Viewing habits around YouTube are changing. What once used to be a site that was mainly visited through a computer or cell phone is now being viewed at an increasing rate via connected TVs (CTV).
In fact, according to the company’s chief product officer Neal Mohan, TV screens are the fastest-growing area for the Google-owned company, per The Guardian.
Instead of coming home, sitting on the couch and scrolling through YouTube’s mobile website on their phone, consumers are choosing to launch the YouTube app on the largest screen in the house. Mohan said that this shift in viewing habits is most prevalent in Europe, where watch time on connected TVs has grown 45 percent year over year.
YouTube isn’t the only company experiencing increased watch time on connected TVs. In general, CTV use has been on the rise over the past several years. In Q2, viewing hours on CTVs increased by 115 percent compared to the same period last year, according to a report from Conviva released in August.
A large portion of this rise in viewership is a result of an increase in consumer adoption of streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire, which gives regular TVs connected capabilities. For example, viewing hours spent on Roku for Q1 2018 grew by 80 percent y/y to over 1 billion hours while viewing hours on Apple TV grew by 709 percent to 255 million hours, according to Conviva. Following this trend, digital publishers have started to expand their distribution strategy to include CTVs.
This year both Condé Nast and Refinery29 announced plans to launch TV apps. Condé Nast will launch three separate streaming apps for its brands Wired, Bon Appétit, and GQ. In addition to standalone apps, many digital-first companies have launched channels on OTT TV services. For example, Revry, AwesomnessTV, Geek & Sundry, Cracked, Jash, TYT Network, Cheddar and Jukin Media have all partnered with PlutoTV to make their content more accessible to those viewing via connected TVs.