YouTube Stats and Facts

Statistically the largest streaming video website in the world, YouTube is now used by over 2 billion internet users—or around one-third of all people currently using the internet. YouTube has local versions in over 100 countries and 80 languages.

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 channels it removes each year, YouTube is hardly a website associated with small numbers.

In this post, we share some of the most impressive tidbits of information about this platform.

1. YouTube is the second-most visited website

With 2 billion users worldwide, it’s hardly a surprise that the YouTube website sees a ton of traffic. In fact, the only site that gets more visitors is that of parent company Google. Things have changed slightly since our last round of YouTube statistics in early 2019; at that point, Facebook had more visitors than YouTube.

Site traffic numbers.
Source: SimilarWeb

2. Users watch over a billion hours of video per day

YouTube users view a whopping 1 billion hours of video each day. Each visitor spends around 13 minutes on the site daily and visits approximately seven to eight pages before leaving the site. Over 70 percent of YouTube content is viewed via mobile devices.

3. The most-viewed video has more than 6.8 billion views

Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” featuring Daddy Yankee is the most-viewed video on YouTube. Not too far behind is Khalifa – See You Again ft. Charlie Puth with 4.6 billion views and PSY – Gangnam Style with 3.7 billion views.

The Luis Fonsi video.
Source: YouTube

4. YouTube’s Android app has more than 5 billion installs

According to statistics from the Google Play Store, more than 5 billion users have downloaded the YouTube Android app. It hit 5 billion in November 2018, so the actual number could be much higher now. There is no category yet defined that goes above 5 billion, but the one below covered 1-5 billion, so we can assume we will find out if YouTube ever reaches 10 billion installs. YouTube was the most downloaded iOS app in 2019 for the second consecutive year.

5. T-Series overtook PewDiePie as the channel with the most subscribers

Swedish video gamer PewDiePie had the most number of subscribers for 1,920 days. However, T-Series, a film production company and record label based in India, has now far surpassed him in terms of subscribers. While PewDiePie has a whopping 106 million subscribers, T-Series is now far ahead with 148 million.

T-Series channel.

6. In the US, WWE is the most popular channel

Based on the number of views in the US alone, WWE takes the cake. It has over 37 billion views and 64 million subscribers. Toy review channel, Ryan’s World, is a close second with more than 34 billion views even though it has far fewer subscribers (26 million).

7. 73% of US adults use YouTube

According to a 2019 study by Pew Research Center, almost three-quarters of US adults use YouTube. That’s higher penetration than Facebook which is used by 69 percent of US adults. Use among men (78 percent) is higher than among women (68 percent). When it comes to the age of users, the vast majority (91 percent) of 18-29 year-olds use YouTube, whereas usage drops a bit in older generations, to the point where only around 38 percent of those 65 and over use the platform.

YouTube demographics chart.
Source: Pew Research Center

8. YouTube is a go-to platform for product reviews

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. YouTube users watched over 50,000 years’ worth of review videos in a two-year period.

9. YouTube is also preferred over instruction manuals

Users are three times more likely to watch a YouTube tutorial video than deal with reading the instruction booklet that accompanies a product.

10. LEGO has the most popular brand channel

LEGO is one of YouTube’s biggest massive content producers. Although it doesn’t compare to some of the most popular influencer channels, it is the most popular brand channel. LEGO has over 8 million subscribers and its videos have amassed more than 10 billion views.

The LEGO channel.

11. More than 80 percent of YouTube users live outside the US

While the US does account for the largest portion (16.1 percent) of YouTube’s visitors, that portion is still relatively small. Behind the US is India, accounting for 9.3 percent and then Japan, which accounts for 4.7 percent of users.

12. Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube in 2006

Google’s acquisition of YouTube was big news (and big money) back in 2006. YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley received $334 million from the sale, co-founder Steven Chen received $301 million, and due to his business relationship with the company at the time, third co-founder Jawed Karim received $66 million. Sequoia Capital, the earliest YouTube investor, earned $516 million while Artis Ventures snagged $85 million.

13. YouTube generated an estimated $15.15 billion in ad revenue in 2019

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. The 2019 total was up 36 percent over the previous year from $11.16 billion. This was up significantly from 2017 when revenue was $8.15 billion.

14. The Content ID system pays billions of dollars to creators

YouTube 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. By November 2018, the service had paid out over $3 billion through the system.

Youtube stats
Source: Google

15. 8-year old Ryan Kaji was YouTube’s highest earner in 2019

The young star of the channel Ryan’s World (previously Ryan’s ToysReview) earns his millions by reviewing toys and delighting his subscribers. With the help of his parents, he earned $26 million in 2019 and $22 million in 2018. Following Ryan as top earners in 2019 were Dude Perfect (a group of former college roommates who set up a sports entertainment channel) who made $20 million and Anastasia Radzinskaya (a five-year-old Russian-American kids’ entertainer) who earned $18 million.

16. YouTube’s 10 highest earners brought in over $160 million in one year

Between June 1, 2018 and June 1, 2019, the above three stars along with seven other top earners netted a whopping $162 million. Aside from the two children, all other top ten earners are men, five of whom earn their keep by posting gaming videos.

17. Viacom once sued Google for $1 billion because of YouTube content

In 2007, Viacom filed a lawsuit against Google for allowing copyright infringement on the YouTube platform. The case was eventually thrown out, although defending the lawsuit cost Google upwards of $100 million.

18. YouTube’s first-ever video has over 107 million views

The first video was posted to YouTube on April 25, 2005, by co-founder Jawed Karim. It is titled “Me at the zoo” and is 19 seconds long.

Me at the zoo video.

19. YouTube began as a video dating website

YouTube’s early version failed to inspire. Co-founder Steve Chen revealed at a 2016 press conference that on initial launch, YouTube had the tagline “Tune in, Hook up.” It was designed to provide people with a way to upload videos in a quest to find their dream partner. However, the idea never took off, even after the team offered to pay women $20 each to upload a video.

20. The YouTube logo barely changed until 2017

The site kept its original logo from launch until 2011. Even then, only very minor tweaks were made and the logo’s design didn’t change much until 2017.

YouTube stats
Source: Fandom

21. 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. YouTube’s current upload limit is 15 minutes, with a longer limit allowed for accounts that show they can follow YouTube’s community guidelines. The maximum upload limit for those accounts is 128GB or 12 hours, whichever one is less for the video.

22. YouTube is blocked in some countries, including China

Access to YouTube is restricted in some regions, often due to government censorship. However, you can use a VPN to unblock YouTube in these countries.

23. YouTube removed more than 6 million videos in the first months of 2020

YouTube mainly relies on automated flagging to decide which videos to remove, but a large number of videos are flagged by users or members of the “Trusted Flagger” program. Automated flagging is particularly important as it means videos can be removed before they are viewed. In Q1 2020, the main reason for video removal was “spam, misleading and scams” which accounted for 37 percent of censored videos. Other reasons included “child safety” (24.3 percent), “nudity or sexual” (14.3 percent), and “violent or graphic” (11.4 percent).

Source: Google

24. Almost 700 million comments were removed in Q1 of 2020

YouTube polices comments as well, and removed a staggering number in a three-month period. The vast majority of these (more than 99 percent) were removed by automated flagging.

25. YouTube removed nearly 2 million channels in 2020

As well as individual videos, YouTube takes down a surprising number of channels. 87.5 percent of the channels removed in Q1 2020 were deemed “spam, misleading and scams.”