Amount Of Video Content Uploaded To YouTube Increasing At An Astounding Rate

from the watch-it-all dept

While the entertainment industry still wants to believe the myth that somehow it’s possible for Google to monitor all of the content that is uploaded to YouTube, the fact that the company now has 35 hours of content uploaded every minute would suggest otherwise. To some extent, this seems to be a confusion over scale. Many (for good reason) simply can’t comprehend just how much content is being uploaded — and imagine having to do a full fact-based analysis of whether or not each bit of video violates copyright law. You’d have to employ more lawyers than the US government.

Of course, the other notable thing about the sheer amount of content being uploaded — is that it’s important to recognize what this is likely going to mean in terms of quality. There’s no doubt, of course, that for most users, most of the videos being uploaded will be “crap.” Content they’re not interested in at all. Of course, that differs from individual to individual. A movie of a baby cooing may be “crap” to most, but it’s beautiful content to that child’s grandparents. It’s all relative in certain ways.

However, as the amount of content uploaded grows, it’s only natural that the amount of quality content for each individual will also grow, in absolute terms — though not in percentage terms. Of course, critics will focus on the percentage of crap, rather than the absolute amount of quality. While it’s true that “online-only” type shows may not be all that impressive yet (with a few notable exceptions), I think many people are underestimating how quickly we’ll start to see much higher quality shows hit the tubeways rather than the airways…

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Comments on “Amount Of Video Content Uploaded To YouTube Increasing At An Astounding Rate”

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Chris in Utah (profile) says:

The ball is already rolling in that direction. I’m was and am currently a fan of Sci-Fi’s Sanctuary web-series back in ’08.

One wonders what another couple years will bring.

“I’m stuck in a ice cave with Mc Gyver, build something and get me the hell out of here!” Amanda Tapping – exert from blooper real from Stargate. -geek session now over 😉

Youtuber says:

The benefits of infringing

I have a YouTube channel and 90% of my videos are mash-ups and infringe on copyrights. Most of these are by Content ID and have ads appear on the page while some videos are blocked in various countries, yet my videos are still on the site and able to get an audience. It’s a win-win for everybody: my videos get seen, the advertisements get seen, and the works I derive from get recognition.

I know no one likes plugs in the comments but if you like mash-ups, lo-fi music, existentialism, and classic Hollywood then here’s my channel:

another YouTuber says:

Re: Re: The benefits of infringing

“Hint – they also dislike ads in videos.”

Okay, so how do YOU propose that Google pays for the infrastructure to keep YouTube moving?
I personally wouldn’t mind if they had adds on all the pages, as long as they’re relevant and not within the video itself. Most of the time, that’s how it works and that’s what pays for YouTube to continue being free for the end user.

kyle clements (profile) says:


I was notified about this story via twitter about 3 seconds after my latest YouTube video finished uploading.

35 hours per minute? Wow.
To my mind, that rate is like the numbers presented in astronomy, it is simply too big for me to wrap my head around.

If someone could find a way to aggregate and curate all this content, there would be huge potential for replacing TV entirely. Even with google’s great search features, I have trouble finding what I want to watch.

kyle clements (profile) says:

Re: Re: strange

“35 hrs a minute of low resolution video is a “huge potential for replacing TV entirely”?”

Standard Definition TV is only about 480i, YouTube’s standard playback resolution is 480p.
progressive always looks sharper than interlaced.
victory: YouTube

YouTube now supports 4k videos.

you know….Digital IMAX resolution.

That’s hardly low.

David Sanger (profile) says:

Are we heading towards a two-tier copyright system : Hollywood films and big label records at the top; photos, text and everything else at the bottom.

Is Facebook going to start scanning the 2.5 Billion photos they upload every month to look for purloined stock photographs?

Is Yahoo going to scan their share of the 247 Billion monthly emails sent each month in search of infringing copyrighted poems?

I don’t think so. Or would anyone even want it?

Etch says:

Yes it will

Yes, Online Content will eventually replace TV channels.
But not until someone organizes, filters, and presents the content in a new interesting way. The real strength of TV channels is their Programming – as crappy as you may think they are. The careful selection of the content to be shown appropriately to each demographic, for each time of day, is what gets people coming back to TV. No body wants to sit there and search for content and download! Most people just want to turn it on, sit back, relax, and let the content you like come to you!

TV Networks need to now make a decision: They either go with the flow, and find a way of using this technology to their advantage- or, fight a losing battle and watch more tech savvy newcomers take over their market!

Remember Blockbuster?
Talk about too little too late.

scarr (profile) says:

Re: Yes it will

While I agree with your main premise, I disagree with your argument for it. Despite what networks like to think, I suspect very few people sit back to watch whatever is on a given network, just because they “like that network”. Very few channels foster any sense of community. People make generalizations based on what they know of the shows on that network. I doubt it works the other way around very often. Networks like HBO and Showtime (and AMC these days, with some others) might get people to tune in to an episode or two that they might not’ve on another channel, but it’s up to the show to hold viewers.

My main point is that people watch *shows* they like. You can find *shows* on YouTube as well. The future will be made by shows catering to their audiences. Networks will have little to do with it, besides potentially investing in shows and getting advertisers to sign on.

Inconspicuous Coward says:

Re: Yes it will

Actually, I’m perfectly happy to sit, search, and download.

Either blindly (with a good internet connection it’s like surfing the channels) through streaming from various sites, or through friend recommendations (both real friends, and some people I know on a forum who have similar or at least what I deem interesting tastes).

Downloading a whole season of something after getting a recommendation and a little tastes so I can watch it at my leisure is just too convenient compared to TV.

Please note that this is just an opinion. I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that my friends and I all enjoy this style of consumption. Different strokes and all that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Yes it will

I think you are right to a degree.

