Viewers around the world are watching more than 1 billion hours of YouTube videos every day, setting the online video service on the path to beat regular TV viewership, according to a report this week by The Wall Street Journal. The 1 billion hour milestone, which YouTube passed sometime late in 2016, is said to have been reached thanks to Google's "aggressive embrace of artificial intelligence to recommend videos."

Google started building and introducing the algorithms in 2012, and YouTube said that its 1 billion daily viewership hours represent a 10-fold increase in hours of video watched since 2012. In total, there are 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, which equates to 65 years of video every day. To get through all of that content, YouTube's algorithms give viewers a nudge of what to watch next on both desktop and mobile, growing the service's numbers year-over-year.

youtube apple tv

“The corpus of content continues to get richer and richer by the minute, and machine-learning algorithms do a better and better job of surfacing the content that an individual user likes,” YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan said.

With 1 billion hours of YouTube videos being viewed daily, the company's worldwide viewership will soon eclipse traditional American broadcast television numbers. According to Nielsen data, Americans watch around 1.25 billion hours of live and recorded TV every day. But, thanks to the rise of cord-cutting services, that number has been "steadily dropping in recent years."

Because Google doesn't disclose YouTube's monetary performance, it's unclear how much the company is profiting off of its growing popularity. A report from 2015 suggested that YouTube made around $4 billion in 2014 "and roughly broke even." YouTube has begun initiating ways to profit more from its increasing viewership, including the launch of the premium, $9.99/month YouTube Red service, as well as reports that began last year of the company's plan to debut its own streaming TV subscription service.

YouTube is also tweaking and learning what works best for its users. Earlier this month, the company confirmed that it'll be doing way with unskippable 30-second advertisements in 2018 because it knows that it loses some viewers completely when such ads pop up in front of videos. In their place, it's expected that shorter, but still unskippable 6-second "bumper ads" will become the norm.

For its online TV service, which was referred to as "one of the online video giant’s biggest priorities" when news of it broke last year, YouTube is predicted to introduce a skinny bundle with the four major U.S. networks and a few other popular cable channels, all for less than $35/month. At the time, YouTube's efforts were compared to Apple's attempts to launch a cord-cutting package, but plans for such a skinny bundle service from Apple have fallen apart due to media companies wanting more money than Apple wanted to charge for the service.

YouTube has also pushed out a small update to its iOS app today that will ensure all links to any YouTube video consistently open up within the YouTube app instead of in a browser window, like they sometimes did in the Safari or Chrome apps. YouTube is available to download for free on the iOS App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: YouTube

Top Rated Comments

decimortis Avatar
55 months ago
Fake news.
There's only 24 hours in a day, not 1 billion.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thisisnotmyname Avatar
55 months ago
I don't get it. What are people watching for hours at a time? I watch maybe a few minutes of YouTube a month -news highlights, a press conference, a sports highlight, something like that. It's nothing I'd just browse for entertainment. Maybe I'm the weird one...
Cat videos.

I'm kidding, there really is content on YouTube. It may be a generational thing but there are streamers creating content and making a living with YouTube as one of the mediums they use to reach their audience.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DrewDaHilp1 Avatar
55 months ago
I don't get it. What are people watching for hours at a time? I watch maybe a few minutes of YouTube a month -news highlights, a press conference, a sports highlight, something like that. It's nothing I'd just browse for entertainment. Maybe I'm the weird one...
You've never went down the rabbit hole of watching related vids and an hour later wondering how you got to where you are? I don't know if you're missing out or fortunate for not experiencing that.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trainwrecka Avatar
55 months ago
I don't get it. What are people watching for hours at a time? I watch maybe a few minutes of YouTube a month -news highlights, a press conference, a sports highlight, something like that. It's nothing I'd just browse for entertainment. Maybe I'm the weird one...
That's where I consume most of my media. I get commentary on current events (from both normal news outlets and Internet-only outlets), I watch ads for upcoming media properties (movies, tv shows, games, etc), highlight replays of Twitch streamers (no time for the real Twitch), documentaries on all sorts of topics, etc, etc.

