YouTube's relaunch pays off

Users stay 60% longer as video giant offers longer TV shows as well as funny clips
By Rob Waugh

YouTube is successfully transforming into a full-blown web TV service - site users are staying 60 per cent longer than they did a year ago. The average time spent watching video on Google video sites is now 418.2 minutes per user, per month, according to Comscore data.

The shift is credited to YouTube's recent relaunch, which added a focus on TV-like 'Channels' and longer, professionally made shows. Google staff said that subscriptions to the site's 'Channels' have gone up 50 per cent since the 'new look' launched in December.

Professional approach: Advertisers prefer not to be next to user-generated content so earlier this year, YouTube announced a range of professionally produced channels from celebrities such as Madonna

'The data is a sign that YouTube's sizeable audience base is beginning to tune in for longer periods of time, rather than simply snacking and leaving,' said PaidContent. 'That result is at least in part a function of YouTube's decision to offer more compelling, longer-form content.'

Three billion videos are viewed on YouTube every day. Google is attempting to 'shift' the way people use the site, with the increased focus on 'Channels' a clear attempt to mirror services offered by TV stations.

The new look has made it easier to find 'channels' from the front page, with a black navigation menu on the left hand side which allows users to organise channels, rather than simply search for video using Google search.

'More and more, behind every great video is a great Channel,' said YouTube via its official blog.

'DIY' channels allow users to earn a percentage by signing up for Google's 'Partner' programme, where they earn some of the advertising revenue generated by the site. But YouTube will also offer professional content.

The site launched 100 new professionally produced channels in partnership with stars such as singer Madonna and actor Ashton Kutcher. Owner Google says that the channels will be on-demand services, each offering 25 hours of programming a day.

Many big-ticket advertisers are relucant to be seen alongside 'user-generated' videos, and would be happier with professionally produced, star-studded content.

The money is an advance on advertising money - Google is expected to recoup its outlay.

© Daily Mail, London

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