YouTube

YouTube, LLC
The YouTube logo is made of "You" written in black and "Tube" written in white inside a red round-rectangular box.
Type of business Subsidiary
Type of site
Video hosting service
Founded February 14, 2005; 11 years ago (2005-02-14)
Headquarters 901 Cherry Avenue, San Bruno, California, United States
Coordinates 37°37′41″N 122°25′35″W / 37.628101°N 122.426424°W / 37°37′41″N 122°25′35″W / 37.628101; -122.426424
Area served Worldwide (except blocked countries)
Owner Alphabet Inc.
Founder(s)
Key people Susan Wojcicki ( CEO)
Chad Hurley ( Adviser)
Industry Internet
Video hosting service
Parent Google (2006–present)
Slogan(s) Broadcast Yourself (2005–2012)
Website YouTube.com
(see list of localized domain names)
Alexa rank Steady 2 (Global, January 2017) [1]
Advertising Google AdSense
Registration Optional (not required to watch most videos; required for certain tasks such as uploading videos, viewing flagged (18+) videos, creating playlists, and posting comments)
Launched February 14, 2005; 11 years ago (2005-02-14)
Current status Active
Content license
Uploader holds copyright (standard license); Creative Commons can be selected.
Written in Java, [2] Python [3] and proprietary JavaScript

YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. The service was created by three former PayPal employees— Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—in February 2005. In November 2006, it was bought by Google for US$1.65 billion. [4] YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries. [5] The site allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to favorites, report and comment on videos, and it makes use of WebM, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, and Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.

Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, and Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. [6] Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed potentially offensive are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old. In December 2016, the website was ranked as the second most popular site by Alexa Internet, a web traffic analysis company. [1]

YouTube earns advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Red, a subscription service offering ad-free access to the website and access to exclusive content made in partnership with existing users.

Company history

Main article: History of YouTube
From left to right: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim
The YouTube homepage as it appeared from April to May 2005

YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. [7] Hurley had studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. [8] According to a story that has often been repeated in the media, Hurley and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos that had been shot at a dinner party at Chen's apartment in San Francisco. Karim did not attend the party and denied that it had occurred, but Chen commented that the idea that YouTube was founded after a dinner party "was probably very strengthened by marketing ideas around creating a story that was very digestible". [9]

Karim said the inspiration for YouTube first came from Janet Jackson's role in the 2004 Super Bowl incident, when her breast was exposed during her performance, and later from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Karim could not easily find video clips of either event online, which led to the idea of a video sharing site. [10] Hurley and Chen said that the original idea for YouTube was a video version of an online dating service, and had been influenced by the website Hot or Not. [11] [12]

The YouTube logo from launch until 2011, featuring its former slogan Broadcast Yourself

YouTube began as a venture capital-funded technology startup, primarily from an $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital between November 2005 and April 2006. [13] YouTube's early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California. [14] The domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, and the website was developed over the subsequent months. [15] The first YouTube video, titled Me at the zoo, shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. [16] The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and can still be viewed on the site. [17] YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005. The first video to reach one million views was a Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho in November 2005. [18] [19] Following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in November, the site launched officially on December 15, 2005, by which time the site was receiving 8 million views a day. [20] [21] The site grew rapidly, and in July 2006 the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, and that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day. [22] According to data published by market research company comScore, YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share of around 43% and more than 14 billion views of videos in May 2010. [23]

In 2014 YouTube said that 300 hours of new videos were uploaded to the site every minute, [24] three times more than one year earlier [25] and that around three quarters of the material comes from outside the U.S. [26] [27] [28] The site has 800 million unique users a month. [29] It is estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000. [30] According to third-party web analytics providers, Alexa and SimilarWeb, YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world, as of December 2016; SimilarWeb also lists YouTube as the top TV and video website globally, attracting more than 15 billion visitors per month. [1] [31] [32]

The choice of the name www.youtube.com led to problems for a similarly named website, www.utube.com. The site's owner, Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment, filed a lawsuit against YouTube in November 2006 after being regularly overloaded by people looking for YouTube. Universal Tube has since changed the name of its website to www.utubeonline.com. [33] [34] In October 2006, Google Inc. announced that it had acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock, and the deal was finalized on November 13, 2006. [35]

YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, California

In March 2010, YouTube began free streaming of certain content, including 60 cricket matches of the Indian Premier League. According to YouTube, this was the first worldwide free online broadcast of a major sporting event. [36] On March 31, 2010, the YouTube website launched a new design, with the aim of simplifying the interface and increasing the time users spend on the site. Google product manager Shiva Rajaraman commented: "We really felt like we needed to step back and remove the clutter." [37] In May 2010, it was reported that YouTube was serving more than two billion videos a day, which it described as "nearly double the prime-time audience of all three major US television networks combined". [38] In May 2011, YouTube reported in its company blog that the site was receiving more than three billion views per day. [27] In January 2012, YouTube stated that the figure had increased to four billion videos streamed per day. [26]

In October 2010, Hurley announced that he would be stepping down as chief executive officer of YouTube to take an advisory role, and that Salar Kamangar would take over as head of the company. [39] In April 2011, James Zern, a YouTube software engineer, revealed that 30% of videos accounted for 99% of views on the site. [40] In November 2011, the Google+ social networking site was integrated directly with YouTube and the Chrome web browser, allowing YouTube videos to be viewed from within the Google+ interface. [41]

In December 2011, YouTube launched a new version of the site interface, with the video channels displayed in a central column on the home page, similar to the news feeds of social networking sites. [42] At the same time, a new version of the YouTube logo was introduced with a darker shade of red, the first change in design since October 2006. [43] In May 2013, YouTube launched a pilot program to begin offering some content providers the ability to charge $0.99 per month or more for certain channels, but the vast majority of its videos would remain free to view. [44] [45]

In February 2015, YouTube released a secondary mobile app known as YouTube Kids. The app is designed to provide an experience optimized for children, and features a simplified user interface, curated selections of channels featuring age-approriate content (including existing channels and entertainment brands), and parental control features. [46] Later on August 26, 2015, YouTube launched YouTube Gaming—a video gaming-oriented sub-site and app that is intended to compete with the Amazon.com-owned Twitch.tv. [47] 2015 also saw the announcement of a premium YouTube service titled YouTube Red, which provides users with both ad-free content as well as the ability to download videos among other features. [48] On August 10, 2015, Google announced that it was creating a new company, Alphabet, to act as the holding company for Google, with the change in financial reporting to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015. YouTube remains as a subsidiary of Google. [49] In January 2016, YouTube expanded its headquarters in San Bruno by purchasing an office park for $215 million. The complex has 554,000 square feet of space and can house up to 2,800 employees. [50]