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Published by: api-25890286 on May 17, 2010
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YouTube hits 2 bn daily downloads
By Maggie ShielsTechnology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley
YouTube said it now gets over two billion hits daily - nearly double the number of people who tune into the US's three prime time TV stations combined.
The news comes as the site celebrates the day five years ago when the first beta version of YouTube was launched.Over seven months ago the video site clocked up one billion downloads."I see this great growth opportunity in the online video market and we are positioningourselves to be a leader," co-founder Chad Hurley told BBC News."We are a stage and we give everyone in the world an opportunity to participate and that isbeing a video platform for creating a solution for people to not only upload and distributetheir videos on a global basis but to find and share videos."He also said that while the two billion downloads marked a real milestone "I feel we havemuch further to go. “
From cat videos to political videos to "how to" videos toentertainment - that is YouTube
” Chad Hurley, YouTube co-founder"Two billion video streams is a large number but on average people are only spending 15minutes a day on the site compared to five hours a day watching TV."I don't think we could have ever planned or imagined we would get to the scale or the sizewe are today. We were mostly trying to create a video solution for ourselves based on ourown frustrations. We are proud of what we have achieved so far but we have a lot of workahead," said Mr Hurley.The site was bought by Google near the end of 2006 for $1.65bn.
The early years
The slogan for YouTube is "Broadcast Yourself" which Mr Hurley said was a play on "beyourself and also captured in my mind the essence of the site which was to let peopleexpress themselves."The first person to express themselves on the platform was fellow co-founder Jawed Karimwho posted a 19 seconds long video called "Me at the Zoo". It was uploaded on April 23,2005 and can still be viewed on the site.Among the other videos that have made YouTube history is that of a wounded girl dying infront of a crowd during the Iranian election protests, a YouTube interview with PresidentBarack Obama, Ronaldinho's Nike advert and singer Susan Boyle's performance on Britain's
Page 1 of 3BBC News - YouTube hits 2 bn daily downloads5/17/2010http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/867...
Got Talent competition on TV."We wanted to create a level playing field that gave everyone that ability to be seen andheard," said Mr Hurley."Maybe early on people only recognised us or explained YouTube by placing it in a box butthere are so many people on our site and we receive so much content over a 24 hour period,it can't be about one thing.
December 2005 8 million videos watched a day
January 2008 10 hours of video uploaded every minute
October 2009 1 billion views per day
March 2010 24 hours of video uploaded every minute"And so from cat videos to political videos to "how to" videos to entertainment - that isYouTube," added Mr Hurley.Today it hosts channels for everyone from Queen Elizabeth to the Pope and from PresidentBarack Obama to the Iraqi government."YouTube really is a phenomenon and is very much part of popular culture," said Catharine PTaylor, media blogger at news website BNET.com."It really is a game changer because it gives everybody a platform to broadcast from. Thereare many examples where an average citizen has become a big hit on YouTube and that issomething that would have been impossible to contemplate five, six years ago."
The future
In those early days the site was known for hosting pirated snippets of TV shows or movies.Even today material gets pulled from the site because of issues over copyright."They have made a lot of progress about weeding out illegal content," said Allen Weinersenior vice president of research at Gartner."They are serious about it. Their future depends on it."As a result YouTube has been working hard to win over content makers as it modifies itsservice to stream professional films and cash in on a trend towards internet television.Industry watchers have said YouTube could possibly become part of the Google "mediacloud" where people can access films, books, magazines tv shows and other digitisedcontent."YouTube is going to change in a lot of ways in the next few years," Ryan Lawler of video siteNewTeeVee.com told BBC News."I think we will see it on more devices and see it used more for live streaming. There are realopportunities for it to become a traditional content distributor like the cable channels.YouTube streams make up around 40% of all online video watched in the US, so there ismassive scale there and lot of opportunity."Analysts have predicted that while the site has struggled to reach profitability since itscreation, 2010 could be its year.Bloomberg News pointed out that the biggest challenge facing YouTube advertising is what
Page 2 of 3BBC News - YouTube hits 2 bn daily downloads5/17/2010http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/867...

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