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08/07/2014 by

Why YouTube’s 300 Million Watch Hours a Day is Under Par?

On a daily basis the internet community watches 300 million hours of video on YouTube. However Google feels this is way under par.

Why YouTube's 300 Million Watch Hours a Day is Under Par? By pro speaker & awakener Igor Beuker for

You might expect a big house party with a famous DJs and a bunch of the very best strippers popping-out of a gigantic cake to celebrate this achievement, right?


In the fall of 2012, then-YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar and his lieutenants set an audacious goal: increase the collective “watch time” for YouTube videos by an order of magnitude, to one billion hours per day.

That number should be achieved by the end of 2016. A number that would represent about 20% of all the time people on this planet spend on watching television.

So 300 hours per day, is way under par. One billion hours a day by the end of 2016, will not be made in this pace.

What Did We All Do Before YouTube?

Well beyond YouTube there are many other global and local video sharing portals. But what did we all do before YouTube? See this infographic created by the guys at YTD, the YouTube Downloader.

What did we all do before YouTube? Infographic by YTD for

Why Are the YouTube Watch Hours Under Par?

End of 2012 the YouTube watch hours hit 100 million hours of video a day. That’s when YouTube employees were told that the one billion-hour target would be more important than other metrics, including revenue.

Why YouTube's 300 Million Watch Hours a Day is Under Par? By pro speaker & awakener Igor Beuker for

It would guide every major decision. And it would be hard to reach, especially because Google-owned YouTube is not accessible in China.

Clearly the high burners of online video hours are: ‘binge-watchers‘ and ‘screenagers‘. The binge-watchers are shifting towards Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other (local) OTT and VoD services.

The screenagers spent more of their video watching time on Vine, Instagram, and other entertaining video content that is being served on their main devices: smartphones, PS4’s and Xboxes.

Yahoo might be entering the world of online video and Twitter is clearly aiming to lead the domain called social TV.

Next we are seeing crowdsourced video networks called Multi Channel Networks. Basically how the online adult sites once formed a ‘network of connected sites’.

Super viral video stars like PSY or Justin Bieber however are delivering millions of extra eyeballs to YouTube.

How Far Are the YouTube Revenues Under Par?

Several incrowders have stated that YouTube generated $3.5 billion revenues over 2013. However, end of 2013 eMarketer’s analysts claimed that the yearly target was set at $5.6 billion.

Why YouTube's 300 Million Watch Hours a Day is Under Par?

That would mean that YouTube was $2.1 billion under par in 2013.

But from the $3.5 billion YouTube would have paid video owners (PSY and thousands of producers that get paid $100.000+ each per year) about $1.5 billion.

That would leave YouTube with just $2 billion in net revenues.

And that is way under par as well.

My Opinion

The YouTube revenues are so under par, one could compare it to the performance of a Pro-Am golf talent.

In this way, YouTube is still like a start-up. They lack experience and skills. That’s why their vision and strategy is changing all the time.

First Google directs YouTube towards the TV Dollars. But Google missed on the biggest online trend. They forgot the fact that US web ad revenue would beat broadcast TV.

Oops. Wrong bet. Back to the drawing board. Again.

Why do I say again? Because YouTube has been pulling dead horses for quite some years now.

Maybe it’s about time for ‘the techies’ to team-up with some nonlinear business strategists?

What About You?
What should Google do to fix its YouTube gap? We all get smarter from peer discussions, so share your ideas.

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About the Author
Igor Beuker is an acclaimed trendwatcher & pro speaker, serial entrepreneur, marketing consultant and board member at several disruptive media, technology and entertainment firms. Book Igor as keynote speaker, follow Igor on Twitter or contact him via LinkedIn.


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