Everyone wants to be YouTube.

Everyone wants to be YouTube.
- youtube
  • Photo source @ Visual Chinese | Ruishi Business Review, author | Jinmei has wanted to be a Chinese version of YouTube since YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006
    Video platforms at that time, such as Tudou and Youku, began a decade-long exploration of the YouTube model, until 2016, when they abandoned UGC, and turned to Netflix
    In 2016, Weibo proposed to transform China's Twitter, into a Chinese version of YouTube, and began to test the waters with a short video
    Litchi, an audio platform, also said that it was an audio version of China's YouTube;B station, and Watermelon Video also told the story of a Chinese version of YouTube
    Recently, iqiyi began to forge ahead in video, looking like YouTube
    Although the domestic audio and video industry for the YouTube model has never stopped trying, but basically to no avail
    YouTube is the largest video website in the world, ranking third in terms of traffic, second only to Facebook and Google
    The number of visits by YouTube's registered users is basically stable at more than 1
    8 billion per month
    In 2019, YouTube is firmly at the top of the list of global video streaming users' viewing time, beating Tencent News, Tencent Video, iqiyi, watermelon video and so on
    In the separate comparison of the top five video sites, YouTube accounts for 70% of the total time of the top five applications
    Recently, Google showed YouTube earnings data to the public for the first time
    In fiscal year 2019, YouTube's advertising revenue alone reached $15
    15 billion (excluding non-advertising revenue such as subscription revenue), an increase of 35
    8% over last year and more than 85% over 2017
    Its revenue accounts for 9 per cent of Google's parent Alphabet's annual revenue and more than 20 per cent of all US television advertising spending of $70 billion in 2019
    As an undisputed super platform, YouTube is becoming an important growth engine of Google in the future
    The start-up story of "earning 13 billion in 20 months" on February 1, 2004, Jenny Jackson staged "Milk leakage" in the Super Bowl, and video clips went viral online
    But many people can't see this video on the phone, send e-mail or surf the Internet
    There are also people who encounter amazing things like the tsunami, but can't share the video
    The desire for video sharing and the frustration of not having easy access to videos also haunt three young people at PayPal
    Javed Karim wanted to see a video of a party he didn't attend, and Chen Shijun and Chad Hurley tried to send it to him by email
    However, because the files are too large, e-mails are always returned, and it is also difficult to try to deliver video online
    So the two began to study together in Hurley's garage, determinedDesign a simpler solution
    In this way, in February 2005, YouTube came into being, which means "your TV" (Americans call it Tube)
    YouTube is born out of a very rare opportunity
    At the beginning of 2005, broadband began to popularize, Flash technology had a 75% market share in this year, and video recording technology and facilities also began to popularize
    YouTube is like a spring breeze
    After all, video content has stronger vitality and mobility than text
    Hurley served as CEO, at YouTube
    He used to be the chief designer of PayPal, so he is adept at web design
    Chen Shijun is in charge of the technical research and development of YouTube
    YouTube's first film, which was uploaded by Karim on April 23, 2005, is only 19 seconds long
    In the film, Karim stands in front of an elephant at the San Diego Zoo in California and says, "these guys have long noses
    So cool
    " All three founders have worked for Paypal, and they all believe in the user-oriented product experience
    Paypal makes online payment easy and feasible, and YouTube wants to make video sharing easier
    In May, YouTube abandoned the direction of making friends and dating and changed to a content-centered way of making friends
    In June, YouTube redesigned its website publishing strategy: create a video sharing platform; increase what users see through relevant video recommendations; encourage users to communicate and add video comments; and provide video transfer code and one-click sharing
    Through technical conquest, YouTube supports the upload and playback of various types of video files, where users are free to share their own websites, and videos can be seamlessly linked to any web page
    Some people think that YouTube's "open reference" is suicide because users can view its content without logging in to the platform
    But YouTube doesn't see it that way
    they think that allowing customers to transfer videos everywhere is a sign of respect for the needs of users
    What's more, it's a good free advertisement, and it even has the effect of spreading the virus
    In addition, YouTube did not have an interactive social chain at that time, so it had to be completely open in order to borrow the power of other social platforms
    YouTube also designed an embeddable player to reduce the threshold for users to watch video
    Many platforms use YouTube as their video hosting service, bringing huge traffic to the platform
