YouTube's big-screen audience is growing fast


YouTube viewership is increasingly shifting away from phones and over to the big screen. The company has seen a “dramatic shift in viewing patterns,” with more than 100 million people watching YouTube or YouTube TV on televisions in the United States each month. Watch time on televisions has also increased: up 80 percent since last year, while live content watch time grew 250 percent in March, compared with 2019.

YouTube highlighted the stats as part of its NewFronts presentation, an industry event aimed at digital advertisers. The company also announced a new lineup of original programming, including “Ultimate Home Championship,” a virtual competition starring athletes and YouTube personalities, who will compete in “at home” events like “laundry hamper basketball.” The show will be hosted by Stephen Curry and will raise money for COVID-19 relief.

Google has long tried to push YouTube off of just phones and onto larger screens. Now, it looks like those efforts are paying off. That shift has also likely been accelerated in recent months by the coronavirus pandemic, as many people have been stuck at home with more time to spend in front of their TVs.

YouTube also shared how viewing habits have shifted during the pandemic. Views of sourdough-related content skyrocketed more than 400 percent between mid-March and the end of May, compared with the beginning of the year, according to the company. Cooking-related videos also jumped 45 percent compared with last year, while “workout at home” videos climbed 200 percent since mid-March.

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