We like to give as much space as possible to up-and-coming firms on these pages; but every now and then, one of Adland’s Goliaths generates news that just can’t be ignored. Like YouTube, for instance: its VP of Sales, Lucas Watson, has just announced that mobile advertising revenues at the video-sharing site have tripled in the last six months alone.
Promotional spending has been channeled into mobile as never before to keep up with the burgeoning uptake of hand-held devices amongst YouTube’s 1 billion global visitors: around a quarter of them now use mobile gadgets to access the site, Watson revealed.
A burgeoning market
No one working in mobile advertising will be surprised at this: eMarketer Inc. recently projected U.S. mobile video-ad sales to rise to $2.69bn by 2017, a 10-fold expansion on 2012 driven by faster wireless connections and the exponential uptake of smartphones and tablets.
While Watson was a little cagey about specific figures, Wedge Partners Corp. analyst Martin Pykkonen estimates that YouTube accounts for 10 per cent of Google’s total revenue. Crunching the numbers further, he figures that mobile advertising sales contributed to around 20 to 25 per cent of YouTube’s total revenue for Q2 2013. With Google’s overall sales totaling $14bn for the quarter, that works out as $350m in sales coming from mobile video ads.
Research from Nielsen Holdings NV shows that 70 million U.S. mobile users were on YouTube’s app in March this year, a rise of 42 per cent on the same time last year. That takes the total to over half of US smartphone users.
With the app featured on all Android OS devices and a new (and immensely popular) standalone app available as a download from Apple’s App Store, it’s little wonder that mobile sales are soaring. After Apple Inc.’s decision to drop YouTube as a core app in the iOS last year, downloads of the standalone app have skyrocketed.
New data for May 2013 from analytics firm Distimo shows that the YouTube app is the most popular non-gaming app on iOS by far, and Apple’s own stats reveal it to be the fourth most popular app ever during the same month.
Not bad for a product that’s only been available for eight months. No wonder its mobile revenues are blasting through the stratosphere.