There are some amazing YouTube stats in 2018 that shock most people when they first see them.
From humble beginnings, YouTube quickly grew into one of the most popular and influential websites on the internet.
It is not an understatement to say that YouTube has changed the world. Literally billions of people now consume more video than than ever before, and millions of ambitious creators have decided to become a YouTuber and find their own audience.
The YouTube user numbers and money stats continue to rise as the site and its top vloggers attract even more eyeballs and billions of dollars in revenue.
Below is the complete guide on the most important facts about YouTube you need to know in 2018 - its history, user stats, most popular (and least popular) content, notable contributors and eye-popping YouTube money numbers.
A screen shot of YouTube in early 2005
YouTube was founded by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim. In a classic tale of entrepreneurship, they did their first programming on the site in a garage, and sold if for a fortunte less than two years later.
All three founders worked at PayPal before starting their own successful venture together.
The team received an early investment of $3.5 Million in November of 2005 from legendary Silicon Valley VC fund, Sequoia Capital who has also invested in tech giants such as Apple, AirBNB, Google, and LinkedIn among others.
Purchase by Google
Google famously acquired YouTube on Oct 9, 2006 for $1.65 billion. They had only 65 employees at the time, and this was a mere 1 year, 7 months and 25 days after its original formation.
This resulted in over $300 Million in Google shares paid to Chen and Hurley, with more than $60 Million for Karim who was the third co-founder.
Sequoia Capital received a reported $442.3 Million in Google Shares from only an $11.5 Million investment over two rounds - this means roughly a 3646% return on their investment in under a year.
First YouTube Video
The first YouTube video is titled 'Me at the zoo', and was posted on April 23, 2005 at 20:27:12 PDT. It was added to the site by the site's co-founder Jawed Karim who had the user name "Jawed." The quality of the video reminds us that there have been many advances in the level of equipment and cameras used for YouTube over the last decade.
The original video is still up and you can check it out below.
First YouTube Ads
The first YouTube advertisements were rolled out in August of 2007. Since then, ads have been the primary source of income for the internet giant.
The long-time record holder for most YouTube Subscribers is gamer and comedian PewDiePie (Felix Arvid Ulf Kjelberg). In early 2018 he passed 60 million subscribers.
There has long been speculation that PewDiePie has purchased some of his millions of views and subscribers, but nothing legitimate has been proven to date, and many believe he earned his numbers organically.
First Channel to 1 Million Subscribers
Most Viewed YouTube Video
Music videos historically reach the highest highs in terms of views, and the current record holder is Luis Fonsi's Despacito which is approaching a whopping 5 billion views.
If you are curious, have a look and add your view to the pile!
Many YouTubers struggle to even achieve more than 1,000 views and often wonder how to get more. While there are many useful strategies, most of the record setting videos tend to involve music.
Most Liked Video
Despacito has also soared past Wiz Khalifa's 'See You Again' video to become the most liked YouTube video of all time, recently clearing 25 million likes.
Most Disliked Video
Justin Bieber's first music video 'Baby' has earned the dishonor of being the most disliked YouTube video of all time by a wide margin.
Considering the billions of views that Justin has on this video and his many others, we doubt this bothers him too much.
Fastest Video To 1 Billion Views
The YouTube video that reached 1 Billion views the fastest was Adele's 'Hello' video which was published on Oct 22, 2015. It took her only 87 days. Today, the original post has over 2.2 billion views.
Amazing User Stats - 2018
Despite massive usership, the statistics around YouTube usership continue to grow in remarkable ways every single year. Here are some updated YouTube numbers and user stats that we know in 2018.
YouTube Gaming Statistics
Gaming is now as mainstream as sports or television shows for people under 35 who have grown up in a world filled with games. It has also established itself as one of the most popular niches on YouTube Over half a billion people watch gaming related content online and more than half of that is consumed on YouTube.
Here are some statistics about gaming on YouTube that show the high level of interest that gaming videos generate.
Gamers on YouTube have gone through some controversy with YouTube as many gaming videos have been demonetized due to a fear of advertisements on potentially violent and offensive content.
They recently added a new program to counterbalance this loss of earnings for gaming creators on YouTube by introducing sponsorships, which is a similar model to rival streaming site, Twitch.
