Is YouTube More Popular Than TV?
YouTube was primarily known for amateur web video production in its early days, but as it transitions towards commercial internet video marketing with full-length feature films, it will begin to compete with network television. Many statistics are available that compare the popularity of YouTube with that of television.
YouTube’s beta test began on May 2005 and the site officially launched in Nov. 2005. The company announced in July 2006 that 65,000 videos were being uploaded each day. The site was also receiving 100 million views per day at that time. The marketing research firm comScore also reported that YouTube had 43 percent of the online videos in May 2010, resulting in over 14 billion views of its' videos for that month. YouTube reported in Jan. 2012 that it receives about 60 hours of video each minute, 25 percent of which comes from the United States. It also received about 800 million visitors during that month. Web information provider Alexa currently shows that YouTube.com has the third largest amount of traffic on the Internet, after Facebook and Google.
YouTube entered into an advertising partnership with NBC in 2006. It also made agreements in 2008 with film producers such as CBS, Lions Gate Entertainment and MGM that allows those companies to post films and television shows on YouTube. It also advertised these videos, which only appeared for viewers in the US. It launched a similar version of this page for UK viewers in 2009, which included about 4,000 shows from over 60 film producers. YouTube also launched a film rental service in 2010 that allows users in Canada, the UK and the US to view more than 6,000 films as of May 2011. YouTube.com also streams sporting events for free, starting with cricket matches in March 2010. This marked the first time that a major sporting event was broadcast for free.
Google reported that YouTube launched a redesign of its website in March 2010. The primary purpose of the new design was to simplify the interface to keep the users captivated, according to a Google product manager. The new site was successful, increasing traffic to two billion views per day by May 2010 and three billion views each day by May 2011. The most recent figures from YouTube shows that users view four billion videos per day as of Jan. 2012.
Television is still far more popular than YouTube in terms of viewing time. The New Yorker reported in Jan. 2012 that Americans who watch television spend an average of four to five hours per day doing so, whereas YouTube visitors spend only 15 minutes each day on the site. Former product manager Rick Klau says that one primary reason for this difference is that it provides viewers with at least seven opportunities to opt out every half hour.
A study by Forrester Research estimates that half of the households in the United States will have televisions that are enabled with Wi-Fi. This development will allow members of these households to view YouTube videos from their television as if it were a regular channel. This may eventually cause cable and network customers to cancel their subscriptions, forcing these companies to purchase Web-based channels.
Emmet M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.
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