People are spending more time watching videos on YouTube, Google has revealed.
The search engine unveiled its earnings for the second quarter of 2015 yesterday, an announcement that arrives just as Facebook’s rival video service begins to build momentum. The social network is now trialling a way to allow publishers to monetise videos, something that could prove crucial in its attempts to woo creators from YouTube. Google, though, is still growing, with CFO Ruth Porat emphasising the rise in views on its video site.
“Growth in watch time on YouTube has accelerated,” she commented, with Chief Nusiness Officer Omid Kordestani describing it as “the fastest we’ve seen in a couple of years”.
Global watch time rose 50 per cent in Q2 2014. In the three months to June 2015, watch time increased 60 per cent.
Mobile viewing is helping to drive that increase: watch time on mobile devices is now more than double a year ago, with the average session lasting over 40 minutes. YouTube’s popularity as a music video platform will likely have contributed to that, as people stream playlists of albums as well as watch short-form content. Google said that mobile viewing now attracts more viewers aged between 18 and 49 in America than any cable network.
Revenue, meanwhile, has also increased by 11 per cent to $17.7 billion, which Google attributes to improving the magnetisation of mobile searches, as well as advertising on YouTube. (The number of YouTube channels earning a six-figure income has also climbed 50 per cent in the past 12 months, notes Variety.)
Share prices rose on the back of the results to an all-time high.
The figures follow the launch of several new initiatives for YouTube, including a newswire service for journalists, highlighting eyewitness footage, and a dedicated YouTube Gaming site.