A few years back, we made a big decision at YouTube. While everyone seemed focused on how many views a video got, we thought the amount of time someone spent watching a video was a better way to understand whether a viewer really enjoyed it. It wasn’t an easy call, but we thought it would help us make YouTube a more engaging place for creators and fans. And last year, we hit a big milestone on that journey: people around the world are now watching a billion hours of YouTube’s incredible content every single day!
Let’s put that in perspective. If you were to sit and watch a billion hours of YouTube, it would take you over 100,000 years. 100,000 years ago, our ancestors were crafting stone tools and migrating out of Africa while mammoths and mastodons roamed the Earth. If you spent 100,000 years traveling at the speed of light, you could travel from one end of the Milky Way to the other (and you wouldn’t age a day!). And if you searched for 100,000 years on YouTube, you’d find a really killer KISS track.
That’s the great thing about this milestone. It represents the enjoyment of the fantastically diverse videos that creative people make every single day. Around the world, people are spending a billion hours every day rewarding their curiosity, discovering great music, keeping up with the news, connecting with their favorite personalities, or catching up with the latest trend.
We’ve worked hard behind the scenes to make that billion-hour journey possible, but this isn’t just our milestone. It belongs to all of you, too—the global audience that tunes in every day and the creators whose videos have made YouTube the original, surprising and limitless source of entertainment it is. From all of us here at YouTube, please accept our heartfelt thanks.
Cristos Goodrow, VP of engineering at YouTube, recently watched “Secret Billionaire: The Chuck Feeney Story.”
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