YouTube is a social website that allows users to upload, view, and share video clips. It was founded in February 2005 by three early employees of PayPal. YouTube has fifty employees and is located in San Mateo, California, USA. YouTube uses Adobe Flash to serve its content, which includes clips from films and television programs, music videos, and homemade videos. Video feeds of YouTube videos can also be easily embedded on blogs and other websites. YouTube prohibits the posting of copyrighted video by anyone but the copyright holder; however, restriction of copyrighted material has proven very difficult.

YouTube was founded in February, 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. Prior to PayPal, Hurley studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign The domain name "" was activated on February 15, 2005, with the website launching shortly thereafter. In November, 2005, venture capital firm, Sequoia, invested $3.5 million in YouTube. Sequoia Capital partner Roelof Botha, former CFO of PayPal, joined the board of directors at YouTube. In April, 2006, Sequoia Capital invested a further US$8 million in YouTube.

The site's popularity surged in December 2005 when it hosted the popular Lazy Sunday clip from a Saturday Night Live broadcast.

In February, 2006, NBC Universal asked YouTube to remove several copyrighted NBC video clips, including Lazy Sunday and 2006 Olympics clips, from their site.

On March 14, 2006, YouTube set a 10-minute limit on videos, except for those uploaded through its Director Program.

By June 2006, NBC had reconsidered its approach and announced a strategic partnership with YouTube. Under the terms of the partnership, NBC will among other things create an official NBC Channel on YouTube to showcase its preview clips for The Office. YouTube will also promote NBC's videos throughout its site.

CBS, which had previously also asked YouTube to remove several of its clips, similarly reassessed its relationship with YouTube in July 2006. In a statement indicative of how the traditional media industry's perception of YouTube has changed, Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports noted:

Our inclination now is, the more exposure we get from clips like that, the better it is for CBS News and the CBS television network, so in retrospect we probably should have embraced the exposure, and embraced the attention it was bringing CBS, instead of being parochial and saying ‘let’s pull it down.’

Also in July 2006, Robert Tur, a television journalist, filed a lawsuit against YouTube, alleging copyright infringement. The case has yet to be resolved.

YouTube is currently one of the fastest-growing websites on the World Wide Web, and is ranked as the 15th most popular website on Alexa, far outpacing even MySpace's growth.

On July 16, 2006, YouTube announced that 100 million clips are watched on YouTube every day. An additional 65,000 new videos are uploaded every day. The site has almost 20 million visitors each month, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

Although YouTube's potential market value in an acquisition is pure speculation, an article in the New York Post suggested on July 23, 2006 that YouTube may be worth anywhere from $600 million to $1 billion.

YouTube policy does not allow content to be uploaded by anyone other than the copyright holder, and the company frequently removes uploaded videos that infringe on copyrights, but a large amount of copyrighted material is uploaded nonetheless. Generally, YouTube only discovers these videos when they are reported by the YouTube community, or when the copyright holder reports them. The primary way in which YouTube identifies the content of a video is through the search terms that uploaders associate with clips. There is also the increasing problem of users flagging other users' original content as copyrighted purely out of spite. Some users have taken to creating alternative words as search terms to be entered when uploading specific type of files.

YouTube does not have a centralized model for monitoring the content of videos uploaded to the site, instead relying on a "YouTube user community" to handle the task. Votes counted against a video cause it to be blocked or marked "inappropriate." While seemingly sensible, videos that contain nothing other than an unpopular point of view or similarly nonsensical transgressions are flagged regularly, and are more difficult to view for most visitors as a result.

In most cases, QuickTime files do not work well with YouTube. Most of these files, including those ripped from enhanced CDs, end up with poor audio/video synchronization. This is a result of the transcoding process.

Some industry commentators have speculated that YouTube's running costs — specifically the bandwidth required — may be as high as US$1 million per-month, [16] thereby fuelling criticisms that the company does not have a viable business model. Advertisements were launched on the site beginning in March 2006.

In April 2006, YouTube started using Google AdSense.

On their 6:30 PM bulletin on June 1, 2006, ITV News reported that YouTube and sites like it were encouraging violence and bullying amongst teenagers, who were filming fights on their mobile phones (see happy slapping), and then uploading them to YouTube. While YouTube provides a facility for reporting excessively violent videos, the news report stated that communication with the website was difficult.

The popularity of YouTube has inspired other websites into creating similar services. Examples of such spin-off sites would include XTube, TinyPic, and MySpace Videos. The embeddable nature of YouTube has bred several "best of" sites as well. These sites range from small, non-commercial, independently programed endeavours, to larger, ambitious, hierarchically displayed, viewer-rated sites.

Youtube has proved quite popular, leading others to join the video sharing buissness. YouTube's most primary rivals include Google Video, which is quite simmaler with the exception of a few things, and Dailymotion, which has been noted to be more lenient with their video content; allow copyright infrigment, adult acts, and a higher upload limit. (150 MB compared to YouTube's 100 MB limit.) It also has other competitors such as Viral video, That Video Site, Metacafe,, Putifile and Yousendit. Although, YouTube seems to be just as popular, if not more, than it's many competitors.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home