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Summary:

YouTube is now serving 100 million videos per day on its mobile site, and it hopes to better monetize these videos with a new site design that goes live this afternoon. The new site features, among other things, better video playback quality and HTML5 video optimization.

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YouTube said on Wednesday that it is now serving 100 million videos a day on its mobile website, via its mobile apps and mobile website, which is relaunching this afternoon at m.youtube.com. The site is relaunching with better video playback quality and a more complete feature set that resembles the experience users are getting from the desktop.

YouTube Mobile Product Manager Andrey Doronichev said that the number of videos resembles YouTube’s overall metrics when it was bought by Google in fall of 2006. YouTube mobile has seen its video views grow by 160 percent in 2009, he added. Check out a quick interview with Doronichev below.

Here are the most important features of the new YouTube mobile site:

  • The site now utilizes H.264 MPEG-4 for video playback. This should notably improve the video playback quality over the iPhone and Android apps, which are still using H.263.
  • Users are able to switch between two different video playback qualities, with the higher quality clips streaming at around 250 kbps.
  • YouTube Mobile uses HTML5 video playback and utilizes a feature to pre-fetch clips.
  • The site offers the ability to browse YouTube channels, as well as video categories.
  • The UI has been designed for touchscreen devices and is optimized for HTML5-compliant mobile browsers.

Doronichev called the new YouTube mobile site “by far the most full-featured YouTube mobile implementation out there,” which is an interesting take on YouTube apps for iPhone and Android. He demoed the video playback quality in direct comparison to YouTube’s iPhone app, which was built by Apple. So why is the website better than the app experience? Building apps involves a lot of partners, including carriers and app stores, Doronichev said, adding: “With the site, we can iterate faster.”

There’s also another reason YouTube is emphasizing its mobile website over native apps: monetization. YouTube launched some initial monetization efforts for its mobile site back in March 2010 when it introduced banner ads on the site’s home page. However, Doronichev said today that these ad formats don’t actually allow revenue sharing with content owners since they’re not attached to individual videos.

Monetizing individual videos will allow YouTube to bring in more content for mobile consumption, and Doronichev said that YouTube is going to experiment with additional ad formats on its mobile site “in the nearest future.” These could include — but will not be limited to — monetization formats used on the desktop, including overlays and pre-roll ads. The good thing about the new site is that it allows YouTube to experiment with these formats, he said. “It’s very hard to do that with apps.”

Related content on GigaOm Pro: Report: The In-App Advertising Landscape (subscription required)

  1. So the m.youtube.com site basically links to .mp4 streams that are then played by the Youtube app media player app on the phone?

    My questions are these:

    Any way for the user to access full 480p, 720p, 1080p qualities on the phone?
    Any way for the user to launch videos from m.youtube.com in a totally uncontrolled media player app on the device, and thus be able to stream whichever resolution and bitrate the user wants?
    It’s being said that this upgrade introduces HTML5 video tag videos in m.youtube.com but how is that working? How come does the video open up in Youtube media player anyways? Or do the newest versions of Android and iOS come with HTML5 video tag playback support as somekind of full screen media player app in the device?

    For more than a year, users of the Archos media tablets have been able to stream 720p Youtube on their devices, but using the tricks implemented by Archos kind of unofficially. My question within Android, all Android devices, does Google support delivery of 480p, 720p and 1080p qualities and if not currently in the Youtube player app, then in which app and when? Or when will there be Youtube player apps that support such up to HD quality streaming in Android?

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  2. Before you ask, HD playback on Android is relevant as for example Archos media players have supported HDMI output to a HDTV for nearly 2 years. As more and more phones are coming with HDMI output. As there are Android tablets coming with HD resolution screens. As there are Android powered set-top-boxes (not only Google TV boxes) coming with HDMI outputs. As all new Android devices come with ARM processors that come with DSP and GPU that hardware accelerate up to 720p and even 1080p video playback, thus, logically, Youtube HD should be supported on ALL Android devices. Is it going to be?

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  3. [...] signs that mobile video consumption is already climbing, look no further than YouTube, which announced today it had crossed 100 million mobile video plays per day — making its mobile video volume about [...]

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  4. [...] signs that mobile video consumption is already climbing, look no further than YouTube, which announced today it had crossed 100 million mobile video plays per day — making its mobile video volume about [...]

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  5. Does this mean Google is going to open up YouTube Mobile so Apple can serve iAds on the videos there? Maybe Apple should complain to the FTC, too.

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  6. [...] NewTeeVee YouTube says that the number of video views streamed to mobile devices has increased by 160% over [...]

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  7. [...] manager Andrey Doronichev made the pro-web app stance explicit at a press conference yesterday, as Janko reported: Doronichev called the new YouTube mobile site “by far the most full-featured YouTube mobile [...]

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  8. [...] YouTube is now serving 100 million videos per day on its mobile site, and it hopes to better monetize these videos with a new site design that goes live this afternoon. The new site features, among other things, better video playback quality and HTML5 video optimization. Read ahead [...]

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  9. [...] manager Andrey Doronichev made the pro-web app stance explicit at a press conference yesterday, as Janko reported: Doronichev called the new YouTube mobile site “by far the most full-featured YouTube mobile [...]

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  10. [...] Blazer mobile web platform, which was launched earlier this summer and available on Apple iOS and Android mobile devices, seeks to shift viewing away from dedicated [...]

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