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That's a lotta cats: 40% of YouTube vids are streamed to mobes

All well and good, but where's the revenue?

Grumpy cat

40 per cent of YouTube streams are being delivered to mobile devices, to Google's delight – though this could seen as a failure to get beyond blink-and-you'll-miss-it cat videos into something more profitable.

The numbers came out during a Google earnings call late last week, which showed the Chocolate Factory beating estimates to turn in almost $14.9bn in revenue for the last three months.

The company also reported that YouTube's mobile users now account for 40 per cent of the traffic, to the voluble delight of recently-departed product manager Hunter Walk:

… tweeted the man who describes himself as "99% Humble", who humbly went on to claim the credit:

There's no denying that YouTube is popular on mobile devices, though we'd argue that much of that consumption isn't mobile. YouTube has become a popular jukebox for those who find Spotify's freemium offering too complicated – or expensive – so iPads around the world are potentially sitting in man caves playing music while appearing as mobile consumers of video.

When it's not operating as a free jukebox, YouTube's extensive portfolio of cat videos is unmatched and perfectly suited to consumption at the bus stop or train station, for genuine mobile consumption of video.

YouTube has aspirations beyond filling three minutes of boredom; it wants long form content to complete with Netflix and LoveFilm, but both its brand and experience work against that.

Having 40 per cent of your users mobile might vindicate the investment in mobile, but YouTube's paid channels are still the kind of thing which hovers above 200 on the Sky EPG and a long way from competing with the upstarts who've snatched the premium VoD market. ®

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