A Brief History of Youtube

Last Updated on 30 May 2021 by SEO Manager

A Brief and Unauthorized History of YouTube

A Brief and Unauthorized History of YouTube. Learn how the platform has from from the first 18 second video to the giant today !

2005 and Inception

YouTube has come a long way since its introduction to the world wide web in 2005. Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has become the premier social media platform for streaming user-generated video online. YouTube also has over one billion users ever since its humble beginning on April 23, 2005, when the first video was uploaded to YouTube.

The site was founded in 2005 by three ex employees of the company PayPal, and the next year it was acquired by Google Inc.

In February 2005, the company activated The first video was uploaded April 23, 2005.

The site launched officially on December 15, 2005, by which time the site was receiving 8 million views a day.

At launch in 2005, viewing YouTube videos on a personal computer required the Adobe Flash Player plug-in to be installed in the browser.


Between November 2005 and April 2006, the company raised money from a variety of investors with Sequoia Capital, $11.5 million, and Artis Capital Management, $8 million, being the largest two.

Google acquired YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion in stock to stay dominate in the world of search. In October 2006, YouTube moved to a new office in San Bruno, California.

The site grew rapidly and, in July 2006, the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, and that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day.

YouTube entered into a marketing and advertising partnership with NBC in June 2006.

Since its launch in 2006, YouTube has grown into a multi-billion dollar company, and has sparked the careers of thousands of comedians, actors, musicians, and more.


In March 2007, it struck a deal with BBC for three channels with BBC content, one for news and two for entertainment.

The Daily Telegraph wrote that in 2007, YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000.

In May 2007, YouTube launched its Partner Program , a system based on AdSense which allows the uploader of the video to share the revenue produced by advertising on the site.

In June 2007, YouTube began trials of a system for automatic detection of uploaded videos that infringe copyright.

YouTube Mobile was launched in June 2007, using RTSP streaming for the video.


In June 2008, a Forbes magazine article projected the 2008 revenue at $200 million, noting progress in advertising sales.

YouTube featured an April Fools prank on the site on April 1 of every year from 2008 to 2016.

A TiVo service update in July 2008 allowed the system to search and play YouTube videos.

From 2008 to 2017, users could add “annotations” to their videos—such as pop-up text messages and hyperlinks and which allowed for interactive videos.

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In March 2009, a dispute between YouTube and the British royalty collection agency PRS for Music led to premium music videos being blocked for YouTube users in the United Kingdom.

In February 2009, YouTube announced a test service, allowing some partners to offer video downloads for free or for a fee paid through Google Checkout.

In April 2009, a similar dispute led to the removal of premium music videos for users in Germany.

In November 2009, YouTube launched a version of “Shows” available to UK viewers, offering around 4,000 full-length shows from more than 60 partners.

YouTube carried out early experiments with live streaming, including a concert by U2 in 2009, and a question-and-answer session with US President Barack Obama in February 2010.


By 2010, the company had reached a market share of around 43% and more than 14 billion views of videos, according to comScore.

In January 2010, YouTube introduced an online film rentals service, which is only available to users in the United States, Canada, and the UK as of 2010.

In January 2010, YouTube launched an experimental version of the site that used the built-in multimedia capabilities of web browsers supporting the HTML5 standard.

In 2010, it was reported that nearly a third of the videos with advertisements were uploaded without permission of the copyright holders.

The 10-minute limit was increased to 15 minutes in July 2010.

In 2010, YouTube temporarily released a “TEXTp” mode which rendered video imagery into ASCII art letters “in order to reduce bandwidth costs by $1 per second.”

YouTube has cited the effectiveness of Content ID as one of the reasons why the site’s rules were modified in December 2010 to allow some users to upload videos of unlimited length.

These tests had relied on technology from 3rd-party partners, but in September 2010, YouTube began testing its own live streaming infrastructure.

YouTube pulled some of the videos in November 2010, stating they violated the site’s guidelines.

In December 2010, YouTube added the ability to flag videos for containing terrorism content.


In 2011, more than three billion videos were being watched each day with 48 hours of new videos uploaded every minute.

In the 2011 case of Smith v. Summit Entertainment LLC, professional singer Matt Smith sued Summit Entertainment for the wrongful use of copyright takedown notices on YouTube.

In April 2011, YouTube announced the rollout of YouTube Live.


YouTube also launched YouTube Space in 2012, and has currently expanded to 10 global locations.

In 2012, YouTube’s revenue from its ads program was estimated at $3.7 billion.

In April 2012, a court in Hamburg ruled that YouTube could be held responsible for copyrighted material posted by its users.

In June 2012, Google sent cease and desist letters threatening legal action against several websites offering online download and conversion of YouTube videos.

In October 2012, more than 8 million people watched Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space as a live stream on YouTube.

On November 15, 2012, Google launched an official app for the Wii, allowing users to watch YouTube videos from the Wii channel.

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It was used for real-time broadcasting of events such as the 2012 Olympics in London.


A subsequent interface change, designed to unify the experience across desktop, TV, and mobile, was rolled out in 2013.

