YouTube’s mobile fortunes take-off as smartphone content consumption grows

YouTube’s mobile advertising sales skyrocketed in the first half of 2013 as marketers looked to reach consumers where digital content is being consumed – on their smartphones and tablets.

YouTube, like other social media sites, is experiencing significant growth in mobile use as its user base increasingly migrates their social activity from desktop to smartphones. One of the growth drivers is that YouTube, beginning last fall with the launch of a standalone YouTube app for iOS, was able to monetize its iOS app with ads, something Apple did not allow it to do when YouTube was a native iOS app.

Pre-roll ads

Digital content is increasingly being consumed via smartphones and tablets and YouTube is a big player here, so it only makes sense that marketers would want to get their messaging in front of these users.

YouTube is seeing significant growth from mobile users, with the amount of time spent watching YouTube via smartphone by Gen C users – those who have grown up accessing content across multiple channels – increasing 74 percent in the past year, according to the company.

Approximately one-quarter, or 250 million, of YouTube’s users now access the service via their smartphones.


IOS app boost

Highlighting YouTube’s growing mobile fortunes, a company executive recently told Bloomberg that ad sales on mobile have tripled in the past six months.

The standalone app has been instrumental in helping YouTube capture more mobile ads, with the new YouTube app a consistent top-performing non-gaming app on iOS.

Google is trying to monetize mobile opportunities on YouTube in other ways, as well.

For example, it recently introduced a premium paid channels offering on YouTube that will give content creators a choice in how they monetize content through a combination of subscriptions and ads.

The pilot program offers subscription-based channels enabling mobile, desktop and TV users to watch content from a variety of providers with fees starting at $0.99 per month and each offering a 14-day free trial. There are 53 channels at launch, including Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is offering classic fights.

The lean-back nature of the subscription-based content could help YouTube attract more big brands to the platform.


Our view:

YouTube on mobile certainly has the scale to reach a wide group of audiences in Asia, however targeting is still as sophisticated as TV as it still lacks granular data. Although contextual targeting is a still strong enough selling point, it would have been a lot more successful in Asia should it allow a far greater transparency such as demographics targeting and the ability to opt for brand-safe content only. Nevertheless, YouTube still provides a much more cost-effective platform if reach and frequency is the name of your game. 



Article source: Mobile Marketer.



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