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Good News for YouTube: YouTube Says People Love Mobile Ads

They're more likely to watch and share ads on their phone, says the world's biggest video service -- which happens to be a mobile-first company.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

How do you get people to watch your ads, then share them with their friends?

Easy! Just show your ads to people who are watching videos on their phones.

That answer comes from YouTube, citing new research. Not a coincidence: The world’s biggest video player now generates more than half of its traffic from mobile. So take this with as much salt as you’d like.

Still, YouTube’s data, generated via a survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, is at least thought-provoking. Google’s video site says mobile viewers are 1.4x more likely to watch ads when they’re on phones than when they’re on PCs or watching TV. And it says they are 1.8x more likely to share those ads.

I can imagine why phone users would be more engaged with video than those on other devices, since phones are personal and can command more of your attention than other screens.

But I don’t know why that connection would necessarily transfer to ads. Ads are the things keeping you away from the stuff you actually want to see — and the things that YouTube is going to let you ignore altogether with the ad-free subscription service it wants to launch this year.

Educated guess: I think YouTube execs will be talking about this stuff onstage in New York next Wednesday, at the company’s annual “Brandcast” sales event for advertisers. I’ll report back then.

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