Video download and streaming site YouTube has passed the 100m views a day mark with 2.5 billion videos viewed last month, according to the latest online stats. In April that figure was 35 million a day, an indication of how rapidly the public's appetite for online video is growing.
Formed barely 18 months ago, the site's ease of use (you can upload video in most formats) and straightforward way of letting users embed video in their own site (see below) has helped it become the most popular video service in the US with 60% of all video downloads according to site trackers HitWise.
Founded by ex-PayPal employees, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen (pictured above), YouTube is one of the only massively popular multimedia websites that is still independent after Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace in 2005. Investment in April 2006 from Sequouia Capital of $8m was expected to help Youtube to launch an as yet secret advertising model. The site currently uses Google Ads and YouTube's strategy is hotly anticipated because, well, no-one yet has really illustrated how to make money out of expensive high-bandwidth web video. However, for a site launched in February 2005, getting more daily views than most commercial TV channels, the executives can't be too worried.
Examples of YouTube:
An air raid in Haifa, July 16
Rachmaninoff Moment Musical No. 4