There is a lot you can watch on YouTube other than "fail/prank" videos. I'm a YouTube Red subscriber, so I might be different than most. YouTube Red + iTunes + Netflix - a really good trifecta for visual media.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tazoawake2016 Avatar
55 months ago
I don't get it. What are people watching for hours at a time? I watch maybe a few minutes of YouTube a month -news highlights, a press conference, a sports highlight, something like that. It's nothing I'd just browse for entertainment. Maybe I'm the weird one...
Documentaries, product reviews, tech talks, music videos, old TV shows and movies, vlogs, and yes, animal videos. :D I always find something interesting to watch on youtube. And the best part? No ads. Ever.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
npmacuser5 Avatar
55 months ago
I don't get it. What are people watching for hours at a time? I watch maybe a few minutes of YouTube a month -news highlights, a press conference, a sports highlight, something like that. It's nothing I'd just browse for entertainment. Maybe I'm the weird one...
My grandson, pre-teen, loves YouTube and so does his friends. Never wants to watch TV for any reason. I wonder if music included in the statistics. A whole generation is growing up with YouTube rather then Saturday Cartoons. A huge problem for TV networks in the long run.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier on May 18

Thursday May 13, 2021 10:32 pm PDT by
A new rumor suggests that Apple will announce the third-generation AirPods and the recently rumored HiFi, or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, on Tuesday, May 18, via a press release on its website. The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani who shared the alleged exclusive news with the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation AirPods...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple Fires Newly Hired Ex-Facebook Product Manager Following Revelations of Past Misogynistic Comments

Thursday May 13, 2021 12:10 am PDT by
Apple has fired Antonio García Martínez, an ex-Facebook product manager and author of the controversial book "Chaos Monkeys," following public and internal calls for removal and investigation due to past misogynistic statements, The Verge reports. Apple hired Martínez earlier this week to join its ads team, however, comments that Martínez made in the past sparked condemnation from users...
imac m1 blue isolated 16x9 500k

M1 iMac is Up to 56% Faster Than Prior-Generation High-End 21.5-Inch iMac

Wednesday May 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Apple's M1 iMacs are set to start delivering to customers next week, and ahead of the official launch day, benchmarks for the machines have been showing up on Geekbench, likely from reviewers who are testing them. It will come as no surprise that M1 iMac benchmarks are right on par with benchmarks for the M1 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, coming in with an average single-core score...
2021 mbp hdmi slot 3d

2021 MacBook Pro Leaks Confirm Returning MagSafe and Ports

Friday May 14, 2021 3:06 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a number of major changes such as larger display options and powerful new Apple silicon chips. Among the more surprising updates to this year's MacBook Pro models is the return of three ports that have been missing from the machines for over five years. Expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, the 2021 MacBook Pro models are...
fortnite apple logo 2

Judge in Epic vs. Apple Case Floats Potential Compromise

Wednesday May 12, 2021 3:54 pm PDT by
In the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the two companies are this week calling up their expert witnesses to argue their points before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will make a decision in the case after a three week trial. Expert testimony is not as exciting as some of the leaked App Store documents that were highlighted last week, especially as much of what's being...
google photos

PSA: Google Photos Unlimited Storage Ends Next Month, Here's How to Export Your Pictures to iCloud

Thursday May 13, 2021 5:26 am PDT by
For as long as it's existed, Google Photos has offered free unlimited storage for uploading images at a reduced yet good enough quality for most users. From June 1, 2021, however, all photos and videos uploaded to Google accounts will count against users' cloud storage. If you've been relying on Google to back up your media library, it may be time to move that content elsewhere. This article...
AirTag in Envelope Feature 2

AirTag Used to Successfully Track a Mailed Package Across the UK

Wednesday May 12, 2021 8:44 am PDT by
An Apple customer in the United Kingdom has successfully used Apple's Find My network to track an AirTag as it was being sent by mail to a friend in a completely different city. Outlined in a blog post at Intego, Kirk McElhearn said he taped an AirTag to a piece of card, wrapped it inside a small bubble envelope, and then sent it on its way. Kirk lives in the small town of...
m1 ipad pro chip

M1 iPad Pro Over 50% Faster Than Previous Generation in Early Benchmarks

Tuesday May 11, 2021 11:56 am PDT by
Last month, Apple introduced a new iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, and early benchmark results indicate that the M1 iPad Pro is over 50% faster than the previous-generation iPad Pro. Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here's the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of...
prosser macbook air colors stacked

Images Reveal Colorful New MacBook Air Design

Tuesday May 11, 2021 5:06 am PDT by
Apple's next MacBook Air will feature a completely new design and come in a range of colors like the 24-inch iMac, according to leaker Jon Prosser, who has now released supposedly accurate renders of the new machines based on leaked images. In a new video uploaded to YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser elaborated on his previous prediction that Apple's next-generation MacBook Air models ...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...