Today we live in the age of streaming and YouTube is undeniably at the top of the countless streaming services today. In February of 2005, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim co-created a company that would experience remarkable development in its first year. YouTube was then sold to Google for $1.5 billion in late 2006. With a head start over future streaming companies, and financial support from Google, YouTube is not only a powerhouse in streaming but an ideal outlet for companies, creators, and consumers.
The road to the top was a long one for YouTube and along the way it has racked up many accolades. Today, YouTube is ranked second in the world’s most popular websites, only behind Google. According to the online ranking website Alexa.com, YouTube gets an average of 4.75 daily page views per visitor. This correlates with 5 billion videos being watched everyday.
YouTube also expanded its reach by renting movies through its services in 2010. This was about the time when Redbox would begin to take off and lead the rental industry. Netflix was also beginning to bloom at the time, but YouTube kept themselves in the race, by creating YouTube Live in 2011. This allowed the site to stream events such as the presidential elections, the Olympics and eSports events. Then came YouTube’s Music Key, also known as YouTube Red. This service allows users to play music offline, without having the app open, and without ads. This was eventually expanded to all videos. With a ten dollar monthly subscription, the service now also includes original shows, downloadable videos, and Google Play Music.
However, YouTube’s most recent introduction of YouTube TV seems to be the biggest leap forward even if it’s only available in a couple of cities. YouTube TV offers close to 50 channels and allows viewing on several devices for thirty-five dollars a month plus fees. This is a popular trend for American consumers who are beginning to leave cable. YouTube will continue to expand its networks and is continuously chasing both Hulu and Netflix.
One consistent trend of the company is its willingness to pave the way and lead innovation. YouTube, like other streaming services, is open to changing the way videos are being streamed. YouTube first showed this by launching 3D streamable videos in mid 2009. They stayed in the race in 2015 by announcing that 360 degree videos would be supported on their platform. The following year any video on YouTube was available to the trending market of virtual reality videos. In the last decade, YouTube has become consistently innovative by offering new features, and other companies are yet to get an edge over them. Ultimately, this has led to YouTube reigning over the streaming world.
YouTube also maximizes their platform for millions of creators, companies, and consumers to unite and thrive off of one another and form communities within the platform. As a result, large companies and creators can expand their followers and fans, and reach people across the globe. Not only is it useful for big channels, it’s also ideal for amatuer content creators who use the platform to inspire, educate, entertain and express themselves for free. In return, these creators bring more people to YouTube, and more views to their videos, which they use to make income. Everyone else on YouTube is exploring, experiencing, and becoming a part of certain communities.
I have been on the YouTube train for several years now. From clicking away at video thumbnails on a desktop, to streaming videos on the ride to school, I know I will continue to stream videos, music, and movies on my devices going forward. Most importantly, I hope to see YouTube stay strong in the race to the top of streaming services.