Francis Bea

YouTube is changing constantly, like Facebook, and the way advertisers should approach the social video platform as a marketing channel should be constantly re-evaluated. Laura Lee, YouTube’s Head of Entertainment East Coast Partnerships, and Kevin Doohan, Machinima’s Executive VP of Marketing, spoke at the ad:tech panel “What You Don’t Know About YouTube (And How It Will Change Your Media Plan)” and disclosed some statistics that may be helpful for advertisers to use when pitching YouTube as a viable marketing platform.

YouTube by the numbers

Lee began by telling us that YouTube is on 350 million devices and 800 million users are visiting the social video site every month. That equals 4 billion viewing hours per month. To put this into perspective, it’s like watching seven Super Bowls every 30 minutes.

Lee acknowledged that the future of YouTube is driven by mobile. YouTube has seen a 300 percent increase in viewership in the last year, and 25 percent of that total viewership comes from mobile. What this means, Lee says, is that YouTube is not only a platform for the distribution of content but also “truly a platform for all of your fans to engage with and on.”

How YouTube’s original channels are fairing

The question that Lee says she gets asked a lot is how the original channels that YouTube funded for $300 million are performing. According to the latest figures, the top 25 channels have on average 100,000 subscribers and 1 million weekly views.

YouTube’s TrueView ad product

YouTube is thankful that it was able to bring on blue chip advertisers including Johnson & Johnson, Toyota, Unilever and many others. “We’re glad that we’re finally able to piece together that marketplace,” says Lee.

And with advertisers in place, YouTube went to the drawing board to figure out an advertising strategy that would be a happy middle ground between the advertisers, viewers and creators. The result was TrueView, as many of you may be familiar with already. TrueView offers ads that viewers can skip through after five seconds or offers a choice between ads. Advertisers aren’t charged for ads that have been skipped through before 30 seconds.

But as you may remember, Fred Wilson was vociferous during his ad:tech keynote about his distaste for YouTube’s TrueView ad product. Despite Wilson’s sentiment, there appears to be merit to TrueView’s existence and growth, which is particularly gaining ground in the United States. The revenue in the United States, based on the skippable ads, according to Lee, actually is the same as the revenue that cable companies are generating when compared on a per hour basis.

Machinima’s tip to advertisers

Machinima’s Doohan added a point that resonated with the audience since not every advertiser may realize this. YouTube is a hub where influencers, targeting all different types of audiences, converge. “You have the opportunity to get these large groups of content creators and have them be your spokesperson in a really, really authentic way.” An example, Doohan discussed without giving away too many details, is a large video game publisher that invited YouTube’s content creators to engage with the publisher by creating videos in the publisher’s effort to drive traffic back to its website. “The traffic just went through the roof on the landing page. So this is the value with these guys. They all have authentic voices, and they all have their own audiences who are very loyal,” Doohan revealed.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech New York event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.