YouTube is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think Facebook Video is big, but that’s just peanuts to YouTube.
To some of you, YouTube is just this place where you can watch music videos, how-to guides for things you’re trying to do, or to just watch something funny. For others, it’s a way to follow interesting vloggers and get entertained on a daily basis by the people they’re following. There’s even a cult of viewers interested in watching normal people un-box stuff they’ve bought.
Whether you’re actively socializing on YouTube or just watching random content, it’s pretty safe to say there are millions of people who see it differently to you. It’s not just a social network, and it’s not just a video hosting site. It’s an enormous sea of information and entertainment run by everyday kids, entertaining weirdos, people teaching stuff, brands and everyone in between.
What? Don’t believe me? Let’s see some stats.
400 Hours Of Video Per Minute
YouTube’s statistics at the end of 2015 claim that more than 400 hours of video was uploaded to the site per minute. ReelSEO forecasts that this could already have increased to as much as 500 hours of video per minute.
One-Third of the World on YouTube
At over one billion users, YouTube has over a third of the entire population of the Internet as users. That creates quite a diverse, multicultural melting pot of activity!
Most-Watched Non-Music Video: Charlie Bit My Finger
You must have seen it (almost everyone else has!): Charlie, well, he bites. At 833,698,293 plays and rising, these two adorable brothers have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for that little moment. And they’re not even out of school yet!
Half of YouTube’s Viewers Are on Mobile
Actually, it’s more than half. You might think you’re an average viewer, sitting there at your computer or laptop. But most of YouTube’s viewers are actually on a smartphone or tablet, probably hiding in their bedroom.
So, keep that in mind when you’re considering adding annotations to your videos, as mobile viewers can’t use these. Use cards instead.
Average of 40 Minute Sessions
On mobile, viewers are spending an average of 40 minutes watching content every time they open the app. That’s a LOT of viewing hours. Now, that’s just the mobile users, but don’t forget just how many of them there are.
It’s All Because of a Wardrobe Malfunction
After the Superbowl event where Janet Jackson had her famous Wardrobe malfunction, Jawed Karim found himself wondering “Why can’t I see this footage anywhere?”. And this is why YouTube was invented. Yes, we owe it all to one exposed breast.
You Can Play Snake When Buffering
Those moments when YouTube is buffering? Press an arrow key to start a game of snake. So cool!
Bigger Than Cable for Under 50s
In the US, YouTube claims to reach more 18-49-year-olds than any cable network. That doesn’t account for brief visits, but you can guess most people come back fairly often. And with people averaging those long 40-minute sessions and subscribing to YouTube Red, I don’t think YouTube are worried about low engagement.
“Hello” Got Over 100 Million Views in Five Days
Five days is all Adele took to get to 100 million views on YouTube, making “Hello” the fastest video of 2015 to reach that number. It’s the second-fastest video to reach that figure, with Psy’s “Gentleman” reaching the mark in only four days. Adele actually hit the 50 million mark with “Hello” in the first 48 hours, making it the biggest YouTube video debut of 2015 and one of the biggest debuts of all time.
Minecraft is King
Cutting out vague searches like “music” and “movies”, the top YouTube searches were for “Minecraft”, “Frozen”, “Drake”, “Beyonce”, “PewDiePie”, “Happy” and “Eminem”, with Minecraft topping the bill at a huge 75%. The Observer predicts that we’re now reaching an Internet dystopia where we all watch other people living their lives.
80% of Views From Outside the US
YouTube says over 80% of views were from outside the US. They didn’t say which country topped the charts, though.
Most Watched Video is Gangnam Style
Gangnam style is the most watched video ever, currently sitting on just under 2.5 billion views. I’m guessing a lot of views came from people musing over the following fact.
Gangnam Style Passed YouTube’s Original Count Limit
Psy’s Gangnam Style video very nearly hit the 2,147,483,647 play count limit in YouTube’s code. The coders were forced to quickly rewrite a few things to change the play count limit, so we can all aim for 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 plays now. Is that high enough for you?
Facebook Still Has More Users
YouTube Started as a Dating Site
Presumably co-founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim weren’t quite satisfied after finally seeing the Wardrobe Malfunction incident, as they started YouTube as a dating site. If you don’t believe me, check out the Wayback Machine’s archived version of the 2005 YouTube. Apparently it was based on the “Hot or Not” site, but it didn’t really catch on.
No-One Knew Who This Popular YouTuber Was
FunToyzCollector unboxes the sorts of glitzy Disney and Play Doh toys that no-one buys because they’re just fancy versions of something your kids already have. This is possibly the key to why people watch videos of her opening up the boxes and checking the toys out.
What do we definitely know about this person? Not much at all: she has cool nails and earns a LOT of money. Although Daily Mail is certain that the person behind the account is Daiane DeJesus, also known as porn star Sandy Summers. No, she hasn’t confirmed this.
30% of Videos Account for 99% of Traffic
In April of 2011, a YouTube software engineer revealed that almost all of YouTube’s traffic came from 30% of the videos. It’s possible that this statistic hasn’t changed much since then, as lots of people are just uploading videos to share with family and friends.
YouTube Upset UTube
When YouTube first registered the domain in 2005, an Ohio-based company called Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment got quite upset. They got lots of confused visitors to their utube.com domain and tried to sue YouTube. Eventually they moved on to utubeonline.com.
The First Video Was “Me At The Zoo”
On of the co-founders, Jawed Karim, uploaded the very first video on YouTube on 23rd April 2005. It’s basically just him checking out some elephants at the San Diego Zoo.
Everyone’s Uploading Cat Videos
You thought that was a joke, right? It’s not. Well, not entirely.
Pew Research says that out of the Americans who uploaded a video in 2013, 45% of them claimed to have uploaded at least one video of their pet or some other animal. They didn’t ask how many videos of cats this included, but who uploads JUST ONE video of their cat?
The Founders Came From PayPal
The YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim all met while they were working at PayPal. So we can thank the startup world for bringing smart entrepreneurs together once again.