YouTube’s Mobile Growth Reaches 80 Percent

The growth of daily visitors and mobile adopters on YouTube is at an all-time high, according to the company’s chief executive (CEO) Susan Wojcicki, speaking at its Brandcast event this week – Google’s equivalent of a digital NewFront.

YouTube’s users are up by more than 40 percent, while its mobile growth has surged to more than 80 percent year-over-year.

“Last year, we announced that YouTube reached more people between the ages of 18 and 49 than any cable network. So, good news: according to Nielsen, that’s still true, but this year our mobile growth has been so strong in the U.S. that YouTube now reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds on mobile alone than any cable network,” said Wojcicki.

Brandcast, which was held in New York City and attracted a crowd of more than 2,000 media buyers, aims to showcase the advertising opportunities that brand marketers could benefit from by utilizing the video platform. Mobile seemed to be the biggest push of the evening, with Robert Kyncl, head of content and business operations at YouTube, predicting that within five years the majority of advertising-supported video will be delivered either on mobile devices or mediated through them.

“That means, that in the not-so distant future, ad-supported video equals mobile video. And that shift requires partnering with a new set of players who are as successful today on mobile as Hollywood has been in the living room,” said Kyncl.

Millennials were also big on the agenda and Kyncl pointed out that they are the ones that are commenting, sharing, texting, tweeting, liking, and coming back for more, over any other audience demographic. Their importance was made especially prominent with the first few rows of Madison Square Garden – the location where Brandcast took place – being saved especially for the Millennial fans who could be heard cheering and screaming all evening. Disclaimer: I was sitting with the suited-and-booted folk nearer the middle who were much more boring!

According to Kyncl, Millennials are the audience that brands should care about the most, as they are “more than twice as likely to choose to watch a mobile video on YouTube than anywhere else.”

YouTube’s growth figures come hot on the heels of Facebook’s recent video success. In an earnings call held last month, the social network claimed to have reached a “breakthrough moment” where an additional 1 billion views have been served since January this year, reaching 4 billion daily. More than 80,000 Facebook videos have also now been embedded on third-party websites, which bodes the question, how long can YouTube remain in the front seat for? One thing’s for sure, Facebook is certainly giving the Google-owned video platform a run for its money. 

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