Overview

YouTube has transformed entertainment, learning and digital culture over the past decade. For billions, it‘s the go-to destination for songs, shows, discovering creators and learning just about anything. Through this post, I‘ll share lesser known fascinating statistics and facts to highlight YouTube‘s scale, influence and revenue models.

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Understanding metrics around viewership, advertising, creator earnings and more can help brands, musicians and creators leverage YouTube better for their needs. Let‘s get started!

YouTube‘s Scale and Influence

1. YouTube Was Founded in 2005

YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim on 14 February 2005. The inspiration behind YouTube was the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, as the founders struggled to share videos of the event due to limited options back then.

YouTube was initially funded by an $11.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in November 2005. In October 2006, Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion – one of their largest acquisitions ever.

2. It Gets Over 5 Billion Videos Views per Day

YouTube users watch more than one billion hours of videos daily, equaling over 5 billion video views per day.

To put this into perspective, Netflix users only stream around 1 billion hours per month worldwide. This shows the massive popularity of YouTube over any other online streaming platform.

3. The Hours Spent Watching YouTube Per Day Could Fill Over 196,000 Years

The total time people around the world spend watching YouTube videos per day would add up to over 196,000 years.

YouTube’s immense viewer base tuning in daily results in such a high amount of watch time hours per day.

4. 300 Hours of Video Are Uploaded Per Minute

The rate at which new content is created and uploaded to YouTube is mind boggling. Over 500 hours of fresh videos are added to YouTube every single minute.

That’s equivalent to upload 30,000 hours of video per hour or 720,000 hours daily. This surpasses the rate at which most people can view, making fresh content always available.

5. It‘s Available in 80 Languages

YouTube caters to a global audience with the platform being accessible in over 80 languages. This includes all popular languages like English, Spanish, Japanese etc. Auto generated subtitles and translations also allow users to view videos in other languages. This helps YouTube content reach across various countries and cultures.

6. YouTube Premium Has Over 80 Million Subscribers

While YouTube is free to use, their paid service called YouTube Premium has over 80 million global subscribers.

Launched in 2016, Premium provides an ad-free viewing experience along with exclusive content. The large subscriber base highlights that viewers are willing to pay around $12 monthly to avoid ads and access premium content.

7. 70% of Views Come from Mobile Devices

The convenience of streaming YouTube videos on mobile has resulted in over 70% of total viewing happening on mobile and tablet devices currently.

In the United States alone, a staggering 91% of YouTube viewership occurs daily on mobile for users aged between 18 – 49 years highlighting the meteoric shift to portable devices.

8. It‘s the #1 Streaming Music Platform

YouTube has over 2 million artists and 1 billion music fans using it monthly making it the most popular music streaming platform currently. According to Midia Research, 30% of time spent listening to music online happens on YouTube.

YouTube has signed deals with major labels like Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group to host their artist’s full music catalog. This availability and easy access has driven YouTube’s dominance over competitors.

9. It Contributed Over $6 Billion to the Music Industry (2021-2022)

YouTube paid over $6 billion to the music industry and record labels between July 2021 and June 2022.

This includes royalties for premium music subscriptions and advertising revenues. The platform has become vital for musicians building an audience and getting their music discovered by fans globally. Several artists credit YouTube for playing a key role in their career growth.

10. Over Half of YouTube Views Come from Outside the US

While US leads, India, Japan, Russia, Germany and United Kingdom are geographies generating significant views after the US.

Country YouTube Monthly Views (Billions)
United States 247
India 596
Japan 116
Russia 109
Germany 82
United Kingdom 57

Data Source: SimilarWeb

This data shows YouTube is massively successful in gaining viewership across the world.

11. It‘s the 2nd Most Visited Website Globally

In terms of total website traffic and engagement, YouTube is second only to Google according to Alexa’s global rankings.

YouTube drives significantly more traffic than giants like Facebook, Instagram and is the most visited streaming site. The average visitor views 11 pages per visit highlighting users spending time discovering video content.

Revenue and Earnings

12. YouTube Generated $28.8 Billion in Advertising Revenues (2021)

YouTube primarily makes money through advertisements – video ads played before or during video playback.

In 2021 alone, YouTube made $28.8 billion through selling ads according to filings by parent company Alphabet.

13. Over 300 Video Ads Are Shown Per Second

To put YouTube‘s ad revenue scale into context, over 300 video ads are shown per second amounting to billions in revenue. YouTube offers multiple video ad formats to advertisers – skippable, non-skippable, display, overlay and brand sponsorships.

