YouTube Statistics for 2012

Time Magazine provided a rather exhaustive review of YouTube’s past, present and future. Check out the full article, titled “The Beast With a Billion Eyes” (a title, no doubt, with Shakespearean roots). Some highlights:

This is the first ever coverage of YouTube that failed to mention Shaycarl or Olgakay.

The piece cites the age-old quote that every minute that passes in real time, 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, and then plays with the math (more video uploaded in past month than three big TV networks in the past 60 years).

YouTube gets 4,000,000,000 page views a day, which adds up to 1,000,000,000,000 a year.

The author creates the mock YouTube video title, “LOLOLOLOL this thing is amazeballs!!!!!!!”

YouTube recently enlarged the thumbnail images very slightly. “That change alone increased clicks to the Watch page by 2%,” said Margaret Gould Stewart, director of user experience.

On the efforts to boost channels (versus individual videos): Where there used to be two units of organization on YouTube–a single video and the 1 billion video collection–now there’s something in between.

YouTube has 800,000,000 users (about the same as Facebook) who watch 3,000,000,000 hours of video a month. But even one of the most-subscribed guys, RayWilliamJohnson, has 5.3 million subscribers. So that could suggest that the number of users who actually subscribe is in the low single digits.

Average viewing session remains a low 15 minutes (compared to hours of television binging).

9 Replies to “YouTube Statistics for 2012”

  1. First time I’ve seen the 800m user # thrown around. It also shows how top heavy that number is. On SocialBlade I currently track about 160k channels (0.02%) but in terms of views I logged 886k (22%) on average each day for the past month. So with my incomplete dataset 0.02% channels generate 22% of the views. Looks like youtube has its own 99% / 1%. #OccupyYouTube

  2. It’s odd that Time magazine would recycle a title. “The Beast With a Billion Eyes” was a 2006 article on this wacky new thing called “Youtube” and how it’s a “surveillance system” / “spotlight” / “microscope” / “soapbox” (,9171,1570808,00.html , perhaps named for the 2000 song by Age of Jets–via Youtube’s mom).

    You’ll like:
    -[re: 1991 Rodney King beating] “Do a YouTube search today [2006] on the term police brutality, and you get more than 780 videos” [1/30/2012: 78,500]

    – “Perhaps more important in the long run is that the [Michael J.] Fox [2006 U.S. senate hopeful’s pro-stem-cell-research] ad was a bigger hit as a viral video than as a TV spot. YouTube had arrived, as a media outlet and as a social force–a place where ideas and images can spread instantly, cheaply, democratically and anarchically. Does YouTube aspire to become TV? These days TV should be so lucky as to become YouTube.”

  3. I can’t read the whole article, but Time looks like to be getting a hook on the Mass Public’s View of YouTube. The Videos that the “Media” picks up because they want to get on the band wagon on what’s publicly popular: “Viral Videos”.

    If anyone can read the whole Article, do they mention any of the “Shows” or “series” or Channels on YouTube?

  4. Adjustment: “The Beast With a Billion Eyes” is a title, no doubt, with John the Revelatorian roots. Apocalypse-inducing hallucinogenic berries much?

Comments are closed.