It’s safe to say the Internet has dramatically changed the face of our world. Like the wheel, the discovery of fire and development of transportation systems before it, the Internet has redefined our societal and cultural norms, creating a world where new generations cannot even fathom the world without it.
YouTube is one of the Internet’s greatest achievements, with popular YouTube personalities, music videos and funny cat clips eclipsing some television programs in sheer popularity. We all figured people used YouTube quite a bit, but a new report from The Wall Street Journal reveals that users now watch a collective of 1 billion hours of videos each day. To put things in perspective, Nielsen reports that Americans watch 1.25 billion hours of both live and recorded TV each day, so YouTube is very close to matching and even surpassing that figure.
The Wall Street Journal argues YouTube’s growth stems from its use of A.I. to create playlists catered to a user’s interests based off previously watched videos. YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan told the Journal that “The corpus of content continues to get richer and richer by the minute, and machine-learning algorithms do a better and better job of surfacing the content that an individual user likes.” YouTube works with the Google Brain division to analyze viewers interests, targeting videos catered to them to keep them on the site. Along with users watching 1 billion hours of video per day, at least one YouTube video is viewed by a unique user every 90 days. With Major Lazer, Calvin Harris and Alan Walker music videos surpassing 1 billion views each, it’s safe to say YouTube’s popularity isn’t slowing down any time soon.