[mobile business briefing] Francisco Varela, head of platform partnerships at YouTube, yesterday told delegates that the company’s new high-end mobile website (codenamed Blazer) would provide a “best-in-class” video search experience from a mobile, and address many of the earlier issues with YouTube mobile services. Admitting that YouTube's mobile platforms had previously offered a fragmented experience, Varela said that the Blazer platform – currently only available on next-generation browsers found on Android and iPhone handsets – tackled the issues that the company's research proved mattered the most. “A mobile video experience needs to be fast, contain personalisation features and have comprehensive access to a library of content,” he said. “Blazer gets us closer to ticking all those boxes.” Varela said that the vast majority of the YouTube catalogue would be available to access by search on the Blazer platform and claimed that the iconic website was now the second most searched site in the world. “A YouTube search often reveals and entertains far more than a traditional web search,” he said.
Varela also revealed that – despite those previous issues and limitations – mobile viewing of YouTube content grew by 160 percent in 2009 and that strong growth was also expected in 2010. He contrasted the current situation with the launch of YouTube mobile in 2007, complete with a total library of 12 daily videos selected and approved by the channel and its operator partner, Verizon. At the same time, YouTube also launched with Vodafone with a total catalogue of 1,000 videos available to search. “Mobile broadband services need to echo and support the growing demand among users for immediate mobile access to high quality video from a vast library of content at an affordable price. YouTube – together with a compelling operator data plan - can provide that through the Blazer platform,” concluded Varela.
YouTube strengthens mobile focus