YouTube’s first official blog update for May has revealed that visitors to the site are now watching over six billion hours’ worth of content every month – a figure that adds up to a mind-boggling 684,477 years of YouTube footage.
On average, this means that every person on the planet is spending an hour per month watching YouTube, and the statistic represents a year-on-year rise of 50%, the Google-owned video sharing site says.
The news adds to the argument put forward in some quarters that online video sharing sites like YouTube are gradually replacing the trusted old television as the favoured watching medium throughout the world. Indeed, marketing info provider Nielson revealed this week that YouTube is reaching more young Americans (aged 18 – 34) than any of the country’s cable networks.
At a recent media event, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt responded to a question about whether it could be possible for YouTube to one day overtake the goggle box in these stakes by claiming that such a change had “already happened”. He added:
“[YouTube is] not a replacement for something that we know.
“It’s a new thing that we have to think about, to program, to curate and build new platforms.”
One area in which YouTube certainly has the edge over its cathode ray-emitting or plasma-screened rival is that it allows for two-way communication. While televisions simply provide output of material, YouTube allows users to like, share and comment on videos of their choice, this making it a useful tool in any internet marketing campaign.