YouTube’s Humble Beginnings to an Important Global Business

YouTube’s draw to public attention in all its forms has made the developers, owners, advertising companies and many users quite a hefty sum of money. The 3 original creators I mentioned in my last blog made $1.65 billion form Google in their sale of YouTube [1], and Google are still reaping the benefits from their acquisition through the huge amounts of money they’ve made from advertising. It would be expected that the 3rd most popular site on the web would allow the executives of Google to sit fairly comfortably on top of the healthy cash cow.

Experts have even analysed the possible return YouTube has, Peter Kafka from the Wall Street Journal said “Since Google releases almost no information about YouTube’s financial performance, the best we can do is make educated guesses. Here’s another one: The word’s biggest video site will generate over $1.1 billion in revenue by 2011, and Google will keep about $700 million of that.” Although this is a statement made over 3 years ago, much of it still rings true to its current performance. Further down in the article goes on to claim “this estimate comes from Citigroup’s (C) Mark Mahaney, who notes that the site continues to grow and that it is placing more ads on more videos” [2], indeed the site has grown and expanded being used more in other websites to share videos and more subscribers.

Is amazing to think that how many users there are on the website. I myself have account on the website and many others I know as well, and while I personally don’t upload videos the account make me an active user commenting, liking and saving videos. According to YouTube’s own website 1 billion people are using it each month and “according to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network”, “Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3x since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4x since last year”[3]. And considering that the other top 2 social media website on the Internet are abundant with YouTube links its easy to see where these figures come form and the appeal to companies wanting to advertise their product to a large and diverse audience. The graph below even shows the increase in users over the past 2 years.

Image

Graph 1.  Fortune 500 corporate social media usage, from a study by university of Massachusetts [4].

The advertisements generally on the website consist of many different things, such as joining universities, new movie release and tv shows, public messages, road safety ads, anything. The advertisements on the side not overshadowing the videos are fine but almost every single video shoving more junk at me that I don’t care about before every video can get annoying. Letting the ad run and waiting for the “skip in 5… 4… 3…” seems like an eternity. The red bull ads being the worst and always unskippable just frustrates me, but I guess that’s advertisement’s achieving their ultimate goal, for me to watch their ads even if I don’t want to but have no other choice.

With YouTube on almost every new phone it can be accessed anywhere, and if not to download it is free, although the ads still play before most videos unfortunately. Having the ability to play videos on the go, update my account and upload a video (most mobiles can even upload directly without the need of a computer) shows how integral the site has become in a modern world. According to YouTube “Mobile makes up almost 40% of YouTube’s global watch time” [5], this is probably due to a mix of young people using YouTube, how advanced mobile phone have now become and that many of the videos on YouTube are uploaded from mobile phones.

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Image 1. A common view of the YouTube app on a mobile device. [7]

Having seen YouTube progression form humble project with an office run from above a pizzeria [8], to the now global network for sharing, creating and popularizing videos across the Internet with a massive headquarters  [9] in California its development and expansion are amazing. Its importance as an medium for advertising, sharing videos and information, employer and business is one of the many but most incredible rise of websites on this age.

-Aodh Maguire.

References:

  1. Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion, NBCnews.com, accessed 13/2/2014, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15196982/ns/business-us_business/t/google-buys-youtube-billion/#.Uv0aRUJ_uAY
  2. Another YouTube Revenue Guess: $1 Billion in 2011, Wall Street Journal online, accessed 17/2/2014 http://allthingsd.com/20100305/another-youtube-revenue-guess-1-billion-in-2011/
  3. Statistics, YouTube press page, accessed 17/2/2014, http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html
  4. Why social media platform is the right one? , Aquarius.biz, accessed 13/2/2014, http://www.aquarius.biz/en/2013/07/18/which-social-media-platform-is-the-right-one/
  5. Statistics, YouTube press page, accessed 19/2/2014, http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html
  6. YouTube: iPhone Already Accounts for Half of Mobile Uploads, http://gigaom.com/. accessed 20/2/2014, http://gigaom.com/2009/06/25/youtube-iphone-already-accounts-for-half-of-mobile-uploads/
  7. A Brief History of YouTube, google.com, accessed 20/2/2014, https://sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/youtube5year/home/short-story-of-youtube
  8. A Brief History of YouTube, google.com, accessed 20/2/2014, https://sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/youtube5year/home/short-story-of-youtube
  9. Google San Bruno (YouTube), google.ie, accessed 21/2/2014, http://www.google.ie/about/jobs/locations/san-bruno/
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