That sounds crazy to me, but it’s true - and YouTube was a big deal right from the start. The creation of a centralized location for hosting videos changed the landscape of the Internet for good.
As the world laughed while watching “Lazy Sunday” all the way back in 2005, who could have predicted that people would be able to make millions of dollars per year doing…whatever it is that PewDiePie does?
The first video on YouTube, “Me at the zoo,” was posted on April 23rd, 2005. It can still be viewed on the site and has 61,416,837 views and counting. (YouTube)
The first YouTube video to surpass 1 million views was a Nike ad featuring Brazilian soccer star Ronaldihno in November, 2005. (Independant.ie)
Google purchased YouTube in October, 2006 for $1.65 billion. (NBC News)
Advertisements first began appearing in August 2007, in the form of banner ads that partially obscured the lower part of videos. (Business Insider)
The music video for “Gangnam Style” by Korean pop star Psy became the first YouTube video to exceed 1 billion views in December of 2012. (Billboard)
In 2018, YouTube pledged $5 million through their Creators for Change program to 47 creators publishing videos with a positive social impact. (Polygon)
YouTube’s live TV streaming platform, YouTube TV, went live nationwide in January 2019, making TV coverage available to 98% of U.S. households. (Mashable)
Marketing with YouTube
20% of online video advertising dollars are spent on YouTube. (Marketing Land)
As of April 2016, YouTube reached more adults aged 18-49 than any broadcast or cable TV network. (Google)
More than 90% of people surveyed report that they discover new brands or products on YouTube. (Think With Google)
Videos with an average length of 5-8 minutes received the most views as of June 2017. (Tubefilter)
Paid YouTube mobile advertising is 84% more likely to receive attention from viewers when compared to TV ads. (Ipsos)
More than 50% of shoppers say they have used online video to decide which brand or product to buy. (Think With Google)
A study using eye-tracking technology found that YouTube ads held viewers’ attention for 62% of ad time, compared to 45% for television ads. (Ipsos)
Over 75% of Fortune 500 companies had YouTube accounts in 2018. (UMass Dartmouth)
YouTube was forecasted to generate $3.36 billion in ad revenues over 2018, 73% of which came from the United States. (eMarketer)
Views of sponsored content on YouTube grew 99% from 2016 to 2017. (Tubular Insights)
As of 2017, the average length of a video ranking on the first page of search results was 14 minutes and 50 seconds. (Backlinko)
YouTube usage statistics
As of February 2019, the top non-branded YouTube search term from users in the US was “ASMR” with 2.9 million monthly searches (referring to the popular “autonomous sensory meridian response” genre of videos). (Ahrefs)
The time that users spent watching “relaxing” videos on YouTube increased 70% from July 2017 to June 2018. (Adweek)
87% of all YouTube users say the platform is important for helping them learn how to do new things. (Pew Research)
Live Internet video will account for 17% of Internet video traffic by the year 2022. (Cisco)
Data from 2017 indicated that viewers would watch live broadcasts for five times longer on YouTube than on Facebook. (StreamGeeks)
As of 2017, YouTube was the favorite live video platform of 70% of people surveyed. (Livestream)
Fun facts about YouTube
The battle to be the most-subscribed YouTube channel is a tight race between Swedish video game vlogger PewDiePie and Indian music channel T-Series, with T-Series taking the lead away from longtime champion PewDiePie for a five-day stretch in March 2019. As of April 11, 2019, PewDiePie had regained the lead with 93,877,197 subscribers to T-Series’s 93,662,139. (PewDiePie / T-Series)
The most lucrative channel of 2018 was Ryan ToysReview, which earned $22 million for its 7-year-old star over the year. (Forbes)
The most popular YouTube video of all time is the music video for “Despacito,” by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee, with over 5.9 billion views. (Complex)
Across YouTube’s history, 85% of total views go to the top 3% of channels. (Convergence)
Over one third of children ages 6-17 in the UK reported wanting to be a YouTuber when they grow up. (Tubefilter)
YouTube users upload 400 hours worth of videos every 60 seconds. (The Guardian)
Fourteen years in, YouTube is still going strong.
Online video is going to continue to dominate in 2019 and beyond, and these numbers show that YouTube remains the biggest force to be reckoned with when it comes to video hosting and distribution on the web.
As video makes up more and more of all online content, standing out from the crowd will be more important than ever.
Make sure your video marketing strategy keeps you in the game!
Meghan graduated with a BFA from UIC in 2016, and celebrated by immediately losing on Jeopardy!. She previously was a Content Promotion Specialist at G2. She enjoys roller skating, karaoke, and cats, and hopes to see a solid 20% of all communication replaced by GIFs in her lifetime.