Do you want to know why Google forked over a whopping $1.65 billion in stock to acquire YouTube a little over five years ago? It's because the sultan of search recognized back then that YouTube had the potential to be more than just a hub for crappy quality home videos. Either Google was right, or YouTube viewers simply don't care about quality. Either way you slice it, YouTube is now streaming out a staggering 4 billion online videos every day.
"Since the dawn of YouTube, we’ve been sharing the hours of video you upload every minute. In 2007 we started at six hours, then in 2010 we were at 24 hours, then 35, then 48, and now...60 hours of video every minute, an increase of more than 30 percent in the last eight months," YouTube said in a blog post. "In other words, you’re uploading one hour of video to YouTube every second. Tick, tock, tick, tock — that’s 4 hours right there!
"For all the hours of video you’re uploading—you’re watching more as well; we’ve now exceeded four billion video views globally every day. That’s up 25 percent in the last eight months and the equivalent of more than half the world’s population watching a video every day, the same number as there are US $1 bills in circulation, the same as number of years since there was water on Mars...it’s a big number, and you’re making it bigger every day."
In other words, we're all a bunch of online couch potatoes sitting around watching crazy cats stalk their owners, Leeroy Jenkins charge into battle, and Old Gregg emerge from his cave below a lake. Meanwhile, Google's laughing all the way to the bank. According to Reuters, Google's graphical display ads, many of which run next to YouTube videos, are generating $5 billion in revenue each year.
Since we're all just sitting around watching YouTube videos all day long, let's share some favorites. Ours, of course, are the Two and a Half Geeks videos, which feature characters only slightly less disturbing than Old Gregg. What are your favs?