YouTube is probably the best known and most successful online video portal in the world. And YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world. The name YouTube means something like “You send” in German. On YouTube, users can watch video clips and upload their own videos. YouTube was founded in 2005 and bought out by the search engine giant Google in 2006.
- Three former employees of the online payment service PayPal founded YouTube in February 2005.
- Shortly after it was founded, YouTube recorded numerous users who eagerly watched, uploaded, rated and commented on videos.
- YouTube is a career springboard – all kinds of YouTube users also benefit from the success of the video portal. They made fame and money with home-made videos.
Rapid rise to the leading video portal
Three former employees of the online payment service PayPal founded YouTube in February 2005. The basic idea of the video portal is that users can watch videos and upload and publish their own clips on the Internet simply and easily. This principle is well received by the internet community.
Shortly after it was founded, YouTube recorded numerous users who eagerly watched, uploaded, rated and commented on videos. The company is now available in 91 countries and around 80 languages. According to YouTube, around two billion individual users visit the YouTube website every month. More than half of them watch the videos on their smartphone. Videos with a total duration of several hundred million hours are played on YouTube every day and users upload around 400 hours of new video material every minute.
The company has risen to become the leading video portal within a very short time and now has a market share of over 50 percent in most countries. Less than two years after the founding of YouTube, Google bought the video portal for the equivalent of 1.31 billion euros. In Germany, YouTube had a market share of over 80 percent among video sharing platforms in 2016.
YouTube and its stars
Short for YT by abbreviationfinder, YouTube is a career springboard. All kinds of YouTube users also benefit from the success of the video portal. They made fame and money with home-made videos. Many talented YouTubers take advantage of this trend and publish home videos on their channels with content such as: make-up tips, parodies, everyday tips (so-called life hacks), games are tested and commented on or just three minutes of everyday chatter is posted online. And it is precisely these “simple” videos that are popular.
The YouTube stars now have huge fan bases such as musicians and actors. Their videos are clicked millions of times and earn a lot of money with them. Professional agencies support the big YouTubers to optimize their formats and to market them even better. As a result, the stars even land advertising deals or TV appearances.
Home videos and copyright
Due to its enormous popularity and the high number of members, YouTube soon had problems controlling the published videos. More and more often it was not about home videos or specially created video clips, but about works protected by copyright: users uploaded music videos, TV series or entire films to YouTube. For a long time, the video portal was overwhelmed by copyright violations. In the meantime, YouTube has managed to delete corresponding videos promptly in most cases through various filters and numerous employees. The music labels or film distributors also actively search for copyright infringements on YouTube and report them to the portal operators.
The German Vewertungsgesellschaft GEMA sued YouTube because the artists and music titles it represented had been published free of charge on YouTube. In 2016, GEMA and YouTube reached an agreement so that music videos can be played again via the platform. Nevertheless, a basic legal rule must be observed when uploading music: The users must have the rights to use the respective songs.
From a purely technical point of view, YouTube cannot prevent right-wing extremist, pornographic or violent videos from users from being uploaded. These mostly violate the rules of use and are removed in the event of complaints.
Paid subscriptions: YouTube Premium & YouTube Music
While YouTube only made money from advertising in the past, the video platform wants to compete with pay-TV broadcasters with paid subscriptions in the future. The YouTube Premium subscription has been available since mid-2018, costs 11.99 euros per month and enables, among other things, to watch videos offline and without advertising – this includes original YouTube formats. Music can also be streamed via YouTube Music. However, if you are only interested in streaming music, you can take out a pure YouTube Music subscription for 9.99 euros.