    In 2005, the social networking site MySpace was so popular that many users put YouTube content on the page
    MySpace was aware of the threat and banned it, causing a lot of opposition from users
    UGC routes and viral transmission have brought explosive growth to YouTube
    YThe Tag (tagging), sharing, commenting, subscribing, grouping and other social service functions of videos on ouTube websites form a video SNS (social network service) system, which connects people through video content
    Since then, the attributes of YouTube social media have become more and more clear
    In August 2005, YouTube's first full-time employee, the brother of one of the founders, Hurley, secured Sequoia Capital's first round of angel investment of $3
    5 million for them
    This year, they shut out advertisers with a lot of cash and turned all their energies to technical stability and page design to improve the user experience
    In the past, the situation in which people shared videos, which led to the downtime of the target website, never happened again
    Under the UGC strategy of "sharing" instead of "publishing" videos, YouTube has grown rapidly, becoming a free repository of memories and a place to publish works
    According to data from May 2006, YouTube has the largest market share of American online video sites (42
    9%), almost double the second place MySpace video share (24
    2%), and more than the video share of the four major portals combined (Yahoo! + the total of Microsoft MSN+Google+AOL is 29
    6%)
    But with users uploading, copyright issues surfaced
    The great challenge to the traditional media makes the living environment of YouTube very difficult, and copyright complaints continue one after another
    In addition, with the continuous expansion of the number of YouTube users, high broadband spending has created a huge financial pressure
    The $8 million capital injection for the second tranche in April was simply not enough to burn
    And due to user-made content, advertisers believe that there is no delivery value, the company's cash flow is almost broken
    Survival became the first choice of YouTube at that time
    At that time, Softbank Corp
    , Yahoo and News Corp
    all discussed acquisitions with YouTube
    Finally, in October 2006, Google acquired YouTube at a price of $1
    65 billion (13
    2 billion yuan)
    It was Google's biggest acquisition in its eight-year history, when YouTube had only 30 employees
    In just 20 months, three young men created a business legend of $1
    65 billion
    And YouTube embarked on a new journey with Google
    Finding the right person and starting the second half of Google's acquisition of YouTube is a wonderful story
    Since the news of Google's imminent acquisition of YouTube, Google's share price has risen 2% on the same day
    After the transaction, the rise for two consecutive trading days has increased Google's market capitalization by nearly $4 billion
    This is more expensive than Google
    More than twice the price of YouTube
    Some people say that Google bought YouTube with Wall Street money
    For the largest search innovator and the largest video platform, the combination of the two is a perfect match
    The secret of Google's success is that it has its own set of ways to attract users to participate; Google provides content that not only satisfies users' curiosity, but also attracts them to visit
    This secret of success is changing all the time and will never be made public
    But these secrets, as well as huge traffic tilts, are bound to be provided to YouTube for free
    While entering the Google system, YouTube also alleviates the urgent need for funds
    in addition to the financial problem, the most thorny thing for YouTube is a large number of copyright lawsuits
    With the support of Google, YouTube successively reached content licensing protection agreements with Universal Records, Warner Music and CBS, alleviating the copyright crisis
    In terms of technology, relying on "Google Brain", YouTube has a strong platform analysis, search, personalized recommendation capabilities; in terms of drainage, relying on Google's powerful search recommendations, Google bucket pre-installed products and other drainage methods, YouTube has achieved rapid growth
    Because there is no way to completely control the uploading of users' content, the problem of infringement and pornography of YouTube is once very serious
    In 2007, YouTube launched the copyright Filter system, automatically deleting copyright clips, so that the platform, users have greater protection and freedom
    YouTube also launched an online editing tool that allows users to edit videos online and share content with one click
    The login logic, subscription logic, search logic and sharing logic of YouTube all rely on the recommendation algorithm
    Its machine learning and artificial intelligence technology can even achieve directional acquisition of new users
    Under the blessing of Google, YouTube has been in the leading level in the research of streaming media technology in the world
    But the explosive power produced by the combination of the two is much more than that
    At that time, Google's products had already been globalized
