YouTube Hits One Billion Users Per Month
March 21, 2013

YouTube Celebrates Breaking One Billion Users-Per-Month Mark

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Any Internet-connected person is well aware of YouTube´s popularity. Yesterday, Google let everyone know just how popular the site has become. Eight years after it first hit the web, YouTube now pulls in more than one billion unique viewers every month, a trend which the site attributes to “Gen C” and mobile devices.

According to Google, the younger generation thrives on “4 Cs,” Connection, Creation, Community and Curation.

It´s a milestone which YouTube is obviously taking full advantage of. The web-based media company announced this little feat at a Silicon Valley party in an attempt to court new advertisers.

YouTube has crossed the one-billion threshold just five months after social behemoth Facebook. Though Facebook beat them to the punch, it´s taken both websites about eight years to reach the same point.

Google´s YouTube puts this one billion number into perspective on their blog. For instance, the site claims that nearly one-half of all Internet users make a stop by YouTube each day. So many people visit the site each month that it would take nearly ten super bowl audiences to match these numbers. And Psy, an artist who owes much of his fame to YouTube, would have to sell out Madison Square Garden 200,000 times to play for the same amount of people YouTube plays to each month.

They even point out that if the site were a country, it would be bigger than the United States, coming in third place in terms of population behind China and India.

Speaking to the LA Times, YouTube´s global head of content partnerships Robert Kyncl said viewers are watching more videos than there are brand new viewers every month. Over the past 12 months, video consumption on the site has grown by 50 percent. This means users are spending more of their time on the site.

"When you look at the growth in terms of users, that didn´t grow by 50%," Kyncl said. "So you can see engagement per user is growing quite rapidly."

All of these eyeballs are enough to make Google salivate at the advertising possibilities. The search giant bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.76 billion. At the time, just 50 million viewers worldwide were visiting YouTube each month. Since then, the site has been working to bring in more advertisers and encourage return visitors by creating channels that viewers can subscribe to. These channels also have the benefit of providing specific categories for advertisers, allowing them to better target viewers.

Many of these viewers belong to what Nielsen calls “Generation C.” This ever-connected generation has become accustomed to consuming content “on their own terms” on mobile devices and through social networking sites. Nielsen also says that this generation is defined by their connectivity and not just their age.

According to the Google Agency Blog, Gen C “thrives” on the aforementioned 4 Cs.

Many YouTube viewers are accustomed to being connected to a myriad of screens and constantly switching between devices. They are also engaged with online video and enjoy creating and sharing it as much as they enjoy watching it.

This community of viewers becomes important to Gen C as these users begin to share more of their lives with each other in the form of videos.

However, Gen C users aren´t simply creating and devouring content. According to the Google blog, these users carefully curate videos which are important to them and seek out other content which matters to them.

Google and YouTube are now working to find the best way to make money from their Gen C viewers and have begun experimenting with paid channel subscriptions.

"You will see a lot of experimentation with folks with those models," Kyncl said. "Over time, a lot of people will figure it out. But it will take lots of iteration."