YouTube sets sights on TV advertising revenue

Company wants average viewing to increase to five hours per day.
YouTube CEO Chad Hurley.
YouTube CEO Chad Hurley.

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The CEO and co-founder of video sharing site YouTube has revealed that the company is seeking to increase the average length of time that viewers spend on the site per day from 15 minutes to five hours, as it looks to exploit the traditional TV advertising market.

In a rare interview with media in the UK to mark YouTube’s fifth Anniversary Chad Hurley said the company had a clear strategy to boost its revenues.

“More minutes on our site equals more money,” said Hurley.

“People think about the world of TV and the world of online video as being different ways to distribute video. But what happens when every TV is connected to wi-fi with a browser? What does that mean for your distribution opportunities? What happens when those worlds collide and it is just one thing [sic]? Instead there is just one world, the world of video, and people everywhere are putting ads against everything and there isn’t a difference. There won’t be a difference in the future.”

As the largest and best-known online video portal, YouTube is confident it can exploit the convergence of video viewing platforms.

“Although YouTube is the most successful video platform, the number of minutes watched -- 10-15 minutes a day -- is small when compared to the five hours watched on the TV set,” said Salar Kamangar, VP of product management, YouTube. “It’s hard for me to imagine that in five to 10 years from now, most of the content we consume won’t be delivered over the internet.

“Once the number of minutes is large enough that brings along with it a whole new set of revenue opportunities such as the future of the way people buy TV ads, the ads purchasing process, the way you track it and report it.”

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