YouTube Now Bigger Than Cable TV in the United States; Average Session Doubled Since 2014

( [email protected] ) Jul 20, 2015 12:49 PM EDT
Ten years after three former PayPal employees created YouTube, the video-sharing site is now bigger than any cable network in the United States.
YouTube is more popular than TV in the U.S. YouTube

Ten years after three former PayPal employees created YouTube, the video-sharing site is now bigger than any cable network in the United States.

According to a report posted on Tech Crunch, visitors to YouTube's homepage are up over 300 percent times each year and they spend more time watching videos on the site than ever before.

Omid Kordestani,  chief business officer of Google which acquired YouTube in 2006, said the increase in growth in "watch time" has reached 60 percent, the  fastest rate in two years. Mobile "watch time" meanwhile more than doubled from a year ago. Average session times has been over 40 minutes, an increase of over 50 percent from 2014.

"These numbers reflect a significant sea change in the way that people today are consuming video content. We're no longer spending as much time watching big screen TV in living rooms, but are shifting much of our viewing to other platforms, including our phones and tablets. For YouTube in particular, session times of this length mean that the video-sharing network is no longer just a place users land to watch a single video - like something they've been pointed to via a friend, or a post on social media or a news site, for example. Instead, YouTube is now serving as a place where users are watching a series of videos back-to-back," the report read.

A study made by Miner & Co. said YouTube has evolved into the new generation's equivalent to television. It said TV is no longer the first choice for kids' entertainment with 57 percent of parents reporting that their child prefers mobile devices to TV when it comes to video viewing.

Moreover, 58 percent of children in households have their own gadgets. Many parents nowadays confiscate gadgets as a form of disciplining their children. Children who are left with no other choice but to watch TV now see being left with the boob-tube as a punishment, the study noted.

Even teenagers in the US are more influenced by YouTube than by mainstream actors in Hollywood while more adults are also spending more time watching videos on mobile devices.

Data from eMarketer said American adults spend five hours, 31 minutes watching videos each day.

They also spend an hour and 16 minutes watching video on computers, mobile devices and game consoles. From 30 minutes watch time daily in 2014, the figure is expected to increase to 39 minutes this year.

Google sees the changing digital content consumption pattern as an opportunity as advertisers start moving their ad budgets TV to YouTube as traditional "tele-viewing" declines. The number of advertisers on YouTube has increased by more than 40 percent. YouTube posted around $4 billion in revenue in 2014.

"Our focus is on the opportunity to get larger budgets to move to YouTube," Google chief finance officer Ruth Porat said.

Tags : YouTube, social media, cable TV, video-sharing site, online advertising