YouTube is world’s biggest streaming service by far. On an average, the platform sees a total of more than a billion hours of videos watched on its website and apps. However, have you ever thought, why people consume so much content on YouTube?
Well, you might think people like you and me are in control of our watching habits and we decide what to consume but if YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan is to be believed, 70% of the content that people watch on YouTube is because of YouTube’s recommended feed.
Yes, you read that right. Out of a billion hours of YouTube video watched every day, 700 million hours watched are because people like what they see in their recommendations and keep on watching. In fact, Neal Mohan further said that,
“If you’re watching on mobile, the average watching session lasts more than 60 minutes, because of what our recommendations engines are putting in front of you.”
This shows the power of Google’s software prowess. The ability to scour the ever-increasing catalog of the YouTube and send a personalized feed to everybody who is consuming content on YouTube, that too with such accuracy that 70% of their watch time is spent on watching recommended videos is extraordinary.
YouTube has long been reigning supreme at the free video streaming side of things. It has everything to gain with increasing watch time hours on its platform as its ad supported and more watch time directly results in more ad commissions. Moreover, the ad-revenues keep on attracting more and more new creators who keep viewers engaged with their content and the cycle goes on.
Still, to think that 70% of my time spent on YouTube is because the platform is designing an experience to keep me locked in is scary. It almost feels like being in a casino where everything is designed to make you keep playing and keep loosing. So next time, when you are spending too much time on YouTube watching videos, remember that 70% of it is not by your choice.