This makes YouTube advertising the highest grossing for Alphabet, even more than Google ads.

Year YouTube Advertising Revenue
2021 $28.8 billion
2020 $19.8 billion
2019 $15.1 billion

Data Source: Alphabet SEC Filings

14. MrBeast Was the Top Earning YouTuber (2022)

American content creator Jimmy Donaldson, known online as MrBeast earned the highest income among YouTubers in 2022. He grossed over $54 million in 2022 through his inventive videos.

At just 24 years old, his channel gains an average of 2-3 million new subscribers every month highlighting rapid growth. Considering he creates almost all content on free software and with a small team, the returns are staggering.

15. There Are Over 2 Million 6 Figure Earning YouTube Channels

Creators meeting eligibility criteria can monetize content through the YouTube Partner Program and Ads.

Over 2 million channels have currently crossed the 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours over 12 months threshold set by YouTube. This makes them eligible to start earning through their content.

Thousands of YouTubers even make six figure plus incomes annually through this program highlighting the platform‘s enablement of entrepreneurship opportunities.

16. YouTube Takes a 45% Revenue Share on Advertising

YouTube splits ad revenue with creators, providing quite a generous payout.

For every $100 that advertisers pay, $55 goes to the video creator / channel owner. YouTube retains $45 as its share. Other competing platforms offer lesser payout percentages highlighting its creator friendly monetization policies.

17. A Creator Earns $18 for Every 1,000 Video Views

On average as per Influencer Marketing Hub’s research, a YouTube creator can earn approximately $0.018 for every advert video view. For simplicity, this averages out to $18 for every 1,000 views – but rates vary based on audience demographic, video length, ad formats etc. Top creators often have higher rates.

While rates seem small, top creators get billions of video views a year, amounting to millions in revenue. This provides opportunities to earn a stable income through content creation for thousands.

Popularity and Influence on Culture

18. YouTube Has Over 2 Billion Monthly Active Users

As of 2023, YouTube has over 2.7 billion monthly active users, becoming the second most visited website after Google according to SimilarWeb.

To put that into context, that‘s over a third of the internet connected population worldwide actively accessing YouTube every month!

19. YouTube Shorts Get Over 50 Billion Views Per Day

YouTube Shorts supports TikTok-esque short form vertical videos under 60 seconds in length.

In a short span of 2 years since launch, YouTube Shorts already receives more than 50 billion daily views currently according to Google. That‘s over 20 times the views that rivals Snapchat and TikTok get making Shorts one of the fastest growing entertainment formats globally thanks to YouTube‘s reach.

Thousands of creators now make Shorts exclusively across topics like comedy, education and music contributing over 10% of total YouTube watchtime.

20. Kids Content Is Wildly Popular

While adults form a majority of YouTube viewers, content meant for kids under 13 years also gets an incredible amount of views. These include nursery rhymes videos, fun learning based content etc.

For example, the YouTube channel Cocomelon-Nursery Rhymes has over 155 million subscribers making it the third most subscribed channel globally. Their animated 3D nursery rhyme videos routinely get hundreds of millions of views indicating massive popularity of kids content.

YouTube also has additional safety and parental controls tailored for children ensuring age appropriate videos.

21. Over 1.9 Million Videos Have Crossed 100 Million+ Views Each

Having videos trend with millions of views is the dream for any YouTuber. As of 2022, over 1.9 million videos have individually crossed over 100 million views highlighting just how many have achieved internet stardom.

Tens of thousands additionally gain over 50 or 20 million views every single month showing the platform‘s unmatched ability to catapult creators into limelight like no other.

22. YouTube Has Over 100 Million Subscriber Channels

The popularity of top creators on YouTube can be gauged by the insane number channels that have over a million subscribers individually. There are currently over 100 channels in this million subscribers club according to SocialBlade.

Thousands of channels have over 100,000 subscribers too indicating the vast viewership opportunities the platform provides to amateur video creators as well. This ability for anyone to start a channel from their bedroom and build an audience of millions is what sets YouTube apart.

23. YouTube Music Has Over 100 Million Downloads

YouTube entered the music streaming segment in 2018 with the launch of YouTube Music – an app offering specialized music recommendations and serving as a music streaming alternative to Spotify or Apple Music.

Though relatively new, YouTube Music has still been downloaded over 100 million times globally across Android and iOS already according to AppBrain highlighting rapid adoption. Availability of live performances and music videos that fans love provides it an edge.

24. Penetration Is Close to 90% for 18-45 Year Olds in US

YouTube reaches nearly 90% of all internet users aged between 18-45 years in the United States highlighting its popularity across age groups.

