Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]
YouTube has been on a veritable tear lately. Traffic has been skyrocketing, and according to Compete YouTube is now the number four website on the internet. But that is only the beginning of the story. Compete, while a useful tool, has never been famed for its accuracy. They have it wrong: YouTube is bigger than you ever dreamed.
YouTube is now serving one billion videos daily. Roughly, given a world population of around 6.8 billion, that works out to just shy of one video per seven living humans, each and every day. If you look at the traffic trends that Alexa, Compete, or Quantcast can give you (look over the last year), you can only reach one conclusion: YouTube is still growing faster, much faster, than the internet as a whole. This growth makes YouTube now, or in the near future the world’s largest single media hub. Not the worlds largest communication medium, radio and television are still larger in aggregate than YouTube. But, YouTube is now most likely the largest single deliverer of content in the world.
This comes at little surprise, YouTube was rumored to be serving 1.2 billion videos daily in June. But, to have a clear number from Google that they are willing to share must indeed be worrying to the rest of the world’s media delivery platforms. YouTube has gone from being an internet phenomenon to being the single largest powerhouse in existence. What do you bet that we see an increasing number of lawsuits against the site in coming months?
Of course, YouTube is still rumored to lose money by the bucketful. We can only hope that with Google’s new monetization schemes of selling music and ringtones over videos that have musical content must be making some positive impact on the website’s earnings. If Google can get the website to cash flow neutrality, it will cement a long term Google hegemony in online video, akin to their current dominance of search.
One billion views per day, is three daily for every US citizen, or two for every EU citizen. But even with its immense size, recall the traffic graphs: YouTube is only going to get bigger. How long until it reaches two billion daily views?
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