It's been a while since YouTube updated the statistics regarding views to the site from mobile. The last we heard, traffic from mobile devices came in at 41% of total views, but now YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has confirmed those numbers have risen to 50%. More and more of us are watching video content on the site via smartphones and tablets, a trend that is also contributing to the 50% increase in watch time the site is experiencing per year.
Speaking at the Code/Mobile conference, Wojcicki acknowledged that the YouTube app, available via Google Play and Apple's App Store, had contributed to the increase in mobile views. She also confirmed that "mobile is super important. I think it’s important for every business right now”.
A New YouTube Video Subscription Service?
YouTube has struggled with providing subscription options to users in the past but in the same discussion, Wojcicki strongly hinted that it was considering a new feature which would provide ad-free content to subscribers.
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.
We’ve been thinking about other ways it might make sense for us [at YouTube]. We’re early in that process, but if you look at media over time, most of them have both ads and subscription services.
Wojcicki's background at Google (where she was the 16th employee) was commerce-led. She was responsible for the advertising and analytics divisions at the company, so it is inevitable that she would steer YouTube's revenue-making opportunities beyond paid advertising.
As for the much talked about streaming music feature, Wojcicki would only comment that she was “optimistic about seeing it soon”.