YouTube has passed a critical milestone in its history with the news that more than half of all views now originate from mobile devices.
The rapid advance of mobile devices suggests there is no going back to the days of desktop dominance, with overall watch time rising by 50 per cent every year largely as a result of the smartphone boom.
Sensing opportunity in the psychological milestone YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki said the platform was now investigating alternative means of extracting revenue from viewers, aside from the traditional advertising streams that have sustained it thus far.
Speaking at the US Code/Mobile conference Wojcicki said: “YouTube right now is ad-supported, which is great because it has enabled us to scale to a billion users; but there’s going to be a point where people don’t want to see the ads.”
Ruminating on likely alternatives Wojcicki revealed that the notion of subscription services was being actively explored following a trial study with content producers including Sesame Street, National Geographic and UFC.
YouTube is believed to be beavering away on a subscription music service behind the scenes.