YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. YouTube is the leader in online video, sharing original videos worldwide through a Web experience. YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs, and email.
Everyone can watch videos on YouTube. People can see first-hand accounts of current events, find videos about their hobbies and interests, and discover the quirky and unusual. As more people capture special moments on video, YouTube is empowering them to become the broadcasters of tomorrow.
YouTube received funding from Sequoia Capital in November 2005 and was officially launched one month later in December. Chad Hurley and Steve Chen proceeded to become the first members of the YouTube management team and currently serve as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer respectively.
In March 2007, Viacom introduced its much talked about $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube. In a statement explaining why they were pursuing legal action, Viacom stated that “we must turn to the courts to prevent Google and YouTube from continuing to steal value from artists and to obtain compensation for the significant damage they have caused.” The lawsuit was preceded by a takedown request from Viacom ordering YouTube to remove over 100,000 clips from its stable of networks.
In May 2007 YouTube announced a revenue-sharing arrangement called “Partners Program” to cut in some of its biggest pro-am producers on the revenue generated from their videos. Partners at launch included LisaNova and smosh.
In June 2007 YouTube launched local versions in Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the U.K. Additionally in June, Apple’s iPhone launched with a YouTube application, further extending YouTube’s penetration in the mobile market following its November 2006 partnership with Verizon’s vCast service.
Over the summer and fall of 2007 major announcements were made about advertising models for YouTube. In August, YouTube introduced “YouTube InVideo Ads”, a set of flash overlays displayed on the lower portion of videos. Advertisers are charged per impression, and the resulting revenue will be shared with the clip creator. In October, Google announced the inclusion of YouTube videos in its AdSense product. Site owners using AdSense can select videos from certain content providers, and ads will be served contextually as they relate to either the site or the video. Resulting revenue will be split between content providers, site owners, as well as Google.
In October 2007, YouTube announced a new service called “Youtube Video Identification” in order to assist copyright holders in protecting their content. With the service copyright holders upload full copies of their content to the service and complex algorithms are applied against YouTube’s library of clips to see if any match the uploaded content. Copyright holders can then either have YouTube remove the videos in question or allow YouTube to serve advertising along with the content and split the resulting revenue.
In March 2008, YouTube introduced “Youtube Town Hall”, an online platform for members of Congress to debate and discuss the most important issues of the day. Visitors can select an issue, watch two short videos expressing competing ideas, and then support the one they agree with most. To help people focus on the merits of the idea and not the party of the speaker, the speaker’s party isn’t revealed until after a user decides which video to support. The most supported videos will be highlighted on the YouTube Town Hall Leaderboard.
In January 2009, Youtube announced the option of viewing videos in high definition, adding annotations directly onto the video, and a new tool called “Abuse & Safety” that allows users to more effectively handle the spam that may occur with viewing videos.
In March 2009, Youtube launched “Youtube Insight”, a video analytic tool that informs users useful information about your video views. The “Youtube Insight” featured a “Community” tab that allows you to see how YouTube users engage with your content over time and depending on their geographic location. You can see total numbers related to ratings, comments, and favorites (or all of them combined), as well as the average number of actions the community takes per view of your video. Along the way, Youtube also added “Demographics” and “Hot Spots” which allowed users to know what age most of the users audience were as well.
In April 2009, Youtube announced a partnership with UMG (Universal Music Group) to launch VEVO, a music and video entertainment hub that will feature UMG’s premium music videos. Also, Youtube has expanded its library to include more television shows and movies.
In June 2009, Youtube launched “Youtube XL”, a specially optimized Youtube channel for better video quality on larger screens. Later in August, Youtube launched a store section of the website. Although the store is nto located within Youtube, it can be found in the Google store.
In November 2009, Youtube announced it will be supporting 720p and 1080p HD videos. Later in January 2010, Youtube announced the option of using HTML 5 supported players. Then again in March, Youtube launched a new channel, “Youtube EDU”, which provides educational videos from prestigious universities all over the world.
Recently, Youtube has released HD thumbnail previews, allowing the thumbnail previews to be in HD as well. Also, Google announced that it is releasing the “+1” button on Youtube. This will help make the video searching experience easier and more enjoyable.
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