Analysis

YouTube hits 1bn monthly users, fuelled by ‘Generation C’


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youtube-logoWhen will a streaming music service reach 1bn people rather than 10m or 20m? Oh, it has. YouTube has announced a big milestone: “More than a billion unique users every single month”.

That’s up from the 800m figure that YouTube has been touting in recent months, and the latest reminder that the $1.65bn that Google paid for YouTube back in 2006 wasn’t as wildly overblown as many people suggested at the time.

YouTube’s blog post announcing its one-billion milestone doesn’t go into much detail beyond a few novelty stats (although the “Nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits YouTube” is a corker).

gen-c-connects-on-all-screens-on-youtube-infographic copyBut separately, Google’s ad-focused Agency Blog has dug a little deeper into one demographic group driving the growth: “Generation C” (C standing for connected) who watch YouTube “on all screens, constantly switching between devices”.

76% of these 18-34 year-olds in the US own smartphones, and the amount of time they spend watching YouTube on those handsets is up 74% year-on-year. 67% of them watch YouTube on two devices or more, compared to 53% of the general population.

“Gen C have taken up permanent residence on YouTube, making it one of their primary daily destinations,” as Google puts it.

Music Ally readers will already be well aware of YouTube’s importance as a platform for music consumption, particularly for younger people.

In separate news, YouTube is also now more mineable for data on what people are doing – Google has just added YouTube to its Google Trends service, enabling anyone to explore popular search queries and traffic patterns over time and geography.

But yes: one billion active users, with YouTube weaving its way into the daily habits of many of them across a range of devices.

It’s why reports of a YouTube-branded streaming music service made waves earlier in the year, and it’s also why ongoing licensing controversies – from YouTube squabbling with GEMA to music publishers attacking the Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs) whose audience is pure Gen C – are so high-profile.

Stuart Dredge

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