YouTube Stats and Facts

Statistically the largest streaming video website in the world, YouTube is now used by over 1 billion internet users—or around one-third of all people currently using the internet. Over 30 million people come to YouTube each day to watch and upload videos, which is equivalent to the total population of Ghana.

With such a large influence over the web, everything YouTube does is heavily scrutinized, and indeed most of what happens on the site is done on an exceptionally large scale. From the massive number of videos it hosts to the number of videos it removes each year, YouTube is hardly a website associated with small numbers.

As such, most stats and facts you’ll find about YouTube are far larger and far more impressive than most other sites.

YouTube usage and viewing statistics

Here are some of the biggest numbers that highlight YouTube’s current streaming dominance.

  • YouTube has over 1 billion users. (Source: YouTube)
  • The site is currently the third-most visited website as of February 2019, behind Google (#1) and Facebook (#2). (Source: SimilarWeb)
  • The video streaming site gets nearly 2 billion logged-in uses each month. (Source: YouTube)
  • YouTube users watch over 1 billion hours of video each day. (Source: YouTube)
  • Users spend around 21 minutes on the site with each visit. (Source: Similarweb)
  • The service is localized in 91 countries and offers content in 80 languages (which covers 95 percent of the world’s internet users). (Source: YouTube)
  • Over 70 percent of YouTube users watch through mobile devices. (Source: comScore)
  • With over 6 billion views as of this time of writing, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” featuring Daddy Yankee is the most-viewed video on YouTube. (Source: YouTube)
youtube stats
Source: YouTube
  • Nearly half of all on-demand music streaming comes through YouTube. (Source: ifpi)
  • YouTube’s Android app has been downloaded over 5 billion times. (Source: Google)
  • As of January 2019, videogamer PewDiePie had the largest number of subscribers with over 82 million users following his channel. (Source: Statista)
  • Videogamer T-Series followed PewDiePie in a close second and also maintains around 82 million subscribers. (Source: Statista)
  • 5 of the top 10 YouTube stars run video gaming channels. (Source: Forbes)
  • 96 percent of US residents aged 18-24 use YouTube regularly, making it a prime platform for marketers targeting Generation Z. (Source: Statista)
  • Half of US residents over the age of 75 use YouTube. (Source: Statista)
  • Consumers frequently use YouTube before making purchases. Around 80 percent of shoppers claimed to have accessed a video review on the site in the early part of their shopping process. (Source: Google)
youtube stats
Source: Google
  • Overall, YouTube’s users have watched over 50,000 years’ worth of review videos. (Source: Google)
  • Lego is one of YouTube’s most massive content producers, with over twice as many video views across all of its published videos than its next closest competitor. The toy maker has over 8.4 billion video views. (Source: Statista)
  • Many YouTube users are also using the platform as a learning tool. Around 70 percent of Millennial users turned to YouTube to learn more about topics that interest them. (Source: Google)
  • Over 80 percent of YouTube’s users live outside of the US, exemplifying the platform’s global reach. (Source: Alexa)

YouTube earnings and other money facts

YouTube is now a giant ad revenue machine, thanks in no small part to Google Adsense incorporated into videos and YouTube’s use of autoplay. But with so many users and at such a large size, there’s more to YouTube’s money stats than its ad revenues.

  • The video streaming site received $3 million on November 1, 2005 in its Series A funding round. The sole investor was Sequoia Financial, which has helped finance other major companies including Apple, Yahoo!, PayPal, and Google, among many others. (Source: Crunchbase)
  • In March 2006, just before it was purchased by Google, YouTube’s Series B funding brought in $8 million from Artis Ventures and Sequoia Capital. (Source: Crunchbase)
  • In October 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion. (Source: NBCNews)
  • YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley received $334 million from the sale. (Source: TechCrunch)
  • Co-founder Steven Chen received $301 million from the sale. (Source: TechCrunch)
  • Due to his business relationship with the company at the time, third co-founder Jawed Karim received $66 million from the sale. (Source: TechCrunch)
  • Sequoia Capital, the earliest YouTube investor, earned $516 million from the sale.  (Source: TechCrunch)
  • Artis Ventures earned $85 from the sale. (Source: TechCrunch)
  • YouTube generated an estimated $3.36 billion in ad revenue in 2018. (Source: eMarketer)
  • The service allows content creators to monetize any of their content that exists on the platform (whether they created the videos using their content or not) thanks to YouTube’s Content ID system. The service has paid out over $3 billion in the past year. (Source: Google)
Youtube stats
Source: Google
  • 7-year old Ryan of Ryan ToysReviews was YouTube’s highest earner in 2018. The kid toy reviewer earned $22 million that year, and $11 million in 2017. (Source: Forbes)
  • The top 10 YouTube earners are men and collectively earned 42 percent more in 2018 than in 2017. Together, YouTube’s top 10 stars earned over $180 million. (Source: Forbes)
  • Viacom sued Google for $1 billion in 2007 for allowing copyright infringement on its platform but ultimately lost the case. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • In 2016, YouTube purchased an office park in San Bruno, California for $215 million. (Source: San Jose Mercury News)
  • YouTube spent around $2 million per month in bandwidth costs prior to its 2006 sale to Google. Those costs were brought down dramatically to around $666,000 per month (and now likely less) thanks to free access to Google’s data center technology and expertise. (Source: Ars Technica)

