YouTube is a significant hub among online platforms, with an astonishing 2 billion active users worldwide. Every day, people watch billions of hours of videos on YouTube, making it a major part of our lives.
YouTube is more than just entertainment. It is also a thriving ecosystem for creators, generating over $10 billion in advertising revenue each year. The platform is available in over 100 countries and 80 languages, which makes it a truly global phenomenon.
But who owns YouTube, the giant platform? Who are YouTube’s founders, and what are some of the YouTube’s essential milestones? Let’s unfold these questions about a platform that redefined how we share and consume content in this digital age.
What is YouTube?
YouTube is an online video-sharing platform where you can share, watch, and upload videos. It is a platform that offers various features, making it a popular platform for creators and users alike. Here, creators can upload their video content of any length and format. Based on every video upload, you can also add different annotations and captions and use its other features while uploading the videos to make them rank higher. On the other side, users can search and watch videos on any device, including smartphones, computers, tablets and more.
The primary source of YouTube’s revenue generation is advertising, subscriptions, and commerce. Advertisers can place their ads on YouTube videos, and creators can earn money from them. However, if creators want, they can also charge for subscriptions to their channels and sell products through YouTube’s commerce platform.
Since its launch, YouTube has greatly impacted how we consume and share information. It has also become a significant platform for creators to share their visual content and connect with audiences. It had such a major impact that in 2005, within just a few months of its launch, it started trafficking 30,000 views a day. This grabbed the attention of many tech giants to purchase and own the company within a few months only.
Who Owns YouTube?
Today, YouTube is owned by Google. Google acquired YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. YouTube is now one of Google’s most popular products, with over 2 billion active monthly users, almost a quarter of the world’s population.
Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., a holding company that also owns other popular brands such as Google Search, Gmail, and Android.
YouTube Parent Company
The parent company of YouTube is Alphabet Inc. YouTube is part of Google, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet.
Alphabet Inc. was formed in 2015 when Google reorganised its businesses. The reorganisation was designed to make it easier for Google to focus on its core businesses, such as search and advertising. Alphabet Inc. also allows Google to experiment with new industries, such as self-driving cars and artificial intelligence.
YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim in 2005. These were the three co-workers from PayPal.
The original idea was an online dating service named “Tune In, Hook Up”, but it eventually failed.
However, after the infamous Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime show incident, the three creators were trying to find that video on the internet, but couldn’t find videos of it on the internet. That was when they realised there was no easy way to share videos online. To serve that need, the three founders changed their concept to a video-sharing platform, and YouTube was born in 2005.
Key Milestones in The History Of YouTube
Here are some key milestones in the history of YouTube:
- February 2005: YouTube was founded by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim as a dating app.
- April 2005: The first video was uploaded to YouTube, titled “Me at the Zoo” by Jawed Karim, one of the co-founders.
- May 2005: YouTube goes into beta testing.
- September 2005: The first video that reached one million views during this beta testing was a Nike ad featuring Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho.
- November 2005: YouTube received its first round of funding from Sequoia Capital, worth $3.5 million.
- December 15, 2005: YouTube was officially launched. When it was formally launched, it served more than two million video views daily.
- October 2006: Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock, making it one of the largest acquisitions in tech history.
- August 2007: YouTube introduces in-video ads for creators to monetise their work.
- November 2007: YouTube launched its first localised versions in nine countries: Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the UK.
- March 2008: YouTube began offering HD videos in 720p resolution.
- October 2008: YouTube introduces preroll ads.
- October 2009: YouTube reached one billion views per day.
- May 2010: YouTube announced that it had exceeded two billion views per day
- November 2010: YouTube launched its first original content initiative, YouTube Original Channels, featuring professionally produced content from celebrities and media companies.
- December 2010: YouTube began offering live streaming capabilities to select partners.
- April 2011: YouTube reached three billion views per day and announced that it paid more than $30 billion to its creators, companies and media partners over the last three years.
- December 2011: YouTube redesigned its homepage and introduced the concept of channels as the primary way to discover and watch videos.
- May 2012: YouTube launched its first paid subscription service, YouTube Rentals, which offered access to premium movies and TV shows from major studios and networks.
- November 2012: YouTube celebrated its one billionth video with a special video featuring Psy’s viral hit “Gangnam Style”, which became the first video to reach one billion views on the platform.
- March 2014: YouTube launched its first kids app, YouTube Kids, which offered a curated and safe environment for children to watch videos.
- October 2015: YouTube launched its first paid subscription service for video, YouTube Red, which offered ad-free access to all videos, offline playback, background play, and exclusive original content for a monthly fee.
- October 2016: YouTube launched its first virtual reality app, YouTube VR, offering immersive experiences for viewers using VR headsets such as Google Cardboard and Daydream.
- October 2017: YouTube rebranded its paid subscription service for video from YouTube Red to YouTube Premium, which offered the same benefits as before, plus access to YouTube Music and YouTube Originals.
- October 2019: YouTube rebranded its paid subscription service for music from YouTube Music Key Beta to YouTube Music Premium, which offered the same benefits as before, plus access to more features and content.
- February 2020: YouTube reached four billion hours of watch time daily and announced that it had over six billion monthly active users.
- April 2020: YouTube launched its first live-streaming service for education, Learn@Home with YouTube, offering free online lessons and resources from various educational partners during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- June 2021: YouTube added support for videos in 3D format, which offered a more immersive and realistic experience for viewers using 3D glasses or devices.
- April 2022: YouTube launched its first live streaming service for sports, called YouTube Sports Live, which offered access to live and on-demand sports from over 100 leagues and networks, including NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, FIFA, and more.
- February 2023: YouTube reached seven billion hours of watch time daily and announced that it had over nine billion monthly active users.
These are just a few of the key milestones in the history of YouTube. The platform has continued to grow and evolve over the years, and it has become one of the most popular websites in the world, which surely has many more milestones in between.
Where Is YouTube Headquartered?
The headquarters of YouTube is in San Bruno, California, the United States. The company’s office is located at 901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066.
The YouTube headquarters is a large campus with several buildings. The main building is called the “YouTube Space”, where most of the company’s employees work. The YouTube Space has several features, including a video studio, a screening room, and a game room.
YouTube also has several other offices worldwide, including offices in London, Tokyo, and New York City.
YouTube, the world’s leading and largest video-sharing platform, has come a long way since its birth in 2005. Acquired by Google in 2006, it has grown over its journey into a global phenomenon. Today, it has billions of users and significantly impacts content creation, consumption, and monetisation. From its humble beginnings as a dating app concept to its current status as part of Alphabet Inc., YouTube’s journey has been marked by various vital milestones and innovations, from which we could make the most remarkable ones.
Headquartered in San Bruno, California, and having offices in different countries worldwide, it seems like YouTube has a promising future ahead as it adapts to the evolving needs of its vast and diverse user base.
Ravpreet is an avid writer, prone to penning compelling content that hits the right chord. A startup enthusiast, Ravpreet has written content about startups for over three years and helped them succeed. You can also find her cooking, making singing videos, or walking on quiet streets in her free time.