YouTube claims 1.5 billion monthly users as it races to boost video-ad business

Google’s YouTube unit says it now reaches 1.5 billion viewers every month — and its users watch more than an hour of mobile videos per day — as it expands its video programming to sell more digital ads.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki shared the news in a blog post the same day she gave a keynote address at VidCon, a conference for online video creators in Anaheim, California.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted about the milestone soon after Wojcicki’s post:

“Great momentum @YouTube: 1.5B monthly viewers, new VR180 format and more! https://twitter.com/SusanWojcicki/status/878003667701334016 

In addition, YouTube TV will expand to 10 more markets “in just a couple of weeks,” including Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington, D.C., Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Miami, Orlando and Charlotte, N.C.

And YouTube also unveiled a new virtual reality technology, called VR180, that will make it easier for video creators to make VR content.

The company is working with camera makers to create products that can feature the new technology, which shows only a view of what’s in front of a VR camera, rather than a 360-degree view of a scene.

In April, rival Facebook unveiled a new VR camera that employs a 360-degree view.

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