Almost one-third of the human population has a YouTube account in 2023. For some, being a YouTuber is a career, for others it’s an addiction, and some just use it as an occasional pastime. No matter what your take on the streaming giant that took the world by storm is, it certainly won't harm you to learn a thing or two more about it. Fortunately, this article is the right place to start your quest for information.
YouTube numbers, data, and facts
YouTube is the most popular video-sharing platform in 2023 – but you probably already knew that. Fortunately, we also prepared some lesser-known and more interesting YouTube statistics and facts for you to check out. So, without further ado, here they are.
1. YouTube is the second most visited website in the world
According to the Semrush Traffic Analytics tool, the results of which are updated each month, YouTube had over 69 billion visits in September 2023, making it the second most visited website worldwide. This also makes it the #1 video streaming platform in the world. The only site more popular than YouTube, throughout 2021, was Google.com, with over 87.5 billion visits.
2. It's also the second-biggest search engine online
By the number of search requests, YouTube's search engine is the second largest on the internet. It processes over 40,000 search queries per second, or over 3.5 billion searches per day, across the globe. Again, the most used search engine is Google, YouTube's parent company.
3. Together, we spend more than 1 billion hours on YouTube each day
Imagine one billion hours invested in a project – without a doubt, it would've been a hell of a project. Well, that's how much time all users combined spend on YouTube each day. What's more, according to the above Global Research report, 100 hours of video content is uploaded onto the platform each minute.
As YouTube content is getting richer and our attention span is getting shorter, it's not surprising that YouTube (short and to the point) videos are getting more attention than movie/series marathons on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Disney+.
4. YouTube earned over $28.8 billion on ads in 2021
Business of Apps and Statista show similar YouTube revenue findings for 2021 – the streaming platform earned a whopping $28.8 billion on ads. That's a 46% increase compared to the year before, when it made a revenue of $19.7 billion. The beginning of 2023 saw excellent results too, with more than $14.2 billion in revenue in the first half of the year. So, we can expect even higher final numbers for the year 2023.
5. YouTube's estimated net worth is over $180 billion
When it comes to YouTube's net worth, however, stats pages and websites are not so unanimous. With all the investments and changes YouTube made in recent years, it's very difficult to guess its net worth. The estimations start at $140 billion and go all the way up to $300 billion, with manhowie.com claiming that the actual number is somewhere around $183 billion.
What's known for a fact, though, is that Google acquired YouTube for $1.6 billion in 2006. From there on its value must have increased tremendously, as YouTube is now among the most significant video and entertainment companies in the world.
6. The most-watched YouTube video has over 11.5 billion views
Believe it or not, a children's song called Baby Shark is the most-seen video on YouTube, as of October 2023, with over 11.5 billion views. Up until recently Luis Fonsi's Despacito, featuring Daddy Yankee, was holding the most-watched throne, but it currently has "only" 7.9 billion views, falling almost 3 billion views behind Baby Shark.
If you're wondering what happened to PSY's Gangnam Style, the first ever YouTube video to hit the 1 billion views milestone (in December 2012) – well, it's no longer as popular as it used to be, but it's still doing pretty good. 10 years later, the South Korean hit song still gets around 900,000 views per day on average, and it's in the top 10 most-viewed YouTube videos in 2023, according to Statista.
7. T-Series, with over 221 million subscribers, is the most popular YouTube channel
Lifestyle Asia reveals that the most-subscribed YouTube video channel is, in fact, an Asian channel called T-Series. It originates from India and it has a huge fan base of over 221 million subscribers.
So if you're looking for a quality channel with a never-ending list of Bollywood music hits, but also other types of content, including educational videos and movie trailers, this may be just the right channel for you. The videos on it are available in English and Hindi, but also in plenty of other Indian languages, including Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, and Rajasthani.
8. The "most-watched person" on YouTube has over 111m subscribers
Even if you've never heard of someone called Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, you’ve probably heard about PewDiePie. The latter is the most-subscribed YouTube channel entirely owned and managed by an individual, and the former is the individual’s real name.
He became famous for his online "Let’s Play” funny gaming commentary and expanded his content to comedian sketches and parody music videos. Currently, he has over 111m subscribers, more than 4,500 videos, and over 28 billion views on PewDiePie, which makes him the most-subscribed individual on the streaming platform.
9. People prefer YouTube over instruction guides and manuals
A study by Google has shown that most users, instead of reading product instructions, would rather go on YouTube and watch video tutorials. To be more precise, they are three times more likely to watch a YouTube tutorial video about something than to tinker with handbooks and manuals which come with the product.
10. 89% of parents admit their youngsters watch YouTube
In 2020, Pew Research published a paper called Parenting Children in the Age of Screens, which included parental views on YouTube in the US. The results were rather shocking – 89% of parents said their children watched the platform, and 53% admitted their children watch it daily. Worse still, 57% of parents whose children were under two years old admitted their children also watched YouTube content at some point.
