After an on-stage interview at the United States Code/Mobile Conference with Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s chief executive, an article was completed by The Guardian, to summarize her statements and to theorize as to future moves for the company. Wojcicki provided statistics at the conference that indicated that half of YouTube’s views now come from mobile devices, not from desktops. Previously, the company has declared that this statistic fell to almost forty percent, indicating a major upturn in mobile viewings. In addition to this, Wojcicki also stated that YouTube’s overall viewership and watch time continues to grow at an annual rate of fifty percent.
Seeing the patterns of the major increases, YouTube officials are considering some alternatives to their current business model. Currently, the organization earns most of its revenue through advertisements seen between videos. This model has been very beneficial to the company; according to Wojcicki, the fact that the service is free has allowed YouTube to accumulate millions of viewers. However, Wojcicki believes there will come a time when some viewers simply grow tired of seeing advertisements between their videos. Therefore, as an alternative, Wojcicki has pondered the idea of subscriptions, which would allow viewers to pay for an ad-free service.
Subscriptions are not a new concept for YouTube. In May of 2013, the company offered an opportunity to certain channel owners. The deal allowed the channel runners to charge their viewers to see videos, sans ads. The channel runner could then keep fifty five percent of the proceeds earned from the deal. Among those involved in this initial trial were Sesame Street, National Geographic and UFC. However, as early as July, National Geographic was publically declaring that the system wasn’t as revolutionary for their views as they had hoped it would be, claiming that they had planned to be setting the world on fire, but that they were doing anything but.
In addition to offering subscriptions to certain channels in the past, YouTube has announced a plan to offer a music subscription program. However, Wojcicki refused to release any details on the program or its launch date; she merely said she was optimistic it would be seen soon.