Google have announced a whole heap of changes at their annual developer conference, Google I/O, including a new cross platform video chat feature, a ‘conversational voice search’ feature for Chrome, a music streaming service to rival that of Spotify and Pandora and 41 new updates to Google+. They also confirmed the latest impressive stats for YouTube and introduced a new open-source, royalty free codec called VP9 aimed at cutting bandwidth.

YouTube Statistics May 2013

Matt Frost, the senior business product manager for the Google Chrome Team confirmed the following:

  • YouTube has more than 1 billion monthly users
  • There are more than 4 billion video views per day
  • More than 6 billion hours of video are watched per month
  • More than 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube each minute
  • 25% of YouTube video consumption is via a mobile device

VP9 Codec

At the conference, Google introduced its new royalty free and open source codec technology called VP9 which it states is a higher quality alternative to today’s dominant video codec, H.264.

Frost confidently confirmed that:

With a codec as good as VP9, we can significantly increase the size of the Internet and significantly increase the speed of the Internet.

It is being said that the new codec will use half the bandwidth.  Of course, there are a variety of other codecs that people have either grown accustomed (VP8) or others on the horizon vying for attention (H.265).

Hangouts, Google Play, and More

Alongside the YouTube live streaming announcement, Google also announced a new version of Google Maps, 41 updates to Google+, a new Pandora/Spotify rival called Google Play Music, new payment methods via Google wallet and the introduction of ‘Conversational Voice Search’ to Chrome users.

Google also announced an updated and more cohesive multi-platform ‘all in one’ messaging system called ‘Hangouts’ which will replace Google Talk, Google+ Messenger and the original Google+ Hangout video chat service. Part of Google+ and GMail, it will be available via Chrome, iOS and Android, the new feature allows users to send videos, photos and texts both on a one to one and on a group basis. It also offers a free group video chat for up to 10 people – something that Skype currently charges for.

More info can be found in the promo demo released yesterday: