only real danger to the growth of mobile viewing is from tablet device but even then, tablet devices just don't possess all of the capabilities that mobiles do. That's why the mobile will continue to reign supreme. Really, the only thing holding back the mobile is poor battery life and well, a foldable hand to retract out that can hold your mobile device in place while you watch it.

How much content do you watch on your mobile device?