YouTube views from mobile devices have increased by 35% in 2 years, from 6% in 2011 to 41% in 2013. In a statement released yesterday, Google CEO Larry Page stated that the upward trend represented "great progress" for the site and that "we are closing in on our goal of a beautiful, simple and intuitive experience regardless of your device." The 41% includes mobile traffic from smartphones as well as tablets although the split in percentages between the two were not made public.
Increasing advertising revenue from mobile views are a priority for Google which is why they kicked up such a fuss over the Microsoft YouTube app and the fact that it blocked ads for its users. The latest twist in the saga is that the app now redirects to m.youtube.com mobile site but this isn't a satisfactory solution for either party, never mind the end user.
Although there are a number of ways that advertisers can promote their products and services on the YouTube site (overlays and display ads for example), only skippable 'TrueViews' ads are available for mobile devices and if a viewer chooses to skip and go straight to the video then that revenue opportunity is lost.
Mobile is vital to YouTube and has been for a number of years. A dedicated'mobile' team was set up in 2007 to optimize the site for mobile devices well before the mass adoption of such tech. The team also did a revolutionary deal with Apple to pre-install the YouTube app on iOS devices.