11. YouTube started with its adverts in 2007
If you were trying to remember the last time YouTube wasn't annoying you with its adverts, we can help you out – it was all the way back in 2007. YouTube ads have been the single biggest source of the company's revenue ever since. Nothing much to add to this one, you already know how it goes, except… thank god for ad-blockers!
12. Most YouTube videos are limited to 15 minutes
A little before adverts, in 2006, the platform established a 10-minute length limit per video. It came as a solution for complaints of copyright infringement that YouTube started receiving – video captures of copyrighted material shown on television were quite popular at the time.
Currently, YouTube’s upload limit is 15 minutes, however, subscribers following YouTube’s community guidelines can upload much longer videos. The upper limit for them is 128GB or 12 hours, whichever is the lower value for the video.
13. The biggest lawsuit YouTube received was $1 billion
YouTube and its parent company, Google, received a lawsuit worth a staggering $1 billion in 2007. Viacom, an American multinational entertainment conglomerate (later merged with CBS Corporation), sued them for copyright infringement on the YouTube site. The case eventually got abandoned as, allegedly, the companies reached an out-of-court settlement. Rumors have it that Google spent at least $100 million defending the lawsuit.
14. YouTube's audience is predominantly male
Youngsters, older generations, males, and females, it seems like everybody is on YouTube. But, naturally, the statistics for these groups are not identical. According to the latest Hootsuite findings, users identifying as males were slightly more dominant on YouTube in 2021 – 53.9% of them. 46.1% of users identified as females.
It's worth mentioning as well that the difference in these percentages is slowly reducing, with more and more female users becoming active on YouTube. In 2020, for example, 56% of YouTube users declared themselves as males and 44% as females. With this ongoing trend, it's possible the numbers will even out in the near future.
15. YouTube’s first-ever video was posted in 2005
Three former PayPal employees, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim came up with the idea of publicly sharing "home videos" in February 2005. One of them, Jawed Karim, posted his first amateur video to the platform named YouTube on April 25, 2005. The video goes under the title Me at the zoo. It's 19 seconds long and currently has 246 million views.
16. The company's logo remained almost the same until 2017
Except for minor shade adjustments with its signature red color, the YouTube logo barely changed until 2017. On August 29, 2017, the logo was finally redesigned. We now have the modified font and "almost black" shade of the YouTube sign, placed to the right of its new red play button emblem.
17. 99% of parents who allow their children to watch YouTube daily believe the platform keeps them entertained
An unbelievable 99% of parents whose children watch YouTube daily said the site keeps their kids entertained. 91% said it helps them learn new things and 81% said it exposes them to new cultures.
With parents that let their children watch YouTube less than every few weeks, these percentages were significantly smaller. Only 53% of them said they believed YouTube was exposing their children to different cultures and 70% believed it helped them learn new things. Of course, once again, most of them (76%) said the platform keeps the kids entertained.
18. 46% of minors have encountered inappropriate content on YouTube
According to the same Pew Research Center study from above, almost half of the parents (46%) said their minors have encountered inappropriate videos on YouTube. Parents of older children, aged between five and 11, were more likely to report such occurrences – 56% of them. While fewer parents (28%) of children below four reported their kids have had such negative experiences.
Although YouTube is actively removing all videos violating its community guidelines, we believe that, in reality, these percentages are even higher.
19. YouTube removed almost 4.45 million videos in Q2 of 2023
Speaking of video removal, YouTube has officially cleared away 4,496,933 inappropriate videos from April to June 2023. The platform's automated flagging system spotted the greatest majority of these videos, 4,195,734 to be precise. The rest were recognized by users, individual trusted flaggers, NGOs, and government agencies.
20. Child safety is the #1 reason videos get removed from YouTube
There are many reasons videos get flagged and deleted from YouTube, but child safety is the most dominant one. In the second quarter of 2023, 30.8% of all videos that got removed were categorized as harmful to children, 20% were violent or graphic, 14.8% contained nudity or sexual elements, 11.9% had the potential of being harmful or dangerous, and 11.1% were videos contaning harassment and cyberbullying.
21. Over one-fourth of the removed videos are from India
For the last few consecutive years, India is "the leader of removed YouTube content". It consistently has over one million videos removed per quarter. Over 1.3 million videos from India got taken off YouTube from April to June 2023. This was over one-fourth of all videos removed from the streaming platform worldwide in that period.
22. China doesn't allow YouTube
On the other hand, we have countries like China, Afghanistan, and North Korea where access to YouTube is not at all possible due to severe government censorship. Some other countries, like Turkey, Finland, and Denmark have had YouTube restrictions due to unsolved legal disputes, lawsuits, copyright issues, and such. Luckily, you can always use a VPN to access YouTube in countries where YouTube is permanently or temporarily banned and regain your internet freedom and privacy rights.
