YouTube Is 'Mobile, Mobile, Mobile'

YouTube’s strategy over the next 10 years will focus overwhelmingly on mobile consumption, according to The Guardian, citing an interview with Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content and business operations. Kyncl’s statements came not long after YouTube released figures showing that half of its views are coming from mobile, with mobile view time growing at twice the rate of YouTube view time overall.

Kyncl certainly wasn’t coy about the mobile thing: “For us, most of our focus is on mobile: product development for mobile, content development for mobile, making sure mobile video works on carrier networks all around the world. It’s all mobile, mobile, mobile.” In case that wasn’t clear, he added later: “We think it’s all about mobile, and that’s where we’re putting most of our efforts across the board … We think that phone is the remote control for your life, and it’s definitely the remote control for your video.”

Although he cautioned that publishers and advertisers are still figuring mobile out, Kyncl predicted that ad-supported video will eventually center on the Internet and particularly mobile devices, as other forms of video including TV stagnate or decline.

Kyncl also pointed to Google’s push to bring Internet connectivity, and with it YouTube, to roughly a billion people in the developing world through low-cost data agreements with telecoms. Here he made an interesting but very plausible prediction: “Many of those folks won’t have TVs, they won’t have tablets. They’ll just have phones.” Of course it should be noted that arch rival Facebook is also working on ways to bring Internet access to previously underserved areas.

Meanwhile YouTube is hedging its bets (or just looking to rake in more cash) with a paid content strategy, including subscriptions for ad-free access, which it plans to scale up this year. But never fear, marketers: YouTube will remain primarily an ad-supported service. Now if it could just come up with something better than pre-roll ads….

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