Seemingly overnight, YouTube became a website that took the online world by storm. It has rapidly become a household name in almost every country in the world (with internet access). Maybe it’s due to the fact that users are given the ability to upload anything that their hearts desire without much limitation (except for copyright laws; it’s best if you avoid uploading videos that you did not create). Add to this the fact that there are countless things to watch (it is estimated that over 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute!), ranging from user- and corporate-created animation and cartoons to music and music videos, movies and trailers, sports and sports commentaries, how-to tutorials, documentaries, the news — the list just seems to goes on and on!
Smartphones have also helped YouTube become the media giant it is today, as you can watch any video anywhere you please at any time! So many viewers have spent countless hours on YouTube, making it a viable threat to traditional television, which is losing audiences to streaming entertainment. Credit must be given to the layout that YouTube offers; with so many paid video websites available, it’s no wonder YouTube is miles ahead of the competition.
The layout was designed to keep the viewer enthralled by showing other recommended and newly uploaded videos (usually to channels the viewer has subscribed to), further extending the time that a user will spend on the website. Before the average viewer realizes it, three hours have gone by and they’ve seen a wide array of cat videos and numerous commercials. It’s really quite ingenious on the part of YouTube’s developers. It does certainly raise concern as to whether or not YouTube is a good thing, but with the entertainment value being so high, how can it not be?
Before taking into consideration how much time viewers spend on YouTube, a closer look must be taken at its shinier cousin, Netflix. Another giant in the entertainment industry, this subscription-based entity has managed to gain over 93 million customers by providing them with almost endless content. It has been estimated that subscribers watch over 10 billion hours of content each month. These numbers are impressive, as Netflix is a subscriber service in which people must pay money to acquire its content.
Why compare the two? Netflix may have impressive numbers, but next to YouTube, they don’t match up. YouTube users are watching billions of hours on a day-to-day basis, launching this free service into a class all its own.
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