23. 81% of adult people in the US watch YouTube
While Facebook remains one of the most used social media platforms in the US, YouTube keeps dominating the video entertainment scene, with over three-quarters of US adults using it. That number kept steadily increasing in the last couple of years too. In 2019, the percentage of adult US citizens using YouTube was a little over 70%. In 2021, that number was already at 81%.
Most YouTube users belong to the younger generations, though, ages 18 to 29. Over 90% of respondents from this age group reported using YouTube. On the other hand, only 38% of people aged 65+ are using the platform.
24. 62% of US adults use the streaming platform daily
Statista came up with similar findings, adding that over half of Americans (62%) used YouTube daily in 2020, while 92% of them accessed the platform weekly. Almost every US respondent (98%) used the platform at least once a month.
25. YouTube is among the most downloaded apps of all time
As mobile app usage is getting more and more popular across the globe, app downloads are increasing – a constant trend from 2016 onward. In 2019, app downloads surpassed 200 billion, and in 2021, there were more than 230 billion app downloads.
YouTube is consistently high on the list of the most popular apps in the world. In fact, it was the fourth most downloaded iPhone app in 2020. Currently, it's holding eleventh place, with TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook taking the top spots on the chart.
26. YouTube pays $10 billion a year to content creators
There have been many speculations about how much money YouTube earns and what share of those earnings it gives to its content creators. To end the rumors and remind users that YouTube is among the companies that pay for its content the most, its chief product officer, Neal Mohan, reiterated that YouTube gets "only" 45% of most of its ad sales.
When I talk to creators, it's always about growing the overall pie. A share of $10 is always better than a share of $1.
According to the latest public announcements, the video streaming giant has paid content creators more than $30 billion over the past three years, so all the creators combined have been earning roughly $10 billion a year.
27. The highest number of YouTube users comes from India
With over 95% of the internet population using YouTube, it can be hard to guess which nation is the biggest fan. Looking strictly at raw numbers, which Global Media Insight brought to us, India may seem like an obvious choice – with over 467 million registered users. However, if we compare the total users' number per country to the total population of that country, we see that YouTube is watched in the US in much larger numbers than in India.
The US has over 247 million registered users, which translates to over 75% of the population. In the meantime, those 467 million Indian users account for only about one-third of all people living in India. The other top three countries for viewing in 2023 are Indonesia (139 million users), Brazil (138 million users), and Russia (106 million users).
28. YouTube also has the largest advertising reach in India
The above raw numbers do confirm, however, that YouTube has the largest advertising reach in India. Over 467 million targeted users is, by no means, a modest achievement, especially in the country where over half of the population (53%) still doesn't have internet access. Again, this makes the United States the second largest advertisement ground for YouTube, with 247 million active users.
29. 70% of users access YouTube through their mobile phones
Imagine if you could only watch YouTube on your laptop or PC, well in YouTube's early days, that was your only viewing option. But ever since smartphones and smart TVs changed the digital landscape (in 2005), users are trying to make the most of these slightly more convenient choices.
A study by Backlinko suggests that over 70% of all YouTube views come from our mobile phones. Accessing YouTube via a TV is also getting increasingly popular thanks to more and more TVs and game consoles integrating YouTube functionality. It's estimated that on average over 450 million hours of content is watched on a TV screen each day.
30. YouTube abandoned the public dislike counts in 2021
YouTube removed this option to reduce harassment and the threat of so-called "dislike attacking behavior" that video creators started experiencing increasingly – where a group of viewers would team up to boost the number of dislikes on a video. The dislike counts became invisible to the general population, while the creators can still check them privately if they wish to obtain that type of feedback.
Before this option was removed, the platform's own creation, YouTube Rewind 2018 video, and Justin Bieber's Baby were the most disliked videos on YouTube, with over 16 million and 12 million dislikes, respectively.
31. You would need over 23 whole days to watch YouTube's longest video
Before it got removed because the account of the owner got terminated, the longest YouTube video ever was 596.5 hours long. It was created by Jonathan Harchick and consisted of his trip to Chile, with a photographs slide show and two-tone color pattern switching places. It would take you almost 24 days to watch this whole video. That is, if you watch it day and night, without interruptions.
YouTube of the future
YouTube is currently responsible for over 47% of online video traffic and over 20% of total global downstream bandwidth. Taking the above positive trends and statistics into account, we can only expect these numbers to increase in the next couple of years. None of the other streaming services, including worldwide popular Netflix, have such sustainability potential, simply because they offer less variety in content.
Other popular entertainment and social media platforms, such as TikTok and Facebook, may agree better with modern viewership's super short attention span, but they call for a more active viewing approach and a lot of interaction. On the other hand, you don't have to be 100% present to enjoy YouTube content. You can run it in the background – listening to your favorite music while concentrating on some important work or a hobby.
All of these advantages, plus the constant innovations and the fact that the YouTube community is among the most supportive and rewarding to its creators, make the platform very difficult to outgrow or replace in the near future. All in all, we predict a bright future for YouTube and we can't wait to see what happens next.