During Google’s recent earnings conference call, Google chief business officer Omid Kordestani said that YouTube is now bigger than any individual US cable network when it comes to attracting 18-49 year olds, advertising’s most sought after demographic.
Despite YouTube’s apparent inability to generate much of a profit, the popular video sharing site has seen user engagement metrics skyrocket in recent months. Speaking to this, Kordestani relayed that viewers are spending more time watching YouTube videos than ever before. Year over year, the amount of time users, on average, spend watching videos is up an impressive 60%. Underscoring this tremendous growth, Kordestani added that this is the fastest growth rate in viewing time YouTube has seen in over two years.
As one would expect, the increase in viewing hours is mostly attributable to mobile devices. In the last year alone, the average time mobile users spent watching YouTube clips more than doubled. More to the point, the average time users spend watching YouTube videos on mobile devices now checks in at 40 minutes.
The takeaway from this is that YouTube has successfully transformed itself from a site where users go to watch one-off videos into a site where users stick around for nearly an hour. Of course, this is no happy accident. Over the past few years, Google has rolled out a number of varying site enhancements in an effort to increase the site’s ‘stickiness’. From suggested videos to auto-playing of new videos following the conclusion of another, Google’s experimentations are clearly paying dividends.