While at one time, people would have used their smartphones to watch a targeted YouTube video lasting maybe five minutes, the average YouTube viewing session on mobile devices is now reportedly 40 minutes.
This is double what it was last year — highlighting the increasing tendency to watch videos on mobile devices rather than on desktop computers.
Google didn't reveal what kind of content people were looking at for that long, and while watching some music videos and movie trailers – scattered throughout the day – could certainly add up to a lot of viewing time, the 40-minute figure represents uninterrupted viewing.
Watching videos on YouTube has grown in popularity over the past few years, with apps like Vine and Periscope greatly contributing to video-watching on mobile devices. Of course, these apps are much younger than the likes of YouTube, but they have still become hugely popular in a very small period of time.
YouTube isn't just stopping at mobile use. A number of key executives at Google have referenced the fact that YouTube is going after more traditional TV, saying that YouTube reaches more people between the ages of 18 and 49 than any cable television network.
"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-over-year," said Omid Kordestani, Google chief business officer, in an interview with Business Insider. "Plus, once users are in YouTube, they are spending more time per session watching videos. On mobile, the average viewing session is now more than 40 minutes, up more than 50 percent year-over-year."
These findings are extremely important for YouTube at this point in its growth. The site is no longer just a place for people to upload their videos; it's now a place for people to discover new content — both curated and otherwise.
Of course, YouTube still has a ways to go before well and truly replacing traditional TV viewing. In the U.S., people watch traditional "linear" TV for almost five hours per day, while they use their computer and smartphones to go online for about half that time. Not only that, but while YouTube is becoming more valuable for advertisers, TV is still the biggest avenue for advertisers. Last year, global TV spending reached a massive $230 billion, while online video advertising sat at $11 billion.
Via: Business Insider