YouTube was launched in 2005. It was founded by three PayPal employees: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who ran the company from an office above a small restaurant in San Mateo.
The first video uploaded to the platform was “Me at the zoo”, featuring Karim. By the years end, YouTube was hosting over two million videos per day on its website and was averaging over 20 million daily active users.
It wouldn’t be long before Google scooped up YouTube, acquiring the startup for $1.65 billion in late 2006. What was considered at the time to be a huge reach for a startup which had shown no capability or interest in generating profit is now recognized as one of the smartest acquisitions of the past two decades.
Time magazine would include YouTube on its person of the year cover the same year. The person in question was ‘you’, specifically content creators, with the cover incorporating a mirror, rather than YouTube itself. As YouTube grew, it added more features to serve content creators, such as ratings, comments, embed functionality, live-streaming and revenue sharing.
Many celebrities have gotten their start through YouTube, with vlogging, gaming and comedy initially being the most popular types of content. On today’s YouTube, there are hundreds of channels with millions of subscribers on almost every topic, with the highest grossing channel of 2021 being a kid’s toy channel called Ryan’s World.
In 2014, YouTube launched a premium service aimed at curbing the loss of revenue from ad-blocking. YouTube Red was unsuccessful in its mission, reaching less than 10 million subscribers before it relaunched as YouTube Premium. YouTube Premium, which bundles ad-free viewing with YouTube Music, hit 30 million subscribers in 2020.
YouTube also branched into live-streaming around that time, aimed at curbing the growth of Twitch as a video entertainment platform. Twitch is still ahead in numbers for game streaming, however, YouTube’s live-streams have become another way for channels to interact with audiences.
YouTube has also recently launched Shorts, its own clone of TikTok which has a different interface and shorter videos. It is considered by some analysts to be the best shot by a competitor at surpassing TikTok, simply due to YouTube’s massive reach with over two billion active users.
We have collected data and statistics on YouTube. Read on below to find out more.
YouTube Key Statistics
- YouTube generated $29.2 billion revenue in 2022, a 1.3% increase year-on-year
- Over 2.7 billion people access YouTube once a month
- YouTube’s most subscribed channel is T-Series, however Mr. Beast earned the most revenue in 2021
- YouTube Premium reached 80 million subscribers in 2022
|Title 1||Title 2|
|Launch date||April 2005|
|HQ||San Bruno, California|
|People||Susan Wojcicki (CEO), Scott Silver (VP, Engineering), Sundar Pichai (Alphabet CEO)|
YouTube had a major slowdown in the revenue generation front, growing by 1.3%. It generated $29.2 billion in 2022.
YouTube quarterly revenue 2018 to 2023 ($bn)
YouTube annual revenue 2010 to 2022 ($bn)
YouTube Channels Revenue
YouTube channel Mr. Beast generated the most revenue in 2021, at $54 million. Jake Paul and Markipiler came second and third, respectively.
Top YouTube channels by revenue 2021 ($mm)
|Rhett and Link||30|
Sources: Captiv8, SocialBlade and Pollstar via Forbes
YouTube reached 2.7 billion active users in 2023, making it one of the most popular apps in the world, behind only Google and Facebook on total usage.
YouTube quarterly users 2010 to 2023 (mm)
YouTube annual users 2010 to 2022 (bn)
Note: This covers monthly active users. Source: Company data, Social App Report
YouTube Premium Subscribers
YouTube Premium combines music streaming with no video ads, and is available for the same price as Spotify. It reached 80 million subscribers in 2022.
YouTube Premium annual subscribers 2015 to 2022 (bn)
Note: YouTube launched Premium in 2018. Source: Company data
YouTube Shorts Views
YouTube Shorts were viewed more than 50 billion times a day in February 2023, a 66% increase on the previous year.
YouTube Shorts daily views 2022 to 2023 (bn)
Source: Business Insider
YouTube vs Social Apps: Users
Want to learn more about social apps? Check out our Social App Report
What is the most subscribed channel on YouTube?
T-Series is the most subscribed channel on YouTube, with 241 million subscribers as of July 2023
What is the most viewed video on YouTube?
Baby Shark Dance by Pinkfrog Kids’ Songs and Stories is the most viewed YouTube video as of July 2023, with 13.1 billion views
How much revenue does YouTube make from subscriptions?
Where is YouTube ranked on global engagement?
Alexa and SimilarWeb both rank YouTube second in global engagement, behind Facebook
What is the male to female ratio of YouTube viewers?
Male/female ratio of YouTube viewers stands at 11:9 (We Are Social/Hootsuite)
How many times has YouTube been downloaded?
YouTube has been downloaded over five billion times, although it does come pre-installed on Android devices
How many YouTube channels have over one million subscribers?
Over 35,000 YouTube channels have reached the one million subscriber milestone
What is the average video length of a YouTube video?
According to Pew Research Center, the average video length is 12 minutes
How much content is uploaded to YouTube every minute?
500 hours of content are apparently uploaded to YouTube, according to The Street
What was the first YouTube video to reach one million views?
A Nike ad featuring footballer Ronaldinho was the first to reach one million (The Drum)
What was the first YouTube video to reach one billion views?
South Korean artist PSY’s Gangnam Style was the first to reach one billion
How much is YouTube worth?
YouTube could be worth between $140 and $300 billion if spun-out into its own company (VentureBeat)
More Video App Data
- TikTok Revenue and Usage Statistics (2023)
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- HBO Max Revenue and Usage Statistics (2023)
- Hulu Revenue and Usage Statistics (2023)
- Video Streaming App Revenue and Usage Statistics (2023)
- Twitch Revenue and Usage Statistics (2023)
- Netflix Revenue and Usage Statistics (2023)