Skip to main content
Business LibreTexts

16.5: YouTube

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): The YouTube logo Adapted From Screenshot, YouTube, 2017

    Introduction and stats

    Creating and sharing content for free is one of the hallmarks of social media, and YouTube is considered the largest of the content creation and sharing websites. The key word here is free: there are no fees for joining, whether you are uploading or viewing content, although premium paid-for membership such as YouTube Red can provide added features. This means that such sites attract an enormous audience. In fact, according to Alexa rankings, YouTube is the second largest website in the world, after Google! (Alexa, 2016). YouTube is now owned by Google and thus has the benefit of receiving prime results in the Google SERP.

    YouTube encourages distribution of its content and allows videos to be embedded easily into other websites.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Sharing options on YouTube Adapted From Screenshot, YouTube, 2017

    Online video consumption continues to grow year on year as bandwidth gets faster and cheaper. Sharing video content is easy with YouTube. Anyone can upload videos captured on simple devices such as webcams and mobile phones or on high-end professional cameras.

    Some stats on YouTube:

    • Over 1.3 billion active users
    • Over 60% of users are male
    • 50% of users are between 25 and 44 years old
    • 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute
    • Every day, hundreds of millions of hours are spent watching YouTube
    • 3.25 billion hours of content are watched each month
    • More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices
    • The number of hours spent watching YouTube is up 60% from 2016 (FortuneLords, 2017).


    YouTube is simple to use. Unregistered users can watch most of the publicly available videos. However, logging in with your Google account, or following the simple registration on YouTube, provides additional benefits. Registered users can upload an unlimited number of clips, comment on and add video responses to videos, and subscribe to content feeds that catch their attention and interest. Frequently enhanced functionality and clever features continually push YouTube to deliver bigger and better services to its ever-increasing user base.

    YouTube allows individuals and businesses to own a channel on the site. They can brand and customise the channel as they like and manage the content that is created and shared. Viewers subscribe to various channels and get updates on new content. Vloggers, video bloggers, who create monthly, weekly or even daily posts, have become increasingly popular and some vloggers earn money and make a living through their YouTube programs.


    The most watched video in YouTube history is the music video for Despacito performed by Luisi Fonsi and featuring Daddy Yankee, which has netted over 3.3 billion views.

    Marketing and advertising on YouTube There are two aspects to marketing through YouTube. The first is paid advertising by promoting video content next to, or during, other content on the site. The second is having a brand channel, which provides analytics and community features.

    Marketing and advertising on YouTube

    There are two aspects to marketing through YouTube. The first is paid advertising by promoting video content next to, or during, other content on the site. The second is having a brand channel, which provides analytics and community features.

    YouTube has a host of advertising options. YouTube’s Promote Your Video feature and YouTube Fan Finder are just two of the many ways the site can be leveraged for promotion. Adverts can also be managed through Google AdWords. See more about this in the Social media advertising and Video marketing chapters.

    Having a brand channel is perfect for content marketing. Content shared on your brand channel should not be too promotional, but should offer value to your viewers. Some promotion is expected and accepted by viewers, but if you want to entertain viewers and encourage them to subscribe and continue to tune in to view your content, it is necessary that the content offer value.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\): The VW brand channel on YouTube Adapted From Screenshot, VW YouTube channel, 2017

    Refer to the Video marketing chapter for more information on marketing on YouTube.

    Using social platforms such as YouTube allows brands and video creators to tap into an existing community of avid video viewers. For example, YouTube has changed the way we view video commercials. Marketers have shown that if an advert is good enough, many users will choose to watch it. Super Bowl commercials, for example, are highly anticipated each year, and the best ones receive millions of online video views. These are users who have chosen to watch this advert at a media cost of zero! Other advertisers have realised that far longer adverts can be created and uploaded. As long as the content is good, users will watch, and hopefully share. Time constraints online are not the same as they are for television networks.

    Online video sharing also makes it possible for conferences to generate a far greater audience than ever before. The companies that run these conferences are able to engage with a massive audience by posting videos of the conference presentations, an excellent example of content marketing. TED ( ) and Nokia, which runs Nokia World, are excellent examples of organisations that increase interest by making their remarkable presentations available for free.

    YouTube’s Community tab

    YouTube has created the Community tab, which allows viewers to respond to a creator’s posts. It allows users to reply to messages with text to react and share their thoughts. Brands can make posts consisting of text, image, polls, or video, and users can respond to these, making YouTube a far more social platform than before.

    Read more about it here:

    YouTube analytics

    YouTube Analytics is available to all YouTube users for their videos and channels. Video views and popularity are broken up by geographical territory, as well as some demographic information. Discovery data shows how users got to your video.

    One of the most useful reports for any video is audience attention. This report shows when users stop viewing a video, or rewind sections of video, and compares this to videos of a similar kind.

    YouTube summary

    YouTube offers brands and businesses a great platform to share content with their customers. Being able to personalise and brand your own YouTube channel helps to develop your brand’s online presence and assists with SEO. Your own brand channel means having an online collection of all your video content that users can peruse in their own time. And through analytics, you can observe what types of content resonate more with your users. You can optimize your efforts by sharing popular content on other platforms or even paying for promotion of popular content to get further reach and awareness.

    16.5: YouTube is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Rob Stokes via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.