Back to the Future: How online video has changed in the past 5 years

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In 2007, six hours of video was uploaded to YouTube every minute. By 2010, it was 24 hours per minute. By the end of 2013, more than 100 hours of video was uploaded every minute! People now watch more than six billion hours of video a month.

A lot can change in 5 years; this is a brief summary of the highlights:

In 2009, Disney signed a deal, U2 streamed a concert and Justin Bieber became a hit on YouTube (talk about a rise and fall, all in five years). Collectively, YouTubers uploaded an average of 20 hours of video per minute. All told, for 2009, YouTube videos commanded one billion views per day.

While these accomplishments certainly represent the highlights of 2009, in the years since, online video has exploded. Let’s take a look at a few ways online video has changed in the past five years.

Web connectivity is faster

In 2009, research showed that 62 per cent of Australian households had access to hi-speed internet connectivity. The most recent data, from 2011, shows the number of households at 72 per cent. Given that videos are large files, you can relate the increase in broadband speed to the popularity of YouTube.

Video is in high demand

By April of 2009, YouTube was gaining popularity in strides. To the surprise of many (including YouTube), the site received the Peabody Award, which recognizes excellence in electronic media.

Now, in 2014, video is a big part of product and service discovery. Search for any consumer product on YouTube and you’ll be hit with review and unboxing videos. According to a recent report from Walker Sands Communications, 53 per cent of consumers say that YouTube has influenced them in making a buying decision.

More than six billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube, by 11 million unique viewers across Australia. That’s an average of 10 hours per month, per person.

More businesses are embracing video

Vevo was among the first brands to fully embrace YouTube, but others were soon to follow. Some of the first of companies to embrace video and launch their own YouTube channels were McDonalds, launching in January 2008. The big consulting firm Deloitte, followed soon after and Mitsubishi Australia after that.

It wasn’t until October of 2009 that Australia was introduced to paid advertising on YouTube. This meant brands could pay to have their videos promoted based on relevant keywords. Mitsubishi was one of the first companies in Australia to pioneer the paid search video listings.

Since 2009, numerous Australian businesses have created their own YouTube channels. A short list of channels includes La Trobe University, on YouTube since 2011, ANZ since 2011, Westpac in 2009, Kmart in 2012, Virgin Australia in 2011 and Vodafone in 2010.

Such businesses now frequently feature explainer videos on their landing pages showcasing new products and services. This has led to an increased demand generally for corporate web videos, that help connect brands with their audience.

The Green Screen has shaken things up too. Now, even small businesses, with the help of a presenter and a green screen, can have professional-looking videos.

Videos add variety

In the early years of YouTube, most videos were almost exclusively user-generated, often via low-resolution cellphone video cameras. By 2009, professionally filmed videos were making their way onto the platform, but the majority were not made expressly for YouTube, and often failed to tell a cohesive story.

Brands are now taking advantage of a variety of video techniques. Whiteboard videos, animations, infographics, and kinetic text videos are now commonplace. Brands now incorporate a YouTube strategy, something unheard of in 2009, in to their larger marketing plan and work to present videos that tell a cohesive story, integrating them with other online and offline marketing activities.

YouTube advertising is now viable

In 2009, YouTube was not a profitable. Business Week speculated that its owner, Google, would lose between $170 – 470 million (USD) operating the resource-intensive video site.

In 2003, according to Google, more than $1 billion of its collective $50 billion in ad revenue now comes from YouTube and ad revenue continues to grow at an impressive rate. You may have seen the streaming ads that precede videos on their site. This is YouTube’s TrueView In-Stream service, where brands only pay for ads that are viewed for 30 seconds or more.

Video is where brands are found

YouTube was already the most popular online video site in 2009, but it was still finding its way to profitability.

In 2009, YouTube was getting about one billion views a day. Now, in 2014, YouTube has more than 4 billion views per day. These visitors watch more than six billion hours of video each month.

In 2007, six hours of video was uploaded to YouTube every minute. By 2010, it was 24 hours of video uploaded every minute. By the end of 2013, more than 100 hours of video was uploaded every minute.

These stats, although overwhelming, demonstrate the growing influence online video is having on our lives. As video is how the majority of us now choose to get our information and technology continues to improve, the next 5 years are sure to be at least as interesting as the past 5. Stay tuned for our next article on our prediction for the next 5 years in online video.

YouTube in 2014

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YouTube in 2009

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