Another sign of connected TVs’ ascendance: in a blog post on Friday, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that its users are now watching an average of over 180 million hours of YouTube video per day on TV screens. To put that in perspective, given the 1.9 billion logged-in users YouTube says it has per month, it would mean an average of almost 11 minutes per day per user watching YouTube on TV.
No doubt that’s far less that the average Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video subscriber spends watching those services on TV. And it also pales in comparison to the over 50% of YouTube consumption on mobile devices the company has touted for several years now.
But still, it shows how YouTube is gaining momentum on CTVs, which is important to the company because CTV viewing offers advertisers the best of TV’s lean-back experience with the best of digital’s targeting and analytics. YouTube has been wooing TV advertisers for years now, primarily with its elaborate Brandcast NewFront presentation and Google Preferred program that focuses on the highest-quality/most-viewed YouTube creators. CTV ad revenue translates into more money to share with its creators.
YouTube has been investing in original content and also promoting its YouTube Red subscription service that both help CTV viewing. It has also invested heavily in its skinny bundle YouTube TV, though viewership of it wasn’t disclosed last Friday (hopefully on this afternoon’s earnings call Google will share some new data). In a sign of progress, just over a year ago, TCL and Ipsos found that YouTube was the second-most popular TV app on CTVs.
CTV viewing is also important to YouTube as it battles Facebook for digital ad dollars. YouTube has established a clear lead on CTVs as Facebook continues to experiment with different video offerings, most recently its Facebook Watch originals. Facebook has a video app for most CTVs now.
For more about background on the growth of CTV advertising, check out the video of our session, “Connected TVs’ Ad-Supported Future” from our June Online Video Ad Summit.