Happy Birthday YouTube
May 20, 2013

Happy Birthday YouTube! Video-Sharing Site Turns Eight

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Google-owned video sharing site YouTube is celebrating its eighth birthday this month, approaching nearly a decade´s worth of the informative and the inane, the serious and the silly, and enough crotch-related injuries to support the world through a 50-year comedic drought.

To commemorate their anniversary, YouTube has released a little blog post claiming people from all over the world are uploading videos to the great wide Internet at a rate of 100 hours of video every minute. The site still says they´re seeing about one billion users every month, a claim they first made in March.

Those one billion users, by the way, represent about one half of all Internet users in the world, according to YouTube´s math. It´s taken them eight years to get to this point, but the feat is no less impressive.

“Over the years, you´ve continued to surprise and delight us,” reads the YouTube official blog post.

“And the past year was no exception. Who would have guessed that a tux-rocking K-pop star would shatter records left and right or that Sesame Street would go global with 1 billion views? That´s one of our favorite things about our global audience: you´re as unpredictable as you are creative and irreverent.”

YouTube is well known for being but a part of the larger Google enterprise, but the company did spend a brief period of time on their own in this world. The company was founded in February 2005 and launched a few months later in May. More than a year and a half later, Google picked up the site for $1.65 billion. Since that time, Google has used the site to help drive advertising on PCs and that new hot platform every company wants a piece of: mobile.

Now that they´ve become such a force to be reckoned with that YouTube is actually looking to take on the traditional cable television model by allowing users to buy subscriptions to individual channels on the site.

So far, there are more than 50 channels which users can pay to view, including Cars.TV, National Geographic Kids and UFC Select. YouTube gets to keep a portion of the money generated by these subscriptions as well, though the company has yet to specify just how much.

Users aren´t only watching homemade videos on YouTube, of course. Just as popular are music videos and streaming songs. Many on the Internet use the site as a sort of free digital jukebox, streaming songs from their favorite band straight from the site. While these “videos” don´t feature any movement —often they´re just a slideshow of photos of the artist or a plain black screen — users have discovered this creative way to listen to music free of charge.

During last week´s I/O developers conference, Google announced their new Google Play Music All Access service aimed to take on Spotify. It´s been rumored that Google also plans to bring the same service to YouTube to allow users to continue doing what they´ve been doing all along.