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Google: YouTube Now Beating Cable

The news comes as it plans to offer a new for pay premium service.


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YouTube now reaches more people in the coveted 18 – 49 year old demographic than any American cable network. This according to Google, which acquired the live streaming video service in 2006.

In an earnings conference call last week, the company boasted that the average viewing time for YouTube has doubled from 20 to 40 minutes with most of its traffic coming from mobile devices.

This is good news for YouTube which must now contend with Facebook’s video streaming services.

The company is also planning to soon offer its own for pay premium service. But it has not yet signed up any television networks to provide programming for it. In fact, cable channels such as HBO have been moving to provide their own for pay live streaming services. But YouTube has already signed up 90% of its current content partners for the new service.

In a statement the company said, “We are progressing according to plan. We have support from the overwhelming majority of our partners, with well over 90 percent of YouTube watchtime covered by agreements, and more in the pipeline about to close.”

But it remains to be seen if the millions of YouTube aficionados around the world will be interested in paying for such a service. Today they get to see all sorts of silly amateur clips, segments from talk shows like the Tonight Show, and even entire movies for free.

It is also no sure thing that it will be able to take away market share from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus which all offer for pay programming services and have been doing so for a while now.

But Google is painting a bright picture for the future of YouTube to its investors.

Google CFO Ruth Porat told investors in the conference call, “Key highlights this quarter include ongoing momentum in our core Search business, particularly mobile, complemented by significant growth in YouTube revenues.”

“In addition, we are increasingly benefiting from the shift toward programmatic advertising, particularly among brand advertisers. These strong top line results were complemented by ongoing operating expense discipline in the quarter, as reflected in 13% year-over-year growth in GAAP operating income and 16% year-over-year growth in non-GAAP operating income.”

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