YouTube and Music
While the era of music videos coming through your TV is over, YouTube music videos generate an eye popping number of views.
Many people use YouTube as their primary source of music and goto the site regularly to either listen to their favorites, or discover new artists. Below are some interesting facts that reveal just how important YouTube is to music (and vice versa)
Perhaps the most notorious, and most successful, YouTuber in the world is Felix Kjellberg aka PewDiePie. With an estimated $120+ Million earned from his content on YouTube since 2010, PewDiePie has been a top earner on the site for many of the last several years, and has inspired thousands of other gamers/ entertainers to grab their streaming webcams and carve out their own YouTube channels.
PewDiePie frequently walks (and sometimes crosses) the line of what many people would consider appropriate behavior for someone with an audience of his size, and while he has not been banned from the site, YouTube has cancelled a show in which they partnered with the YouTuber, and have removed his videos from monetization.
Regardless, his legions of fans have resulted in an estimated $7 Million earned in 2017.
Colleen Ballinger has portrayed the popular YouTube personality, Miranda Sings, since 2008. She achieved levels of celebrity that very few YouTubers had before her by appearing on late night talk shows, and realeasing a #1 best-selling book in 2015.
In 2016, Miranda Sings became the first YouTube channel to be comissioned by Netflix to write an original scripted series called 'Haters Back Off' for the streaming giant. While the show only lasted for two seasons, this marked a significant moment for YouTubers and the new world of 'internet famous' content creators.
Earliest success stories of YouTube was Jenna Marbles who decided to start her own vlog and quickly gained viral success with comedic vlog style videos like 'How to Trick People Into Thinking You're Good Looking.' That video, and other by Marbles, generated millions of views within days of its release despite the basic video equipment she used.
The video resulted in quick internet fame with coverage from news outlets like The New York Times and ABC News.
Today Jenna still creates new content and has over 17 million subscribers following her. She is often sited as an influential early YouTuber who turned a cheap vlog camera and some clever ideas into millions of fans (and dollars.)
While he is not generally considered a 'YouTuber' it is entirely possible that the world would now know who Justin Beiber is if not for YouTube. Justin was posting videos of his performances on YouTube as far back as 2007 when he was 12 years old, and was discovered by none other than Usher in 2009.
Here is a sample of Justin's early pre-fame work in 2008. Despite the low quality video, the talent is easy to hear!
YouTube Money Stats
Ever since Google Purchased YouTube for $1.65 Billion, the world has woken up to the incredible financial potential of the online streaming giant. Here are some YouTube stats on finances and the vast amounts of money generated through its videos and advertisers.
Although Google does not publicly share financial details from YouTube, here are some statistics that some credible sources have recently estimated.
10 Highest Paid YouTubers - 2017
According to BusinessInsider, these are the highest earning YouTubers looking back at 2017 based on estimates of total earnings.
There have notable controversies with multiple members of this list, but remarkably that hasn't stopped famous (and infamous) creators like PewDiePie and Logan Paul from earning millions of dollars year after year from their channel.
- 1Dan Middleton (Dan TDM) - $16.5 Million (USD)
- 2Evan Fong (VanossGaming) - $15.5 Million (USD)
- 3Dude Perfect - $14 Million (USD)
- 4Logan Paul - $12.5 Million (USD)
- 5Mark Fischbach (Markiplier) - $12.5 Million (USD)
- 6Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) - $12 Million (USD)
- 7Jake Paul - $11.5 Million
- 8Smosh - $11 Million (USD)
- 9Ryan ToysReview - $11 Million (USD)
- 10Lilly Singh - $10.5
Dan Middleton (Dan TDM) rose up the earnings chart to number 1 in 2017. Much of his channel is focused on the hugely popular Minecraft game, though he does play other games, and recently release an Original Series on YouTube Red
If you aren't making gaming videos, then comedy is another specialty among YouTube millionaires. Lilly Singh cracks the top 10 highest earning YouTubers with her entertaining vlogs, and comedic skits that consistently draw millions of views.
The world of YouTube is an amazing thing in 2018, and the fact is that it will only continue to grow its users, the money generated, and the stars that it creates.