YouTube used the VidCon conference in California last night to announce a major new milestone for its service: 1.5bn monthly viewers, up from its previous public stat of ‘more than 1bn’.
Which means, among other things, that music-rightsholder bodies will be dashing to update their estimates of YouTube’s music audience for value-gap lobbying purposes.
But back to the stats: “Today, I’m pleased to announce that we crossed a big threshold: 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month,” wrote CEO Susan Wojcicki in a follow-up blog post published this morning.
“And how much do those people watch? On average, our viewers spend over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone.”
There was more news from Wojcicki’s VidCon keynote: a new 180-degree VR video format, for example, which YouTube and Google’s Daydream team have developed as a more-affordable alternative to full 360-degree video.
“Creators only have to worry about recording what’s in front of them while viewers get an awesome, immersive experience with a VR headset, or a video that looks just as great on a phone as any other video,” wrote Wojcicki, who said ‘VR180’ cameras will cost as little as a couple of hundred dollars, in contrast to 360-degree cameras.
There was also a stat from the YouTube Red subscription service, where 37 original TV shows and films have “generated nearly a quarter billion views”.
At around 6.8m views each on average, that’s an indication of Red’s scale in comparison with the ad-supported service which spawned it.
While the VidCon keynote revealed details of 12 new Red projects, there was no indication of when or whether YouTube’s subscription tier will roll out more aggressively across the world.
It’s the 1.5 billion logged-in users stat that lingers though, especially the logged-in aspect: those are users whose viewing habits are giving YouTube’s recommendation algorithm plenty of material to work with.
Talking of which, we recommend spending a few minutes today browsing a slideshow produced by video agency Little Monster Media Co which outlines its latest learnings about how the YouTube algorithm works in 2017.
Among them: “the new minimum” for success on YouTube is now 2-3 videos per week, and that the “sweet spot for video length” is 7-16 minutes.