YouTube gains traction in the living room

We all knew YouTube was a big thing on mobile, but Google has said it’s starting to get big on our TVs.

This would certainly be a big of a coup for the ‘do no evilers’, who seemingly aren’t content mopping up advertising revenues online; the TV is next for YouTube. It has been an option for a while on smart TVs, but few people have seemed to take notice. But not anymore. YouTube is growing in our living rooms.

“YouTube now has over 1.5 billion users,” said CEO Sundar Pichai. “On average, these users spend 60 minutes a day on mobile. But this growth isn’t just happening on desktop and mobile. YouTube now gets over 100 million hours of watch time in the living room every day, and that’s up 70% in the past year alone.”

What a bit of business this has turned out to be for the Googlers. Back in 2006, Google decided to acquire YouTube for $1.65 billion; a decade ago this sounded like an astronomical amount of cash, but now it is looking like a bargain. Back then, it was the premier place to watch clips and user generated video, and to be fair to Google, it still is.

Some businesses would have bought it, figured out it couldn’t be monetized, and left it to carry on the status quo. Another service would have been launched, and that would have been the biggest and the best video platform today. But Google continued to invest and create a better experience for customers, and now it has an offering which looks like it could begin to generate some serious revenue.

Alongside all the advertising revenues which will be collected in the background, Pichai is pretty confident in the progress and projections of its subscription model as well. YouTube Red will deliver 40 original shows this year, and YouTube TV. The live TV subscription service, now covers two-thirds of US households and is available in 15 metro areas.

YouTube TV is still in its early days, though Pichai is attempting to bring the Google ethos into the content market; simplicity. Google has made it incredibly easy to find anything online, many forget how difficult search engines were to use prior to Google. If this could be done to content, a lot of people might start to get interested.

A couple of weeks ago, attended IBC in Amsterdam and one of the discussions was how to make sense of all the content which is out there. There are so many windows, and gateways, as well as different types of content, finding what you want to watch is becoming a monstrous task. Ericsson brought out research recently which also highlighted the amount of time we spend browsing content is increasing. You could liken this current situation to the internet search days of pre-Google.

Making content easy to find will be step one for YouTube, but then bringing in machine learning technologies to personalise will be the next stage. Some might not be convinced about personalization, but the same people would have said you can’t make money of social media networks and communities.

“Given where we are, I’m really excited at the initial reception,” said Pichai. “And we are gathering a lot of feedback, bringing it to more markets, and I’m going to work hard at making the product better.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


There are no upcoming events.


Do you agree public funding should be used to support mobile operators to more broadly deploy Open RAN?

Loading ... Loading ...