More than a third of all YouTube viewing comes from longform content

Looks like YouTube’s (S GOOG) push towards professional and longform content is starting have a real impact on what people are watching on the site: More than a third of all video viewing time on YouTube can be attributed to videos that are 20 minutes or longer. The new data point was mentioned by YouTube representatives at an internal event for YouTube partners in Los Angeles Tuesday, and later confirmed by a YouTube spokesperson.

During the same event, YouTube representatives also said that one third of all YouTube searches are news-related and that over 80 percent of all YouTube traffic now comes from outside of the U.S.

The impact of longform content is particularly noteworthy, considering that not too long ago, YouTube barred publishers from uploading videos that were longer than 10 minutes to prevent copyright infringement. The Google-owned video service gradually got rid of these limits after it started to use content filters to prevent infringement, and it has in recent months launched a number of initiatives to push producers as well as viewers towards longform content.

YouTube started paying millions of dollars in advances to a number of channels to increase the production of professional content two years ago. The service has also been adding more and more live programming to the site, both by allowing more publishers to go live as well as by producing its own events, like the recent YouTube Music Awards. Production facilities like the YouTube Space Los Angeles are also meant to boost professional, longform video, and a push towards more viewing on TVs is likely resulting in longer viewing times as well.

YouTube each month now gets more than one billion unique visitors, who watch more than 6 billion hours of content. More than 40 percent of that viewing happens on mobile devices. Earlier this week, network management specialist Sandvine said that YouTube is now responsible for 18.69 percent of all peak residential downstream traffic in North America.