At a recent Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) conference call, Google chief business officer Omid Kordestani announced that YouTube is now more popular than all individual US cable networks. It has been attracting its demographic, 18-48 year olds, more than ever.
Although, the well-known video site has had trouble making much of a profit, the website has noticed a massive increase in viewers. Kordestani says that users are investing more time watching YouTube videos than ever before. On average, the amount of time viewers spend watching content has skyrocketed 60 percent. This impressive growth is the fastest increase in viewing time YouTube has seen Kordestani adds. So what factors contribute to this massive growth that YouTube is seeing?
Mobile devices play a major role in the increase in viewing time. The average mobile user spent double the time watching YouTube clips in 2014. On mobile devices, an average YouTube user spends around 40 minutes watching their favorite content.
YouTube has spiraled off from a site where users watch one video and get off, to one that keeps their users hooked for almost an hour.They have transformed YouTube in a way that keeps their viewers on the website. Google has also added in multiple features to hook viewers in and keep them entertained longer. Features such as auto-playing videos, suggested videos, and the “What to Watch” section have all aided in this increase in viewing time.
Kordestani says “The number of users coming to YouTube, who start at the YouTube homepage similar to the way they might turn on their TV, is up over three times year-on-year,” and “once users are in YouTube, they are spending more time per session watching videos.”
YouTube has had an impact on the even younger generation of children. Tech Crunch wrote “According to a recent study from Miner & Co., TV is no longer the first choice for kids’ entertainment with 57 percent of parents reporting that their child prefers mobile devices to TV when it comes to video viewing. Additionally, 58 percent of kids in households with tablets have their own device, the study also discovered, and half the kids, when disciplined, will have their tablet taken away and are left “only” with TV.”
A recent study found that teens saw YouTube stars having more of a powerful effect on them than Hollywood stars. One “role model” for teenagers include the comedy team of Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, making up the popular Smosh channel. Another influential YouTube star is Swedish gamer, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, commonly known as Pewdiepie.
This is all great news for YouTube, but the problem of trying to make more of a profit is their next challenge. Last year, the website raked in about 4$ billion for Google. In an earnings conference call, Google executives chose to be quiet on YouTube’s profits in 2015.
The takeaway from this is that YouTube is headed in the right direction. Advertisers running videos ads have increased 40 percent over last year. These advertisers are also paying 60 percent more on advertising than in 2014. If you’re tired of seeing ads, just remember they are better than 10 minute commercial breaks on TV!