Similar penetration rates are seen globally across countries like UK, Canada and Australia for the 18-45 demographic according to Oberlo. Having such a ubiquitous presence across gender, languages and age groups has been pivotal to YouTube‘s unprecedented growth over the past decade.

25. It‘s Used By Over 95% of US Teens

From elderly users watching devotional content to Gen Z teenagers heavily active on YouTube, the platform reaches most age groups.

But adoption seems near universal among 13 to 17 year olds in the United States with over 95% teens actively accessing YouTube for entertainment, learning and accessing creators according to Pew Research.

Be it music discovery, learning guitar through tutorials or keeping up with popular gamers and vloggers their age, YouTube effectively caters to this segment given high existing usage levels on the platform.

26. It Accounts for 10%+ of Mobile Internet Traffic

From a technology infrastructure point of view, over 75% of all global internet traffic currently is online video streaming. YouTube alone is responsible for over 10% share of total mobile internet traffic globally because of its large viewer base.

As video resolutions get higher with 5G rollout, this share percentage would rise even further. Maintaining smooth video streaming with minimal buffering at such vast scales is an engineering marvel showcasing infrastructure advancements by Google.

27. Numerous Songs Have Launched First on YouTube Official Artist Channels

Apart from being a video and music streaming platform, YouTube plays a vital role in the music discovery journey of fans globally in the digital age.

Popular artists routinely upload official music videos of new song releases exclusively on YouTube first before releasing on other platforms. These lyric videos become key channels driving initial viewership and buzz helping songs top charts later.

YouTube‘s powerful recommendation algorithm also picks viewer signals quickly to showcase top new releases widely aiding music discovery.

From blockbuster albums of pop stars like Taylor Swift and Bad Bunny to indie artists hoping to get discovered, YouTube helps democratize audience access at scale for both fans and creators globally.

Advanced analytics dashboards also allow musicians understand their audience and finetune video content strategies to optimize viewership.

28. It Has Created Several Viral Sensations Over the Years

YouTube has birthed several viral pop culture sensations and memes over the years which have exploded in popularity online.

Rickrolling users with Rick Astley‘s "Never Gonna Give You Up" song crossed over 100 million views back in 2010 thanks to the practice of sharing links falsely claiming to lead elsewhere.

Similarly, a 56 second home video uploaded back in 2007 of a child named Charlie biting his brother‘s finger also reached insane viewership levels through shares across blogs and emails.

More recently, dancer Pumpkin the Newfoundland dog took the internet by storm in 2022 crossing 200 million Shorts views. Similar viral memes routinely gain huge traction among netizens through commentary reaction videos highlighting the platform‘s impact on internet culture even 15+ years since launch.

29. A Select Club of 500+ Billion View Videos Exists

Getting even 10 million lifetime views is considered a massive accomplishment for any YouTuber. But the most viral videos have gained viewership in the billions over years.

As of 2022, over 500 different YouTube videos have managed to individually cross the 1 billion views mark according to Flux Trends. Of course the exact number changes daily as some fall out of the club while new viral sensations pick up steam.

This select group has popular videos across genres – children‘s nursery rhymes, movie trailers, hit songs, comedian skits and more showing the breadth of content that can appeal to the masses on YouTube.

30. YouTube Has Expanded Offerings via New Services

Beyond its video streaming platform, YouTube has leveraged its popularity to launch additional service offerings over the years.

For example, YouTube TV provides over 100+ news, sports and entertainment channels including regional sports networks with unlimited cloud DVR storage space. This paid service focuses on cord cutters in the United States wanting to replace traditional cable TV bundles and has over 5 million subscribers.

Similarly, YouTube Kids aims to provide younger viewers under 13 an experience tailored for them including child appropriate videos. Features like curated content, parental timers and other controls additionally ensure children safely access age appropriate content.

Conclusion

I hope going through these YouTube statistics gives you an idea of the various entertainment, creative and even revenue opportunities the platform provides at a scale beyond any other video destination on the web.

Given many internet users today discover music, movies, shows and even celebrity creators exclusively via YouTube before checking anywhere else, there is no denying its position as the dominant video streaming platform globally.

From zero video editing skills to building 8 figure income businesses, YouTube has made it possible over the past decade for creative individuals to transform their passion into a full-fledged profession leveraging global digital reach.

And with ever growing internet penetration riding on millions of new smartphone users from emerging markets, we‘ve likely just scratched the surface of the creator economy gold rush in years ahead!