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CES '16: YouTube's 4 Reasons Why Online Video Will Win the Decade
The leading online video network is investing in new technologies, and knows that the future belongs to mobile viewing and virtual reality.

The only things we do more than watch video are work and sleep. That comes from Robert Kyncl, chief business officer of YouTube, who delivered a keynote address today at CES.

The youngest millennials watch more digital video each day than they do TV, Kyncl said. The average viewer now watches 1 hour 15 minutes of digital video per day, a number that will grow. "I don't think digital video will grow linearly; I think it will grow exponentially."

To explain why YouTube will continue its impressive growth, Kyncl offered four reasons why digital video will win the decade, displacing TV. First, it's inherently mobile. Phones are getting bigger and brighter, and offer better audio. The mobile video experience is thus improving. With online video, there's no more fighting over a TV remote; everyone in the family can watch what they like. Second, digital video is diverse. "YouTube has the biggest library in the world," Kyncl said. It's a democratic platform where anyone can create something everyone can watch. Kyncl took the moment to plug YouTube Red, the company's recently launched subscription service, that offers exclusive content from top YouTube creators. "It is a lot more attainable to be the next PewDiePie than to be the next Tom Cruise."

Kyncl's third reason is that digital video is music. More than half of teens use YouTube as their main method of finding and listening to recording artists, he said. Artists earn revenue from YouTube plays, and the company has to-date paid over $3 billion to the music industry. Fourth, digital video can provide a more immersive experience on mobile devices than it does on computers or TVs. YouTube was an early proponent of 360-degree video, Kyncl said. It teamed up with GoPro to create the Odyssey 360-degree camera, and is putting VR cameras in its studios around the world.

During the keynote, Kyncl was joined by music producer Scooter Braun, GoPro CEO and founder Nick Woodman, and Vrse founder and CEO Chris Milk. Kyncl mentioned as an aside that YouTube will support HDR, but offered no details. A YouTube rep later said the support will come sometime this year, but also offered no details.

Four years ago, Kyncl gave a CES keynote where he offered little but stats on YouTube impressive growth. He did that again today. YouTube's stars get more viewers than any other online video platform, but YouTube's executives have surprisingly little to say.

Robert Kyncl

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