People don’t like to spend time looking for content, the thing is there is people doing just that right now, is just nobody got big yet promoting lists of programming.

And it all gets on Wikipedia.

The production of original web shows/series is getting to a point where somebody someday will notice and get the “original” idea to write about them and the place where people go to find about the new and cool, Google could have been that place but I think they are distracted by the entertainment industry.

There is so much content that you don’t really need TV anymore you just need to right now to know where to look for it and I agree is time consuming and frustrating at times, but it won’t be that way for long, because where there is a need there is always somebody willing to cater for that need.

abc gum says:

Re: Yes it will

“But not until someone organizes, filters, and presents the content in a new interesting way”

And that is the problem. Your typical web surfer does not want that crap, if they did they would just turn on the tube, pop in a dvd or d/l some content. The web is an interactive communications platform, not a content distribution system. The content giants would like to change that and I’m sure that you would not like what they have in mind.

scarr (profile) says:

The future of shows

If I’m honest, I probably watch more “internet” shows than I do regular TV shows these days. YouTube drove some of them out (like the Nostalgia Critic), because of the questionable copyright claims. They’ll safely find homes in other places though.

The quality of homemade video is increasing, and the producers of these shows are getting better with writing, editing and everything else. Even more than that, what these smaller productions gain is viewer-loyalty. It’s all CwF. People enjoy shows like 30 Rock, but it’s fans of shows like The Guild who will hand over their money to help keep that show going.

The networks will survive by producing larger budget shows, provided they can find ways to fund them. (Large advertisers paying for product placement or “bugs” in the corner seem the most likely methods.) The rest will fall to smaller creators with smaller, dedicated, self-selecting audiences.

Lastly, is there a reason internet shows can’t be called “TV” too? Doesn’t “television” still apply when transmitting across the internet versus the air? It still applied when it shifted from over-the-air to include cable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh the great thing about it?

The MPAA and the RIAA can’t touch that, it is all “original content”(in the loose definition used by everyone’s standards today) and it is all legal, the industry will be dragged again kicking and screaming to a new age they don’t understand and don’t want to be part of it but will need to deal with it, even if they don’t like it and want nothing to do with it and worst even if it means less for the bottom line because there is a lot of people satisfyed to be making 6 figures instead of 12.

KGWagner (profile) says:

No wonder HDDs are so cheap

Let’s do a little simple math here…

35 hours per minute is 35×60 minutes (2100 minutes) per minute. A minute’s worth of low-res video = roughly 4MB, so 2100 minutes times 4MB is 8400MB of data per minute, which translates into 504GB/hr (8400×60). Over the course of a year, that works out to over 4 exabytes (8760×504 or hours/year times GB/hr). That’s huge! Even if they buy 1TB drives, they’d have to buy (and have spinning) roughly 4 million drives/yr. And don’t forget that’s all gotta be backed up somewhere.

Then, think about how much data the gummint is stashing. I suspect it’s substantially more. Then consider Yahoo!, Microsoft, Dell, HP, et al. It’s no wonder HDDs are so cheap. They’ve got to reproduce like insects!

Matt Ronas (profile) says:

They can easily monitor that.

They’d only have to have a full time staff of 6300 people. 2100 hours of video are uploaded every hour, so that would be 2100 sets of eyes glued to the monitor for 8 hour shifts, 3 shifts a day since the video uploading madness never stops. Figure these people make CA minimum wage, $8/hour. Roughly 250 work days a year, times 8 hours per day, times $8 per hour, times 6300 video watchers = about 101 million dollars. It’s completely reasonable for them to provide this type of protection for TV/Movie/Music industry… /s

BBT says:

Re: Re:

Major flaws in your math…you use 250 “work days” in a year, but this would be a 24/7/365 undertaking, so it would really need to be 365 days per year. 10 federal holidays per year with mandatory 1.5x pay would bring you to the equivalent of 370 days per year.

works out to be 149,184,000.

I know, it was sarcasm, but may as well be accurate. Of course, to really be accurate you’d have to factor in all the other overhead- office space, insurance, the technical infrastructure for a monitoring system, etc…And you’d need a lot more employees than just 2100, since they would need to actually take action, not simply watch all day without doing anything. Taking action over content would eat into their watching time.

Actual costs would be astronomical.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

35 hours for every one minute of uploading, so that’s 2,100 hours of video for every hour of uploading. Taking a vary conservative 1 hour to watch and 2 to research, we come up with 6,300 man hours for every hour uploaded, or 6,300 people working together for 1 hour to review 1 hour of video (if that was truly possible). That would give us 50,400 people working 8 hours to review 8 hours of video. 151,200 people working 8 hour days for 5 days a week and another 151,200 working for 8 hour days for Saturday and Sunday (they’ll pick up for the others during vacation time).

So we now have 302,400 people working just to monitor Youtube for a year. That’s 55,188,000 man hours or $441,504,000 (assuming $8/h).

Now, if we take a much more reasonable 8 hours to properly research every single little bit of one hour of video and take into account fair use we end up with 146,764,800 man hours or $1,174,118,400 a year.

Add on top of all that the massive management undertaking required, the land ownership, the janitorial services, food services, and whatever else I can’t think of, and we can probably pay off the national debt in a year or two just with taxes alone.

We assuming Google’s going to pay for all this, or are the copyright holders going to actually do their job and pay?

Anonymous Coward says:

“I think many people are underestimating how quickly we’ll start to see much higher quality shows hit the tubeways rather than the airways…”

Not if the govt can help it. Expect them to step in and stop such market competition. They’ll may abuse some anti trust law since those laws tend to be open ended in their scope of what constitutes as a violation.

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