Last year, YouTube created a buzz when its app disappeared on iPhone and later returned in an overhauled version. Today, the reason for that action could finally be explained. The video-sharing Website may have been aiming to control and improve its mobile experience. It could be on the way to finally become a ‘mobile-first’ firm.
The company has recently announced that up to 40% of its current traffic comes from mobile devices. That figure was up from 25% last year. Interestingly, in 2011, it was just 6%. Needless to say, mobile users account for fast-increasing market share. And anyone could logically see where this would possibly go.
Changing nature of mobile use
YouTube’s latest traffic number clearly includes both smartphones and tablets. However, it did not provide a breakdown of the difference split between the two types of devices. But most analysts think that majority of YouTube views on mobile happen on handsets.
However, this may not mean that majority of mobile views of YouTube happen ‘on the go.’ There are higher chances that many of the site’s mobile viewers do their activities within the comfort of their living rooms and even in bedrooms. It is assumed that many smartphone users these days also prefer to use their mobile devices in accessing the Internet even if they are at home or in the office.
Challenge to ad revenue
But there could be a possible issue about the rising number of mobile views of YouTube. That is because going mobile may mean generating less advertising money, if the current setup would be continued. This may not be due to a possibility that advertisers may pay lower rates to mobile apps because YouTube’s ad rates are uniform throughout regardless of venue.
The problem could be that there are various ways to acquire ads on the conventional Web page. In comparison, there could only be a single way to do it on YouTube app. That is because it features the ‘TrueView’ skippable ads that could easily be turned off. Thus, there could be smaller ad revenue for each mobile view.
In general, it makes for a better experience especially for YouTube users out there. It could even be better for YouTube and its partners. But today, that may mean the move towards going mobile would provide video creators even greater reasons to complain.