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YouTube sees news content viewership increase by 75%

With the world battling the coronavirus pandemic, YouTube has revealed that viewership of news content on the site has skyrocketed by 75% in recent weeks.

Speaking to Bloomberg Television, the Google-owned video site’s chief product officer Neal Mohan said that viewers are “trying to consume as much information around this crisis – tt’s top of mind for everybody.”

While Mohan did not share the actual number of views, Google had previously noted that it reaches more than two billion viewers a month.

News content on YouTube is ranked by its “authoritativeness”, the company had said, utilising a combination of human judgement and automation.

As a part of its coronavirus efforts, YouTube has added an information tab linking to health agencies to its homepage and on videos that mention the virus.

Like other social sites, YouTube is attempting to nullify the spread of misleading and false videos. Mohan said that it has removed thousands of videos which have violated policies on disinformation, and that it has in particular restricted videos that fuel a conspiracy theory which links the spread of coronavirus to 5G networks.

In spite of the massive spike in viewership, YouTube has – like other social sites – seen a decline in ad sales as advertisers take a more conservative approach. One source cited by Bloomberg said that the ‘cost per mile’ (CPM, the cost an advertiser pays for one thousand views or clicks of an advertisement) for YouTube had fallen by 8% amid the pandemic.