Monday, January 23, 2012

YouTube streams 4 billion online videos each day, more than one for every other person on Earth and a 25% jump over eight months ago.

YouTube, a unit of Google, attributed the growth to iterations of the website on smartphones and TVs that have encouraged more use, according to Reuters. The number of uploads on the platform is also staggering: about 60 hours of video is now added to the site every minute, compared to 48 hours a minute in May.

It’s unclear how much Google is benefiting by such growth. In its fourth-quarter earnings call with analysts last week, Google didn’t break out revenue figures for YouTube. However, the company disclosed that its display ads are generating $5 billion in revenue on an annualized run rate basis. Despite that encouraging sign of growth for Google — such advertising was only a $2.5 billion business in October 2010 Google’s stock price fell 9.2% on Jan. 19, the day it disclosed those earnings.

One avenue Google is pursuing to monetize YouTube is a $100 million program featuring celebrity channels from the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Amy Poehler and Shaquille O’Neal. YouTube announced those channels last October. Many of them are expected to go live this year.

The program illustrates a problem that YouTube is trying to address. As outlined in a New Yorker article last week, despite impressive stats such as the 4 billion figure, the average YouTuber spends 15 minutes each day viewing videos on the site, but the average American spends four or five hours watching TV every day. “If YouTube could get people to stay on the site longer, it could sell more advertising, and raise the rates it charges advertisers for each thousand views,” the article states, adding that U.S. advertisers still spend about $60 billion a year on TV commercials compared to only $3 billion for online video.

1. See Trends

A look at trending content will ensure you're up-to-speed with the latest viral videos, as well as newsworthy footage and clips from popular culture.

YouTube's "Trends Dashboard" gives you an at-a-glance look at what's hot across various regions, gender and age ranges.

2. YouTube Disco

YouTube's "Disco" tool is great for finding decent quality music videos, rather than scratching through keyword-based search results.

This is because YouTube curates the playlists. Simply add in the name of the artist or band you want to see more of and you'll be presented with a entire stream of relevant videos.


3. Get Social

What better way to find great new videos than by asking your friends? YouTube's social options mean you can do just that by connecting your social media accounts and seeing your friends' YouTube-related activity.
Hook up your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts to see a steady stream of info about favorited videos, shared clips, +1'd content and more.

To set this up go to the "Social" tab on the left hand side of your new homepage and click the blue bar that says "You can connect more social accounts here."


4. Check Out the Charts

Rather than just trending videos, the "YouTube Charts" are a useful way to see the most popular content on the site.

You can view the most-liked, most-viewed, top-favorited and even most-discussed videos within certain timeframes.

There's also the ability to narrow down content by category, giving you a glimpse at the most-loved YouTube videos by subject.


5. Browse Topics

Finally, if you're in the mood for browsing, "YouTube Topics" is a good place to get started.
This section of the site offers curated playlists by topic, and is perfect for finding interesting content you wouldn't even know to search for.

For example, a quick look at the "dance" topic produced "Tutting" ("a contemporary interpretive street dance style modeled after Eqyptian hieroglyphics"), Japanese hip hop, freeride cycling and "Cymatics" ("the study of visible sound and vibration"). Neat!