Have you watched a video on YouTube today? Whether or not you have, there's a good chance you know someone who did, as the sheer statistics of YouTube video views dictate that the human population is in love with streaming media. YouTube now reaches a billion -- a BILLION! -- unique monthly users, the Google-owned video sharing site announced in a blog post.
That's equivalent to nearly half of the world's population, or about ten Super Bowl audiences. If YouTube were a country, it'd be the third largest in the world, right behind China and India. Still need some perspective? PSY and Madonna would have to come back on stage and repeat their Madison Square Garden performance in front of a capacity filled stadium 200,000 more times.
"From the aspiring filmmaker in his basement and the next great pop musician, to the fans all around the world who tune in, subscribe and share their favorite videos with the planet, thank you for making YouTube what it is today," YouTube said in a statement. "You have truly created something special."
Special indeed, and also addictive. YouTube has tens of thousands of partners who have created channels, but the real magic is that anyone and everyone can upload a video and broadcast themselves, as YouTube would like to say. For the most part, YouTube has thrived without my participation on the content submission side, though I did upload a video of my late cat Shizzle duking it out with an electric shaver:
Other videos have been much more popular, such as Gangnam Style, which has notched over 1.45 billion views so far, and all those Harlem Shake videos that are contributing millions of hits apiece. Why stop at videos?
YouTube is a proven commodity with an extensive reach on the Internet, and with that in mind, Google plans to launch a Youtube music streaming service by the end of the year.