YouTube Now Streaming 4 Billion Videos a Day

YouTube, the cultural phenomenon that has redefined how people watch, share, and express themselves through video now has about 4 billion videos online for viewers to watch.  According to Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), who owns the website, the number represents a 25 percent increase over the last 8 months.  Just as amazing is the fact that the company now states that about 60 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute, also an increase of 25% from the rates in May.

Google credits the increase in posted videos to its expanded presence beyond the arena of home computing and networking; YouTube is now often readily available on many smartphones and “smart” televisions.

Google first acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion back in 2006, and since that time have tried to maximize and capitalize on the many sources of revenue that the site has provided.  In fact, outside of Google’s internet search engine, which through online advertising is its primary source of revenue, monetizing YouTube has been its biggest priority.

YouTube, for its existence, has predominantly been a free use site, with individuals allowed to upload content free of charge (though YouTube retains full rights to remove questionable or copyrighted content), and a large portion of its video content does not generate income.  Recently, however, Google has begun running integrated “display” ads that now generate about $5 billion in annual revenue for the company.

As part of its new focus, YouTube recently overhauled the design of their website to encourage more crossover viewing based on similarities of content (which seeks to drive ad-free video viewers toward watching videos that do feature advertising).  Back in October, YouTube also took a major step toward being a content provider when it announced about 100 original programming deals with various media companies and celebrity performers like Jay-Z, Madonna, and others, with the goal eventually being specialized “channels” that draw continued viewership.