YouTube Says Growth Is Still Strong Despite Push From Facebook
YouTube's head of content says the video giant has seen 50% annual growth in viewership for the last three years and that there's plenty of room in the market for other players.
Online video is so hot right now, but YouTube, the grandfather of the industry, isn’t worried about being pushed aside.
In fact, Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content, said the competition from Facebook and Twitter — “in the last 12 months every platform has decided that they want to add video” — is actually helpful to YouTube.
“I think you are seeing tremendous validation of the market,” Kyncl said during an on-stage interview Wednesday at the Code/Media conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Calif., “and we are just happy to be part of it.”
Kyncl said there’s room for many large players in what he believes to be a $200-$400 billion market and said YouTube is thriving, with year over year growth in video watch time at 50% for the last three years.
More than 50% of that viewership is coming on mobile devices, he said, traffic that has produced yearly mobile revenue growth of 100%.
“There are only a couple of companies that are growing as fast as we are at the scale we are,” Kyncl said. “We expected a deceleration of the business and it is actually accelerating.”
Kyncl emphasized that YouTube alone among video platforms returns a majority of revenue to content creators. He said 15 million partners receive checks from the network.
And YouTube is making an effort to reward its most popular creators at a higher rate. Last quarter it introduced Google Preferred, a program that enables advertisers to target the top 5% of YouTube content with ads that can’t be skipped. Kyncl said creators in the program are seeing 70% annual revenue growth, compared to 50% for YouTube creators overall.
Postscript: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that YouTube has had 50% year-over-year growth in video views for the last three years. The correct metric is 50% growth in the amount of time users spend watching videos on the network.