In 2013, YouTube launched a pilot program for content providers to offer premium, subscription-based channels within the platform.

By early 2013 Billboard had announced that it was factoring YouTube streaming data into calculation of the Billboard Hot 100 and related genre charts.

In 2013 it nearly doubled and estimated to hit $5.6 billion according to eMarketer, while others estimated $4.7 billion.

In May 2013, YouTube introduced a trial scheme of 53 subscription channels with prices ranging from $0.99 to $6.99 a month.
In May 2013, Nintendo began enforcing its copyright ownership and claiming the advertising revenue from video creators who posted screenshots of its games.

On August 27, 2013, YouTube announced that it would remove video responses for being an underused feature.

Google made YouTube available on the Roku player on December 17, 2013, and, in October 2014, the Sony PlayStation 4.


In 2014, YouTube announced a subscription service known as “Music Key,” which bundled ad-free streaming of music content on YouTube with the existing Google Play Music service.

In June 2014, YouTube began to deploy support for high frame rate videos up to 60 frames per second , becoming available for user uploads in October.


YouTube released a mobile app known as YouTube Kids in 2015, designed to provide an experience optimized for children.

Also in 2015, YouTube launched YouTube Gaming—a video gaming-oriented vertical and app for videos and live streaming, intended to compete with the Amazon.com-owned Twitch.

Animoto’s 2015 survey found that 84% of consumers say they liked a company video in their newsfeed, and nearly half of them personally share company videos to their feeds.

In 2015, the company began natively supporting 360-degree video and it has since allowed for live streaming of 360° video at up to 4K resolution.

On January 27, 2015, YouTube announced that HTML5 would be the default playback method on supported browsers.

According to Statista, as of July 2015, 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

In February 2015, Nintendo agreed to share the revenue with the video creators.

On July 27, 2015, Google announced in a blog post that it would be removing the requirement to sign up to a Google+ account to post comments to YouTube.


In 2016, YouTube introduced a global program to develop creators whose videos produce a positive social impact.

Eighty-seven percent of marketers used video as a marketing tool in 2019, up from just 61 percent in 2016.

In 2016, YouTube introduced an option to watch every video on the platform in 360-degree mode with Snoop Dogg.

Before 2016, videos were not monetized until the dispute was resolved.

Since April 2016, videos continue to be monetized while the dispute is in progress, and the money goes to whoever won the dispute.

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On November 1, 2016, the dispute with GEMA was resolved, with Google content ID being used to allow advertisements to be added to videos with content protected by GEMA.

Since November 2016, more people are using mobile phones to browse the internet than desktop computers.


According to Cisco, video accounted for 69% of all internet traffic in 2017.

In 2017, YouTube reported that time watching family vloggers had increased by 90%.

By February 2017, one billion hours of YouTube were watched every day and 400 hours of video were uploaded every minute.

During Q2 2017, the owners of popular channel FamilyOFive, which featured themselves playing “pranks” on their children, were accused of child abuse.

The first three videos from the program premiered at the 2017 Tribeca TV Festival.

These channel subscriptions complemented the existing Super Chat ability, launched in 2017, which allows viewers to donate between $1 and $500 to have their comment highlighted.

A 2017 New York Times Magazine article posited that YouTube had become “the new talk radio” for the far right.

In 2017, viewers on average watched YouTube on mobile devices for more than an hour every day.


It’s no wonder why 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, which is up from 63% the year prior, according to Wyzowl’sState of Video Marketing 2018 survey.

On May 22, 2018, the music streaming platform named “YouTube Music” was launched.

In 2018, YouTube became an ISNI registry, and announced its intention to begin creating ISNI identifiers to uniquely identify the musicians whose videos it features.


By January 2019, YouTube had begun rolling out videos in AV1 format.

As of May 2019, more than 500 hours of video content were uploaded to YouTube every minute.

In late 2019, the site began implementing measures directed towards “raising authoritative content and reducing borderline content and harmful misinformation.”

An app was available for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, but was discontinued in August 2019.

In 2019, more than 99 million hours of guided meditation videos were watched.


During 2020, the amount of time people spent watching online videos jumped by 43%.

In 2020, some of the trends we’ve seen so far include data-driven video, live video, and personalized content.

In 2020, consistency is critical to improving your YouTube marketing strategy.

And in 2020 alone, views for videos targeting “beginners” increased by 50% .

As the second-largest search engine— after Google, Youtube plays a crucial role in video marketing and by all means, ignoring YouTube’s potential in 2020 will cost you.

YouTube as a company has reported revenues of $19.8 billion in 2020.

Prior to 2020, Google did not provide detailed figures for YouTube’s running costs, and YouTube’s revenues in 2007 were noted as “not material” in a regulatory filing.

Following criticisms of its implementation of those systems, YouTube started treating all videos designated as “made for kids” as liable under COPPA on January 6, 2020.

In September 2020, YouTube announced that it would be launching a beta version of a new platform of 15-second videos, similar to TikTok, called YouTube Shorts.

In December 2020 it was reported that YouTube is launching a new feature that will warn users who post a comment that “may be offensive to others.”