Even though mobile video viewing is still not common, mobile video minutes are growing fast. With that, apparently, so are mobile-video ad revenues at YouTube.
According to data presented by Bloomberg, YouTube mobile video “ad sales” have tripled in past six months. The article says that may represent as much as $350 million, according to estimates from Wedge Partners, which believes that YouTube is responsible for roughly 10 percent of Google’s overall revenue.
The reason that Google can grow mobile revenue for YouTube so quickly is that the same pre-roll ads that appear online are simply shown in mobile (they’re also “skippable” in mobile). This is exactly like Facebook; marketers don’t have to create a new ad or landing page to accommodate the mobile user experience.
In the US market, YouTube and Hulu dominate mobile video consumption. According to Nielsen data cited by Bloomberg, “at least 70 million people in the U.S. were on the [YouTube mobile] app in March, up 42 percent from a year earlier.”
A recent study from Experian argued that only 2.3 percent of smartphone owners watch video on a typical day. By contrast, a 2011 study sponsored by Google found that 48 percent of smartphone owners watched video on their phones (although frequency wasn’t reported).
A new survey presented in a report called “TV Untethered,” from The Council for Research Excellence (CRE), basically confirms that only a small amount of video is consumed on smartphones and tablets right now.
The majority of mobile video viewing takes place in the home and is driven by convenience (or necessity) rather than ad avoidance, according to the report. The following chart shows the most common times for video viewing by device.
Interestingly, the CRE study also found that mobile video viewers tend to be more “focused” than TV watchers, who often have a second screen in hand and split their attention between the TV and mobile device.