The History and Success of YouTube

According to emarketer, the number of US online video viewers is expected to continue climbing in moderate increments through 2014 and by then, 77% of US Internet users will be watching online video content at least monthly. This is good news to marketers wanting to promote their products online and reach out to millions of people online through videos.

Videos are truly getting more and more popular these days because many internet users find it more entertaining to watch videos about things they’re interested in than to read about it. Marketers now are doing their best to create videos that will drive more people toward their site and make them more aware of the products and services that these online marketers are offering.

Videos also gave way to the popularity of video sharing websites where online viewers share and watch different videos. The most popular videos sharing website today among online viewers is YouTube. YouTube made it possible to small businesses to reach out to a wider online audience at no distribution cost.

Online viewers can watch videos on YouTube even without signing up for an account while those who want to upload their own videos can sign up for a free account and are allowed to upload unlimited number of videos as long as the video won’t exceed 10 minutes long or 2-GB in size. Easy accessibility, convenience and user-friendly interface are some of the reasons why YouTube had become so successful and is such a big hit among internet users.

“YouTube is the leader in online video, and the premier destination to watch and share original videos worldwide through a Web experience.” – Freebase

YouTube was founded by three former Paypal employees namely Chad Hurley, Steven Chen and Jawed Karim. The site was launched February 2005 and in Nov. 2005, Sequioa Capital gave and initial investment of $3.5M. According to Wikipedia, in the summer of 2006, “YouTube was one of the fastest growing websites on the Web, and was ranked the 5th most popular website on Alexa, far out pacing even MySpace‘s rate of growth.”

Google acquired YouTube in October 2006 for $1.65 billion in stock and the deal was finalized in 2007. In Nov. 2008, YouTube allowed Lions Gate Entertainment, CBS and MGM full-length films and tv episode on their website. There are several criticisms thrown at YouTube and one is its inability to respect law of copyright. Some YouTube users upload videos even without permission and when Viacom filed a lawsuit against YouTube, YouTube came up with a system that checks uploaded videos against copyrighted videos which they called Video ID.

Internet users find YouTube easy to use and control. They can even pour out their emotions and give their opinions by uploading their own personal videos on the site. While for those who want to sell a product, they can even profit right away because there are many potential customers online and they can reach out to them by creating a video that promote their products and/or services.

According to Information Artchitects, the main reason why YouTube is successful is that YouTube is the “prototype of a democratic website”. Internet users are free to easily upload their own personal videos. People can communicate faster and more effectively with other internet users so even with negative criticisms about YouTube, the site still remains very popular.

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