YouTube Mobile Views Up 400% In 18 Months

By Megan O'Neill 

“We’re experiencing a massive consumer shift,” said YouTube’s Global Head of Content, Robert Kyncl, at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit this week.  Consumers are watching more online video on mobile devices than ever before and, as a result, “mobile has increased from 6% to 25% in the last 18 months across the whole of YouTube.”

Business Insider’s Owen Thomas reports that “that figure is up dramatically from the latest official statistics YouTube provides.”  According to the YouTube Press Statistics page, traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011, over 20% of YouTube’s global views came from mobile devices and 3 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube per minute from mobile devices.  The stats page has not yet been updated with the 25% statistic that Kyncl revealed in Abu Dhabi.

According to Katherine Rushton of The Telegraph, Kyncl added that mobile will soon eclipse TV.  While holding up his smartphone he said, “This is the first screen, so when you talk about second screen, you are talking about the television.  When you’re making your selections on your phone and you’re sending them to the TV, something that is coming very soon [on a mainstream basis], when that transition is seamless, this becomes the first screen.”

The rapid growth of mobile views on YouTube had been a point of contention for awhile, especially on iOS devices, as the YouTube app that came installed on Apple devices was not ad supported.  As a result, many creators were seeing negative effects on their revenue as more and more viewers took to viewing on their devices.  Additionally, many viewers faced frustration as some content (specifically music videos) were not available on mobile because the content owners did not want to miss out on revenue.

YouTube recently addressed these issues with the removal of Apple’s YouTube app in iOS 6 and the launch of an official iOS YouTube application, ad-supported of course.

What do you think of the fact that YouTube views have increased four-fold over the past year and a half?  How often do you watch YouTube videos on your mobile device?

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.