Other interesting facts about YouTube

Some facts about the streaming video giant are well known. Others, however, are good tidbits to know the next time you’re playing a trivia game.

  1. YouTube had three co-founders, Chad Hurley, Steven Chen, and Jawed Karim (Source: USA Today)
  2. The site officially launched in 2005. (Source: Wikipedia)
  3. All three co-founders were early PayPal employees. (Source: Wikipedia)
  4. Jawed Karim was initially unknown as the third founder. Prior to the launch and Google’s acquisition, he had enrolled in a graduate program and agreed to become an advisor of the company instead of an employee. As a result, he received a significantly lower share of the $1.65 billion YouTube paid for the site. (Source: Wikipedia)
  5. The first video posted to YouTube was by Karim, titled “Me at the Zoo”. It’s 19 seconds long and has been viewed over 62 million times. (Source: YouTube)
  6. YouTube co-founders posted a video to YouTube to talk about the Google acquisition. (The pair failed to mention Karim in the video.) (Source: YouTube)
  7. According to Karim, YouTube was inspired by the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show wardrobe slip-up with Janet Jackson and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. In both cases, Karim was frustrated with the difficulty of finding either video online. (Source: USA Today)
  8. YouTube’s early version failed to inspire. An early version of YouTube, called Tune In Hook Up, was designed to be similar to the website Hot or Not. (Source: USA Today)
  9. The site kept its original logo from launch until 2011. The logo’s design did not change much until 2017. (Source: Fandom)
YouTube stats
Source: Fandom
  • YouTube stopped using Adobe Flash Player for videos in 2015. The site now uses HTML5  Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (HTML5-DASH). (Source: TheVerge)
  • YouTube initially launched with no limit on uploaded video length. However, the site instituted a 10-minute limit in 2006 to manage issues with copyright infringement. (Source: Ars Technia)
  • YouTube’s current upload limit is 15 minutes, with a longer limit allowed for accounts that show they can follow YouTube’s community guidelines. Still, abuse exists despite the current system.  The maximum upload limit is 128GB or 12 hours, whichever is less for the video. (Source: YouTube)
  • The service launched YouTube Live in 2011, allowing for live streaming through the service using its own live streaming infrastructure. (Source: BBC)
  • YouTube entered the OTT streaming video market on April 5, 2017, after it launched its YouTube TV service. (Source: Los Angeles Times)
  • The company ran April Fools jokes every year from 2008 to 2016. Its first prank in 2008 was to redirect every video on its homepage to a Rick Roll video. (Source: TechCrunch)
  • YouTube began testing an early version of its current Content ID system in 2007. The system automatically identifies and flags copyrighted content, including sound clips and video content. (Source: YouTube)
youtube stats
Source: YouTube
  • The service is blocked in several countries: China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. (Source: YouTube)
  • From 2009 to 2016, many music videos were blocked in Germany due to a copyright disagreement between YouTube and Germany’s Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte (Society for Musical Performing and Mechanical Reproduction Rights). The agreement reached in 2016 ended the 7-year long fight that resulted in music video blocking on YouTube Germany. (Source: GEMA)
  • YouTube removed over 1.6 million channels between July and September of 2018. (Source: Google)
  • Nearly 80 percent of channels removed during that time were for “spam, misleading or scams”, while nearly 13 percent were removed for nudity or sexual content. (Source: Google)
  • Between automated and manual flagging, YouTube removed around 24 million videos in 2018. Around 80 percent were removed with automatic flagging. (Source: Google)
  • Over 70 percent of YouTube videos that were removed in 2018 were removed before receiving any views. (Source: Google)
  • Over 70 percent of YouTube’s videos removed in 2018 were removed for “spam, misleading or scams”. (Source: Google)
  • Between July 2018 and September 2018, over 224 million comments were removed from YouTube video comment sections. (Source: Google)
  • During that same time period, 99.5 percent of comments removed were removed by Youtube’s automated flagging system. (Source: Google)