The online video giant recently announced it now handles over a billion hours of video viewing per day, and has claimed since 2014 that it's getting over half of its video traffic from mobile devices (the percentage could be much higher now). YouTube and mobile search ad growth were the biggest reasons Google's paid ad impressions/clicks rose 36% annually last quarter, and 43% on Google properties.
In addition, on Thursday, Facebook launched an ad campaign, said to be the biggest business-focused ad effort in its history, to get marketers to up their mobile video ad spend and create smartphone-optimized clips. The effort covers not only video ads on Facebook's core app, but also ones on Instagram and the company's mobile ad network (the Audience Network).
COO Sheryl Sandberg has already been talking on recent earnings calls about Facebook's attempts to work with advertisers on creating mobile-friendly material. On the last call, she mentioned Hershey's created Facebook video ads meant to grab a user's attention in the first few seconds, and which feature captions for those viewing without sound.
About 84% of the $8.6 billion in ad revenue Facebook recorded in the fourth quarter came from mobile devices. Its ad campaign for marketers comes as the company rolls out "mid-roll" video ads that appear in the middle of a video, and reportedly solicits pitches for TV-like original shows containing episodes that last up to 30 minutes.
Apple (AAPL) is taking steps in a similar direction, prepping a pair of shows for Apple Music subscribers. With one of the shows (Carpool Karaoke) featuring celebrities and musicians singing along to songs, and the other (Planet of the Apps) featuring developers making 60-second app pitches, it looks as if Apple is trying to create shows whose episodes don't need to be watched in full by iPhone/iPad users to be enjoyed.
And Verizon (VZ) has been operating its ad-supported Go90 mobile video service for nearly 18 months now. Go90, available for free to Verizon Wireless subs, features live events, shows and short-form videos from both traditional and online-focused content providers. Judging by recent layoffs and various reports, the service hasn't lived up to Verizon's high hopes.