YouTube's first video, Me At the Zoo, was uploaded on April 23rd, 2005 at 8:27 pm. I don't think anyone at YouTube knew the revolution they would spark or how much YouTube would change the internet. It's really surprising when you realize that they weren't the first to do video, even Broadcast.com wasn't the first; but none of them up until YouTube would capture the imagination of the world the way YouTube has done and continues to do. Part of the success is the simplicity of the website (not unlike Google - which bought YouTube in 2006); but the true ingredient to their success is far simpler - it's content created by us, average folks. It also owes it's success to being in the right place at the right time, not an unusual ingredient to success. The wide adoption of digital video cameras, the ease of uploading to computers, the availability of inexpensive editing software (for those that wish to edit) and of course the ever increasing speed of our access to the internet - for watching and uploading videos. All of it came together around 2005 and all YouTube had to do was light a match.
The use of YouTube has shot through the stratosphere too. The best way to illustrate this is to look at the top videos and how many times they have been viewed. The first thing you will notice is that there are 10 videos with more than 100 million views, several of which are either personal videos or new media videos. If you look at total views something interesting becomes apparent. Currently the number one video (Lady Gaga's Bad Romance) has 186 million views, number two (Charlie Bit My Finger) has 183 million and number three (Evolution of Dance) has 142 million. While those numbers are astonishing, what's more astonishing is that Lady Gaga's video was uploaded on November 23, 2009 while Charlie Bit My Finger was uploaded on May 22, 2007 and Evolution of Dance was uploaded on April 6, 2006. Evolution of Dance reigned supreme for years, and was then quickly overtaken by a little kid who was then overtaken by a music video.
Two points come to mind to me. One, more and more people are turning to YouTube for regular entertainment; two, old media is seeing this trend and moving in for the kill. While they fight over what goes on YouTube, they have realized that people like to watch YouTube. The smart ones, like Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus, are taking advantage of YouTube. The others, well, my grandkids won't know who "they" were; but something tells me they will remember Lady Gaga, and maybe even Evolution of Dance.
Below, are links to the top 10 Videos on YouTube as of April 25th, 2010.
- 01 - Lady Gaga - Bad Romance - 189,933,428 Views
- 02 - Charlie Bit My Finger - 182,889,941
- 03 - Evolution of Dance - 142,066,505
- 04 - Pitbull I Know You Want Me - 116,936,742
- 05 - Miley Cyrus - 7 Things - 116,645,862
- 06 - Hahaha - 116,463,786
- 07 - Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA - 112,074,029
- 08 - Jeff Dunham - Achmed the Dead Terrorist - 110,913,292
- 09 - Lady Gaga - Just Dance Ft. Colby - 107,902,852
- 10 - Lo que tu Quieras Oir - 100,519,782