When YouTube was beta test launched, by three PayPal employees, in February 2005, their main purpose was to have a website where people could easily share their personal/home videos with everyone. Less than a year later, in December 2005, YouTube emerged from beta testing and almost overnight, became a gigantic success. The early measure of what a success YouTube would become what happened after a Saturday Night Live video, “Lazy Sunday” was uploaded to the site.
The video received over 5 million views in less than a month after being uploaded. Shortly after the video went “viral” in February 2006, NBC Universal sent YouTube a notice asking them to remove “Lazy Sunday” and about 500 other clips of NBC material. However, in June of the same year, NBC struck a deal with YouTube to make promotional clips for some of their shows and their new fall lineup. In November 2006, YouTube was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion.
In March 2013, YouTube announced that they now have more than a billion unique users every single month (at the time of their purchase by Google, they had “only” 50 million). One billion YouTube views would translate into 15% of the world’s population (if YouTube were a country, it would be the 3rd largest in the world, after China and India) An estimated 1 out of 2 Internet users, visit YouTube at least once a month! One more interesting fact, not only has YouTube become the top video website, it is the second largest search engine in the entire world, with only Google being larger.
People from all walks of life use YouTube for various reasons and YouTube has evolved to a phenomenal resource of information and entertainment but, it has also become a key player in the world of advertising. What makes YouTube such an advertising powerhouse? There are many reasons but two stand out:
For starters, being owned by the #1 search engine in the world sure doesn’t hurt. Each time a video is posted, almost by default, you will get top quality backlinks, which boosts your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
The second major factor is affordability; video, once upon a time, was a major expense. Now, with the advances in technology, such as smart phones, tablets, webcams, etc., digital technology become more advanced, portable, and video creation has become cost-effective. Even better, YouTube not only hosts videos for free, something that they’ve done since day one, they have constantly developed the process to evolve the “video based” format to an “channel-based” one, making it easier for anyone to brand their product across more screens while making it easier to show more of your content.
YouTube’s constant evolution has reaped benefits, galore. All of Ad Age Top 100 Brands ran advertising campaigns on YouTube in 2012-13 and it’s not just the major corporations that are benefiting from YouTube advertising angle. According to YouTube’s David Ripert, “thousands of YouTubers make six-figure sums with their original content, based on ads“.
Those being a few major factors in, parent company, Google estimated $4 billion dollar profit in 2013 and YouTube’s meteoric rise has been the vanguard in Google’s ascent to the top digital advertiser in America.
What’s even more amazing is that, by this time next year, there is a great chance that those astounding numbers/estimates will be eclipsed.
YouTube has proven, without a doubt, the power of the online video medium and has become one the major keys for any business in video marketing and enhancing their digital marketing, overall.