The Anatomy of YouTube: 26 Amazing Facts from the Past 10 Years

The Anatomy of YouTube: 26 Amazing Facts from the Past 10 Years

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Some people thought my recent column about YouTube’s month-long celebration of its 10th birthday was a little “harsh.” If I was looking for some critical data or trying to spot a couple of trends in the digital video marketing business, my critics suggested that all I needed to do was go back to the YouTube Trends Blog and read the entire #10YearsofYouTube series from A to Z. So, I took their advice and here’s my second opinion of the top 26 lessons that I woulda, coulda, shoulda discovered and shared with you. But first, take a look at the video YouTube uploaded today that covers 10 incredible years. A 1000 brownie points to anyone that gets every reference:

#10YearsofYouTube from A to Z: 26 Amazing Facts

  • A Is for Animals” says there are approximately 10 million cat videos on YouTube, meaning an average of one to two cat videos are uploaded per minute.

  • B Is for Beauty” adds over 5 billion hours of beauty tutorials and explainers have been uploaded to YouTube in the past 10 years.
  • C Is for Covers” reveals the rendition of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” by Working With Lemons has more than 139 million views.
  • D is for Dance” reports that 2.3 million Harlem Shake videos have generated more than 4.7 billion views.
  • E Is for Epic” discloses there were more than 50 million streams of Felix Baumgartner’s leap from a plane hovering at the edge of space.
  • F Is for Fails” explains that Lithuania, Norway, and Latvia are the top three countries where the YouTube community is most likely to search YouTube for the word “fail”.
  • G Is for Gangnam Style” tells us that Psy’s video not only has a jaw-dropping 2.3 billion views, it also has 11,000+ years of watchtime.
  • H Is for How-To” informs us there are more than 135 million how-to videos on YouTube, addressing every question.
  • I Is for It Gets Better” says coming out videos have provided support to the LGBT community and educated viewers around the world.
  • J Is for Jimmy & Jimmy” adds the most subscribed to channels on YouTube include Jimmy Fallon’s with 7.1 million subscribers and Jimmy Kimmel’s with 5.8 million.

  • K Is for Kidding Around” reveals that the most-viewed non-music video of all time, “Charlie bit my finger… again,” has been watched nearly 820 million times.
  • L Is for Let’s Play” reports that PewDiePie receives 76 million views to his channel a week and is gaining subscribers at a rate of approximately 3.6 new subs a minute.
  • M Is for Memes” discloses that we watched people put themselves through the ALS challenge over a billion times.
  • N Is for News” explains there was a 4,600% increase in YouTube searches for the term “meteor” after one appeared over Chelyabinsk, Russia.
  • O Is for Old Spice” tells us YouTube advertisers’ top 10 ads of 2014 were watched more than 16 million hours last year, the equivalent of roughly 1 billion 60-second spots.

  • P Is for People” informs us that Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” which has been called “the worst song ever,” got over 2.5 million views… last month (mostly on Fridays).
  • Q Is for Questions” says there are more than 24 million question-related videos on YouTube, covering everything under (and including) the sun.
  • R Is for Reactions” adds that the 800+ videos in The Fine Bros React series have garnered nearly 3 billion views and more than 12 million subscribers.
  • S Is for Singers” reveals more than half of the 250+ channels in the billionaire’s club (aka, those with a billion views or more) feature singers and songwriters.
  • T Is for Timelapse” reports over 1.7 million timelapse videos have been uploaded to YouTube and viewed more than 3.9 billion times.
  •  “U Is for Uplifting” discloses that the emotional impact of a video like “29 years old and hearing myself for the 1st time!” is hard to measure, but easy to sense.
  • V Is for Vloggers” explains that vloggers, who have uploaded millions of videos over the past decade, have played a significant role in the formation of the site’s personality and culture.
  • W Is for Weird and Wonderful” tells us Beyonce called upon Super Selfies for inspiration for her 7-11 video, which has been viewed over 213 million times.
  • X Is for Xperiments” informs us over 515,000 hours of videos featuring the infamous diet coke and mentos experiment were viewed on the site last month.

YouTube Facts: Creator Behavior

Okay, I admit that it was a little harsh to describe most of this data as “factoids” and dismiss many of these trends as “trivia.” But, now that I’ve read the entire #10YearsofYouTube series from A to Z, here’s the strategic insight that I’d like to share: It’s focused primarily on YouTube creators. There are only two mentions of the YouTube community and just one reference to YouTube advertisers.

Nevertheless, YouTube’s future will be defined not only by more than a million original content creators, but also by more than a billion people who discover, watch and share their videos as well as more than a million advertisers large and small. It’s a three-legged stool.

So, it’s great to celebrate YouTube’s 10th birthday by looking back at creators from A to Z. But, I would have also liked a quick update on Gen C or some additional “Insights into the Google Preferred audience on YouTube.” And, while it is nice to know that the top 10 ads of 2014 were watched more than 16 million hours last year, I would have also liked to learn more about TrueView for shopping and told to check out the “Top 4 Takeaways From the 2015 NewFronts Season.”

Yes, it’s all out there. But, it’s not cross-posted to one of the YouTube blogs. So, I guess that’s why you read ReelSEO – because we pull all this together for the online video industry. But, I’d really, really love to hear what YouTube executives have to say about the road ahead.


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