In the past, content creators on YouTube couldn't make money from traffic coming in through tablets or smartphones. Today the Google-owned video site announced that it will offer ads in videos viewed through mobile devices. This is great news not only for YouTube-based businesses, but for YouTube as a company.
YouTube announced this change via Twitter and in an official YouTube Creators blog post on August 22. Ads offered on mobile views will be TrueView ads that allow viewers to skip after 5 seconds, which have been highly successful on the website.
"Mobile growth has been phenomenal," wrote Phil Farhi, YouTube's product manager, in the post. According to latest statistics offered by YouTube, 20% of global traffic comes from mobile devices, a percentage that tripled in 2011.
Prior to today's annoucement, YouTubers were not eligible to receive revenue from mobile views due to flaws in YouTube's mobile API. These flaws were routinely exploited by disingenous YouTubers and scammers using a scheme known as botting.
Botting, the practice of purchasing views through automatic means to get on the front page of the video-sharing site, has been a problem on YouTube since 2009. While botted mobile views did not generate revenue, once the view count reached the point that a video became listed on the front page, it would generate money based on website views. YouTube as a company has spoken out about botting and patched its mobile API to discourage the practice, but YouTube didn't get a handle on it. The new mobile ads suggest that YouTube has fixed the problem with its mobile API.
YouTubers are rejoicing over the new mobile ads on various social media platforms, as this move has the potential to multiply their revenue. Kaleb Nation, a YouTuber who is now working on a reality TV show with Twilight producers, wrote on Twitter that 72% of his views are mobile (1.3 million views a month), "so this means a lot." YouTubers are forbidden from discussing their contract details, but 1.3 million views would translate into at least an additional $1,500 a month for Nation.