YouTube Leanback Aims To Extend Video Viewing Time | Launch Alongside Google TV

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youtube-logoYouTube is very happy to have its fifth birthday, and with a record number of people watching a record number of videos for a record amount of time. But it wants more. It wants to compete with the behemoth that is broadcast television.

Online Vs Broadcast TV

As popular as online video is right now, it’s still massively behind broadcast TV in terms of the amount of time spent watching. In essence, if something is available on traditional television, most people will choose that method of viewing than the online option.

Looking To The Future

Two weeks ago, YouTube celebrated its fifth birthday, and used the opportunity to announce it now serves two billion video views a day.

Tucked away inside the blog post was a paragraph insisting that this is just the beginning. The particular desire is to up the amount of time people spend watching YouTube, which is still minuscule compared to television.

Although the average user spends 15 minutes a day on YouTube, that’s tiny compared to the five hours a day people spend watching TV. Clearly, we need to give you more reason to watch more videos! And we want to give you all the tools and support to make YouTube both your career and your community. After all, this is only the beginning of the video revolution. We’re just getting started.

The New York Times

has some details about what this may mean.

YouTube Leanback

YouTube is preparing to launch YouTube Leanback, which will make its debut alongside Google TV in the U.S. this fall. YouTube Leanback is, as its name suggests, an effort to turn YouTube into a more TV-style experience.

YouTube Leanback will have a separate domain and will offer an uncluttered experience which will remove options to make decisions on which videos to watch in favor of a continuous flow of programming. A mixture of long and short.

A video will begin playing as soon as the site is visited, and carry on until the user navigates away. Which sounds similar to NowMov, a San Francisco startup which uses Twitter as its source for choosing which YouTube videos to play.


Persuading people to watch online video on their TV is key to growing the market. Google TV looks to provide that, and YouTube Leanback could prove to be a popular part of that service.

It does seem to be a strange decision to take the options out of the YouTube experience, but Leanback provides, in itself, another option to viewers.