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

  • YouTube says its service now has 1.5 billion monthly users.
  • Company CEO Susan Wojcicki says in a blog post its users spend "over an hour a day" watching video on mobile devices.
  • YouTube Red service will add 12 new original series to the 37 it already has
Susan Wojcicki, chief executive officer of YouTube.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Susan Wojcicki, chief executive officer of YouTube.

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:

Wojcicki also wrote that YouTube Red, the company's foray into original videos, has launched 37 series that have generated "nearly a quarter billion views."

YouTube Red has 12 new projects in the works, she said.

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.