Sep. 1st, 2006

9,300 years of video watched on YouTube. But still not profitable!

Wall Street Journal reporter Lee Gomes estimates we have watched over 9,305 years of video on in Wednesday’s Journal (8.30.06).

"The video-sharing site doesn’t make public much of the information it has about itself… But it’s possible to piece together that sort of information by "scraping" the site… I did a scrape of YouTube a month ago and found there were 5.1 million videos. By Sunday, the end of another scrape, that number had grown by about 20% to 6.1 million. Because we know how many videos have been uploaded to the site, the length of each, and how many times it has been watched (total views were 1.73 billion as of Sunday) we can do a little multiplication to find out how much time has collectively been spent watching them….

Also, nearly 2,000 videos have "Zidane" in the title. Who at a desk anywhere on the planet didn’t watch at least one head-butt video in the days after French soccer star Zinedine Zidane’s meltdown in the World Cup final? For all the talk of the Internet fragmenting tastes and interests, YouTube is an example of the Web homogenizing experiences.

YouTube videos take up an estimated 45 terabytes of storage — about 5,000 home computers’ worth — and require several million dollars’ worth of bandwidth a month to transmit.

Those costs are one reason that some predict YouTube will collapse under the sheer weight of providing a haven for every teenager with a cellphone camera eager to be famous for 15 minutes of video."

It is a sobering thought that the bastion of viral marketing isn’t a runaway success. I thought that the hallmark of Web 2.0 was that Internet businesses were meant to run in the black from pretty much the get go?

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