YouTube is a video streaming company that was launched in May of 2005 . The company is a website that allows people all around the world to watch and share videos. They have sports videos, music videos, gaming videos, live streaming, and so much more . YouTube has been utilized by individuals and by large companies as a platform to distribute content. YouTube currently has more than 1 billion users and 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Until recently, YouTube made a majority of its money through advertising before and during the videos on the site. In 2006, Google bought YouTube for 1.65 billion dollars . Under the deal, YouTube was able to remain an independently operated entity and a separate brand. The original founders of YouTube were Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim who were all early employees of PayPal . The current CEO of YouTube is Susan Wojcicki, but Chad Hurley, one of the original founders, still serves as an advisor . YouTube has opened up channels of communication and allowed for an easier way to distribute media more directly to the public.
FINANCIALSAs a company, YouTube’s financials have been protected by their parent company, Google. There has been wide speculation about whether YouTube actually makes a profit. In 2014 an anonymous Wall Street Journal source reported YouTube’s revenue for the year at roughly $4 billion and profit at break even . YouTube was a large investment for Google. It has been estimated that it won’t be long before YouTube makes up to 10% of Google’s total revenues . During Google’s Q2 2015 conference call, the new CFO, Ruth Porat, was evasive regarding questions to clarify YouTube’s financials. Porat did not share YouTube’s financials because she felt it could put the company at a competitive disadvantage. Colin Gillis, an analyst for BGC Partners, believes that Google is now in the stages of refining and preparing YouTube’s financial performance so when they do finally reveal those numbers, Wall Street will be pleasantly surprised .
YOUTUBE REDOn October 28th, 2015 YouTube launched its long-discussed paid subscription service, YouTube Red. The service will cost $9.99 a month and have ad-free versions of YouTube videos. There has been speculation about a service like this coming for a long time because of the financial issues that YouTube is faced with. YouTube has all the factors for success, but reportedly only breaks even with their revenue. This new service will allow subscribers of YouTube Red to save YouTube videos for offline play, listen to videos in the background while browsing other mobile apps and watch all YouTube videos without ads. YouTube stars like PewDiePie, Lilly Singh and the Fine Brothers will be creating videos that are exclusive to this new program. Music is also a large component of YouTube Red. The service will be providing access to Google Play Music and a new app called YouTube Music, which offers a personalized playlist based on a starting song or artist, this style is very similar to Pandora. YouTube Red is charging prices very similar to potential competitors like Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu . YouTube also announced that they would be shutting down their Music Key beta, just a year after launching. Music Key was YouTube’s first attempt at a subscription service and offered users full album streams and offline listening for $7.99 a month. The service also included access to Google Play Music. Music Key was not successful, and never made its way out of beta. YouTube Red is the company’s second attempt to overcome the issues that were evident in Music Key’s model and break through any streaming service barriers . YouTube Red contains a large amount of promise to fix YouTube’s financial woes, but there has been controversy over how YouTube has gotten creators to agree to be a part of the service. YouTube has stated that 99% of creators have signed on with the Red deal but has also been accused of giving creators no choice, either getting on board with the service or having their videos removed from the site. ESPN has had the most public battle with YouTube over the service. With rights issues surrounding their content, ESPN had to pull almost all of their videos from YouTube. Eleven of ESPN’s thirteen YouTube Channels were impacted and had their content pulled from the site .
YOUTUBE’S MOMENTUM & FUTURE
Even with the issues facing YouTube and the fallout coming from YouTube Red, the company’s future seems bright. YouTube now reaches more 18-49 year olds than any
single U.S. cable network and the average YouTube mobile session is 40 minutes. The number of hours people spend watching videos is also up 60%, which the fastest growth YouTube has experienced in 2 years . Ever since YouTube officially became “mainstream” in 2009 with Congress and The Vatican launching their respective YouTube channels, the momentum in pop culture has only increased. YouTube launched Vevo, a music video channel, then announced that movies could be rented from YouTube starting in January 2010. As YouTube gained notoriety projects were launched on the site such as the It Gets Better project and Kony 2012. YouTube has pushed the importance of
original content and been revolutionary in the likes of live-streaming. YouTube was the first company to show a live-stream of the 2012 Olympics. YouTube has pushed the boundaries and the strides can only point to a successful future . YouTube has big plans to stay ahead of everyone else in the field, and to turn their large audience numbers into real, tangible profit i.e. YouTube Red. One of YouTube’s other big projects for the future is to provide YouTube access to anyone, anywhere. No matter what kind of connection, they want YouTube and its content to be streamed everywhere. YouTube has worked very hard to improve their tech. To continue improving it, YouTube has built new codecs, participated in developing new versions of HTML, and
worked narrowly and closely with internet providers to make sure people are getting the best picture possible. These upgrades will never stop for YouTube, because this is what it takes to stay ahead and that has always been one of their biggest priorities. One of YouTube’s other resolutions as it moves to the future is a greater focus on “creators” rather than the one hit viral wonders that helped give YouTube its notoriety. These creators have built large fan bases and are in large part to thank for the increased viewership and subscriptions which is what is making YouTube so successful. These creators are also crucial to make sure that YouTube Red is successful, exclusive content on the service from these creators will only draw more fans to pay for the service .
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