Youtube tops 2 billion views daily

MUMBAI: Five years old and already recording 2 billion video views a day. That‘s an awe-inspiring performance if there ever was. We are talking about YouTube which is celebrating its fifth anniversary today.

Its performance has made it the third most popular site in the world as on date, founded by three Paypal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. In fact, Karim posted the first video on Youtube.
The site attracted millions of dollars in venture capital funding before being bought over by Google in a $1.65 billion deal in 2007.

Hurley, however, would like YouTube to get past some hurdles. He told BBC that users spend just 15 minutes on the site while they spend five hours a day on TV.

It was hardly seven months ago that the company announced that it had crossed the billion video views milestone. Today almost 24 hours of video is uploaded to the site every minute.

The company has content deals with more than 10,000 partners, some of which are even large studios, who have set up their own Youtube channels.
YouTube says it has launched a special channel for users to upload their special You Tube moments. "Today, we‘re celebrating our birthday by launching a channel full of memorable moments, poignant user stories, celebrity curators and more. Let the videos below serve as an invitation for you to share *your* YouTube story with the world and you could appear on our commemorative channel," says the post.

And the channel had already attracted in excess of 6,000 subscribers and more than 7,000 comments. Amongst the celebs who had chosen to curate their favourite YouTube videos included Conan ‘O‘ Brien.

From the Indian context, YouTube‘s rising use by fans to post free daily episodes of Indian television shows is worrisome. This happens almost minutes after each episode ends on TV and the best part is that it is clutter free - that is without any commercials.

Generating anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 views each (sometimes even higher), the availability of these episodes on YouTube means that those many domestic viewers are not watching the repeats on TV in case they have missed the first telecast.

Additionally, the views that YouTube is generating from free fan uploaded Indian TV shows could also be cannibalising pay TV revenues from viewers overseas. The site is attracting good traffic for Indian contnet globally and that is evident from the fact that the Indian Premier League cricket series telecast on YouTube got 55 million views – more in the US than in India.

The numbers for Indian TV soap episodes may appear small today for the Indian market, but with YouTube growing in leaps and bounds every day, these may rise exponentially suddenly as broadband spreads within the country. Deal making for channels and content creators with YouTube could then end up being a complicated exercise as TV and entertainment studios in the US learnt a couple of years ago.

YouTube, Indian broadcasters and producers need to think about this as the video site celebrates its fifth anniversary.

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