If 10 media executives were asked to name the world's biggest broadcaster, how many would say YouTube?
Google’s video-sharing site is growing its audience faster than anyone and it’s adding new content at a rate no one can match. And we should pay close attention to this: the site’s stats show the cross-over tipping point of PC-to-mobile device usage for online video will come in 2013 if not sooner.
Speaking at Marketforce’s Broadcasting and Digital Entertainment conference in London on Tuesday, YouTube’s director of content partnerships Ben McOwen Wilson reeled off some astonishing numbers about the site’s usage and growth, following the site’s announcement that it now serves three billion video views a day, and also set out how YouTube is putting curation and brand partnerships at the heart of everything it does.
See lots and lots of stats here, but in brief:
– YouTube now serves three billion daily video views and counting, but also 880 million monthly unique users across the world.
- 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, or nearly eight years every day, if you prefer.
– 15 percent of all YouTube consumption is via mobile device. But Wilson adds that that number is well over 20 percent in the UK. “If you’re looking forward in time and thinking at what point mobile devices might overtake other devices, we can be pretty certain that’s going to to be 2013 and if things keep going at the same rate it could be next year”.
How does Google make money again?
It now seems a long time ago when people openly questioned where YouTube's revenue model was. "It’s mainly ad-funded," says Wilson, with some under-statement - his employer is expected to make in excess of $1 billion from ads in 2011. But there are subtle shifts in the model.
“Historically we have had issues of perception with rights holders where we weren’t considered trusted guardians of their rights,” say Wilson. But not now: you can watch full length films such as The Green Lantern for £3.49 (incidentally, don’t bother – it’s rubbish).
In the US and Canada, YouTube is now serving up classic Disney films to “rent” too. Here in the UK, Channel 4 made many of its most popular shows available for nothing on YouTube on an ad-sharing agreement and Wilson says he’s working with more than 100 media partners across the content spectrum.
Wilson cites the independent and wildly popular video games site Machinima as an example of where this works. It has a frankly astonishing 3.8 million subscriptions and 2.8 billion total views for its YouTube channel. Machinima spends much of its time highlighting the work by other people, which has helped it grow such a vast audience the company is worth tens of millions of dollars.
So Warner Bros. created a live action series based on the Mortal Kombat game they went to Machinima to distribute the nine-episode series. They ended up with 60 million viewers, just under three million views per episode, according to Wilson, who points out that would have been the most-watched show on US cable TV during its run. “You are going to see lots of examples of that, we’re actively pushing for more of it.”
And for your viewing pleasure here is episode 1 of that Mortal Kombat series. It's like a bad 70s sci-fi crossed with Home and Away and some gratuitous violence, but if Warners are going straight to YouTube with new IP it does feel like a certain boundary has been crossed in content distribution.
BBC iPlayer stats
Also on the same panel, Kerstin Mogull, COO of BBC Future Media, shared some interesting usage stats for the iPlayer. In average weekly numbers over the Autumn...
-- 4.2 million watched via PC, a 22 percent year-on-year growth
-- 300,000 watched via mobile, 86 percent higher and
-- 200,000 watched via tablet, a whopping 575 percent higher than last year.
Picture via Rego on flickr via a Creative Commons licence.