YouTube: half of viewing now mobile as company mulls new subscriptions

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Half of all YouTube views are now coming from mobile devices, according to the chief executive, Susan Wojcicki.

The company has previously said that “almost 40%” of its watch time comes from mobile devices.

Wojcicki revealed the new statistic during an on-stage interview at the US Code/Mobile conference, where she added that YouTube’s overall watch time is still growing at a 50% rate annually.

She also said that YouTube is also considering new ways to charge those viewers for watching, as an alternative to seeing the advertising that has been YouTube’s main business model until now.

“YouTube right now is ad-supported, which is great because it has enabled us to scale to a billion users; but there’s going to be a point where people don’t want to see the ads,” said Wojcicki, according to Recode.

She described subscriptions as “an interesting model” while adding that “There are going to be cases where people are going to say, ‘I don’t want to see the ads’,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Subscriptions aren’t a new idea for YouTube. In May 2013 it introduced subscriptions as an option for some of its channel owners, enabling them to charge people to watch some videos, and keep 55% of the proceeds.

Sesame Street, National Geographic and UFC were part of that initial trial, although by July that year National Geographic was admitting publicly that “We had hoped to set the world on fire. We are not setting the world on fire right now.”

“We rolled out the ability for an individual channel to do a subscription,” Wojcicki said this week. “We’ve also been thinking about other ways that it might make sense for us. If you look at media over time most of them have both ads and subscriptions.”

However, when asked about YouTube’s upcoming subscription music service, Wojcicki declined to provide new details of when it might launch beyond saying she is “optimistic about seeing it soon”.

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Powered by article was written by Stuart Dredge, for on Tuesday 28th October 2014 07.55 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010