As it celebrates its 5th birthday, YouTube announced on its blog that it is now serving over 2 billion views per day to over 200 countries. It also gave a hint at future developments currently in the pipeline.
What's In The Works
The company, which was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion in November 2006, ambitions to boost its search capacities "to make it even easier for you to sort through and find the videos that matter to you".
Allowing more sophisticated search algorithms would certainly boost dwell time as viewers currently spend a mere 15 minutes a day on the site, compared with a full five-hour sojourn in front of the television.
In 2009 alone, better search and discovery capacities as well as additional content boosted daily minutes per user by 55%.
A Few Statistics
According to data compiled by Website-Monitoring.com, YouTube nevertheless monetizes over 1 billion video views per week globally, with 70% of its traffic originating from outside the U.S. With 24 hours of videos uploaded every minute, no wonder the number of advertisers using display ads on the site grew tenfold in the past year, despite the gloomy economic context. Over 3 millions people are connected on YouTube and autosharing content to at least one social network , with Facebook coming first at an amazing 46.2 years worth of videos watched per day. Orkut comes second with 12.7 years and MySpace third with 5.6 years.
More Connectivity = A Bigger Market
YouTube is expected to get a further boost from the launch of tablet devices that allow multimedia viewing on the go as well as from web-connected televisions, said Hunter Walk, YouTube's director of product management, in an interview with the Financial Times.
The consequence of the above will also be that the distinction between content delivery and television programming will lose clarity and thereby favour YouTube's push to advertisers and content owners as they seek to attract foreign viewers at large.
"YouTube is the only place you can put your content on the web and reach a TV-size audience in every country," Walker was quoted as saying.
Showcasing Via The Five Year Channel
Officially to celebrate its birthday but most likely to demonstrate to marketers and television channels its ability to attract and mobilize global audiences, YouTube is launching the YouTube Five Year Channel. The "game" calls for users all over the world to upload their "My YouTube Story" and the promise is for visibility on the website if you are selected.
Last but not least, YouTube is also working on offering viewing suggestions based on behavioural data from users and their friends - without users having to search. This follows a trend in web TV platforms across the world to facilitate discovery via semantic and social data.