YouTube marks 5th b'day with 2 billion hits everyday

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London, May 18 (ANI): It has been 5 years since the inception of YouTube, the video sharing website, and it is still going strong - with an astounding 2 billion hits per day.

According to Google - its owner - that's nearly double the number of people who tune into the US's three prime time TV stations combined.

Just seven months ago it clocked up to one billion downloads a day.

"I see this great growth opportunity in the online video market and we are positioning ourselves to be a leader," BBC News quoted co-founder Chad Hurley as saying.

"We are a stage and we give everyone in the world an opportunity to participate and that is being a video platform for creating a solution for people to not only upload and distribute their videos on a global basis but to find and share videos."

While he is ecstatic about the achievement, he insists that they have a longer way to go.

"Two billion video streams is a large number but on average people are only spending 15 minutes a day on the site compared to five hours a day watching TV.

"I don't think we could have ever planned or imagined we would get to the scale or the size we are today. We were mostly trying to create a video solution for ourselves based on our own frustrations. We are proud of what we have achieved so far but we have a lot of work ahead," said Hurley.

Google bought the site near the end of 2006 for 1.65 billion dollars - a sparse looking page on which the first video ever was posted by co-founder Jawed Karim.

And from thereon began a trend - with people posting everything from cat videos to political videos to "how to" videos to entertainment.

"We wanted to create a level playing field that gave everyone that ability to be seen and heard," said Hurley.

"Maybe early on people only recognised us or explained YouTube by placing it in a box but there are so many people on our site and we receive so much content over a 24 hour period, it can't be about one thing," said Hurley.

YouTube made a mark with several other videos - that of a wounded girl dying in front of a crowd during the Iranian election protests, a YouTube interview with President Barack Obama, Ronaldinho's Nike advert and singer Susan Boyle's performance on Britain's Got Talent competition on TV.

"YouTube really is a phenomenon and is very much part of popular culture," said Catharine P Taylor, media blogger at news website BNET.com.

"It really is a game changer because it gives everybody a platform to broadcast from. There are many examples where an average citizen has become a big hit on YouTube and that is something that would have been impossible to contemplate five, six years ago."

The slogan for YouTube is "Broadcast Yourself" which Hurley said was a play on "be yourself and also captured in my mind the essence of the site which was to let people express themselves."

YouTube started has had temporary glitches over copyright issues ever since it was started. But the owners have ensured that it is pulled out as soon as possible to avoid getting into any legal tangles.

"They have made a lot of progress about weeding out illegal content," said Allen Weiner senior vice president of research at Gartner.

"They are serious about it. Their future depends on it." (ANI)

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