According to a study of over 16,000 mobile YouTube users conducted by Google, 75% of respondents said that mobile is their primary way of accessing YouTube. At first glance, that figure may come as no surprise - after all, how shocking is at that a survey of mobile users finds that they watch a lot of YouTube Mobile? However, it's actually a rather telling number.
For some of us, watching YouTube on a mobile device is an additional way to watch video, not the primary way. But as it turns out, for a large majority of mobile video users, it's completely the opposite.
The survey found that 70% of the respondents reported visiting YouTube Mobile at least once per day and, while there, 58% spent more than 20 minutes per visit. 38% even when as far as to report that they feel like YouTube Mobile is replacing their desktop video usage entirely.
As noted by the Google Mobile Ads blog post reporting this data, these figures aren't really a surprise. It referenced a recent Nielsen survey that found that YouTube Mobile is the number one mobile video viewing site in the U.S., with more than 7.1 million uniques.
Of course, Google is revealing this news to get at mobile advertisers - the post mentions that advertisers can now buy a "daily roadblock" which allows them to own all available ad impressions for 24 hours. Those ads would run on the Search, Browse and Home pages of the mobile website.
Obviously, that's a great way to reach a wide audience of video viewers in the U.S., but advertisers should realize that these are only the viewers who head to the website m.youtube.com. As described on the Advertising page for this product, the roadblocks reach those who "engage with the mobile site on the homepage, browse and search pages from any mobile device including Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and feature phones."
Browse and search pages, it says. Web pages, not apps.
The blog post's image depicts a recent campaign for Diet Coke on top smartphones including the iPhone, Blackberry and Android. However, on these devices, YouTube viewers have access to native applications pre-installed on their phones. Wouldn't it be fair to assume that more streams come through those apps on the smartphones? How much of the smartphone audience is being targeted when you buy an ad on m.youtube.com? We've reached out to some mobile video experts to further research this and will collate our findings into a future post on ReadWriteMobile. Stay tuned.