YouTube Serving a Billion Hours of Content Per Day, Launches New TV Service

Article March 1st, 2017 by: Andrew Hutchinson

The battle for online video supremacy is heating up, with YouTube hitting back at Facebook by announcing that people are now watching a billion hours of content on their platform every single day.

YouTube have even taken a shot at Facebook with the title of the announcement post, headlining the update: “You know what’s cool? A billion hours”, pointing to the famous quote from the film ‘The Social Network’, attributed to Sean Parker (“You know what’s cool? A billion dollars”).

And while definitive measurement comparison between the networks is sometimes difficult because of the different ways they track and report their data, a billion hours a day is, most definitely, cool. And huge.

For example, Facebook reported in January 2016 that their users were consuming an average of 100 million hours of video on the platform every day, while Netflix, which has seen massive growth in recent times, says that 116 million hours of video content is viewed every 24 hours on their system. Both of these are way off YouTube’s number – even considering that these metrics have likely increased since then (there’s been no revised numbers released), the likelihood of them being even close is not high.

In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports that YouTube’s numbers are closing in on traditional TV:

“Nielsen data suggest Americans watch, on average, roughly 1.25 billion hours of live and recorded TV a day, a figure steadily dropping in recent years.”

Of course, YouTube’s numbers are based on worldwide consumption – the above are US only stats – but combined with the other online video metrics and platforms, you can see that a time is coming where digital video content will take over traditional TV.

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