YouTube grapples with speed, video quality on mobile devices

A YouTube executive told attendees of Huawei's Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2010 that one of the company's largest challenges is providing end users with the same YouTube experience on their mobile devices as on the desktop.

"Everything people are watching online, people want to see on their mobile phone," said Francisco Varela, YouTube's head of platform partnerships. He explained how unhappy users get when they can only access a small number of preselected videos on their mobile devices. "They want the true YouTube experience they can get at home," he said.

Varela also said that another challenge YouTube is facing is the growing pressure to increase both the speed and video quality on mobile devices--two factors that are key to expanding YouTube's viewership on mobile phones.

According to mobile web platform provider Byetmobile's second-quarter 2010 Mobilt Minute Metrics report, YouTube now represents 36 percent of total video traffic on wireless networks worldwide. Interestingly, Varela said most mobile YouTube video consumption is coming over WiFi rather than 3G networks because the quality is better. To increase video speed and offer better quality videos, Varela touted YouTube's recently introduced high-end mobile website, Blazer.

Varela also stressed the need for partnerships and discussions with operators as YouTube wants to learn and understand what operators are searching for. He said YouTube services are "absolutely at the core of what operators want to bring consumers."

For more:
- see this RCR News article

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