Sunday, June 17, 2007

Youtube Story

YouTube was born when the founders (Hurley, Chen, and Karim) wanted to share some videos from a dinner party with friends in San Francisco. It was January 2005, and they couldn't figure out a good solution. Sending the clips around by e-mail was a bust: The e-mails kept getting rejected because they were so big. Posting the videos online was a headache, too. So they got to work to design something simpler.

In 11 months the site became one of the most popular on the Internet because the founders designed it so people can post almost anything they like on YouTube in minutes. Members, who can comment on videos and set up their own sites on YouTube, add tens of thousands (or more) new videos a day. Steve Chen points out that "From Day One we concentrated on building a service and community around video. That made us a lot different from the iTunes and the Googles out there."

Like many technology start-ups, YouTube was started as an angel-funded enterprise in a small and inexpensive office or garage. In November of 2005, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital invested an initial $3.5 million additionally, Roelof Botha, partner of the firm and former CFO of PayPal, joined the YouTube board of directors. In April 2006, Sequoia put an additional $8 million into the company, which had experienced a boom of popularity and growth in just its first few months

During the summer of 2006, YouTube was one of the fastest-growing websites on the World Wide Web, and was ranked as the 5th most popular website on Alexa, far outpacing even MySpace's growth. According to a July 16, 2006 survey, 100 million clips are viewed daily on YouTube, with an additional 65,000 new videos uploaded per 24 hours. The site has almost 20 million visitors each month, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, where around 44% are female, 56% male, and the 12- to 17-year-old age group is dominant. YouTube's preeminence in the online video market is staggering. According to the website, YouTube commands up to 64% of the UK online video market.


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