    The first thing YouTube did when he joined Google was to translate himself into various languages and promote it all over the world
    In addition to figuring out where the server is, they also need to study the laws of various countries to avoid the trouble caused by cultural differences
    Google is a perfect guide in this process
    In September 2007, YouTube entered more than a dozen countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Brazil, Australia and so on
    In May 2010, YouTube received more than 2 billion views a day, making it the three major broadcasting services in the United States combined
    The video uploaded by YouTube users in 60 days is longer than the 60-year-old content of the three major broadcast services
    The YouTube website is also available
    It is automatically translated into 51 languages, making it spread rapidly all over the world
    With the growth of a large number of users around the world, the cost of broadband, which once made it difficult for YouTube, is bound to rise
    While the outside world is suspicious of YouTube's ugly financial data, YouTube told the outside world that the bandwidth pricing model "does not apply to me"
    In the past, Google has bought optical fiber invested by telecom companies but not put into use, commonly known as "dark optical fiber" in the industry
    Google can not only use optical fiber to transmit data around the world, but also use these optical fibers to sign broadband exchange agreements with other ISP
    As a result, Google's broadband costs are almost zero, and all the expenses are depreciation of fiber optics and routers
    So the amazing bandwidth cost calculated according to the traditional model does not exist in YouTube
    Moreover, in February 2010, Google acquired On2, a famous video compression technology manufacturer in the United States, in the way of stock exchange, helping YouTube to further reduce broadband costs
    In 2013, Google built data centers in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore to further reduce costs in order to improve the service speed of YouTube and Gmail in the greater Asia-Pacific region
    After Google acquired YouTube, in June 2011, Google established the combination of Google+, and Google to give Google social features
    While Google's business segment continues to expand, the combination of the two makes YouTube invincible
    It is the blessing of Google that makes the success of YouTube unreplicable
    It is naturally very difficult to build a YouTube, from scratch
    Commercialization: YouTube pain and the coming 2007, Justin Bieber's performance video on YouTube became popular
    YouTube embodies people's desire to show, share, worship and reject "boredom"
    Many video enthusiasts flocked to YouTube, and so did the keen politicians
    In addition to the British royal family to open a YouTube account, Obama even began to use YouTube to help the 2008 presidential campaign, YouTube's social influence is evident
    With the increase in the number of users, YouTube has transformed from an early website that shared home videos to a mainstream entertainment provider
    It began to cooperate with relevant institutions, focusing on both individual and institutional content production channels
    In May 2007, YouTube launched a revenue return program
    If the video has been played more than 1 million times, users will probably get a return of several thousand dollars
    There are a lot of content producers, so they earn more than a million dollars
    Advertising revenue sharing is the main profit model of YouTube, and sharing with users' content encourages more professional video photographers to enter
    YouTubeIt constitutes a complex content ecology, which appears to be an individual professional producer, constantly delivering content to the platform and getting a share
    In fact, these producers converge under various MCN institutions
    Founded by experienced Hollywood producers, these MCN organizations have functions such as content management, star brokerage and advertising agency, and share revenue in proportion to content producers and platforms
    In this way, YouTube can get a share of every income of content producers, thus forming a positive cycle
    Before the acquisition of YouTube, Google bidding advertising system AdWords is already an efficient money printing machine, and it is already familiar with the algorithm optimization and click-through rate prediction model of bidding advertising
    After being acquired by Google, YouTube also began to compete for search rankings to earn video promotion fees
    In addition, YouTube is also in the middle of the home page, providing advertising space for advertisers
    And through for the official brand channel, provides the video release platform, the user data analysis, charges the value-added service fee
    Since 2008, YouTube has launched an e-commerce sharing service in which users watch videos and click the buy button at the bottom of the screen, and YouTube gets its share
    By providing users with long-term video rental services, cooperate with global, Sony, Warner Brothers and other copyright holders to expand the distribution channels of the copyright owners
    On this basis, YouTube began to explore the pay channel business
    After being acquired in 2006, YouTube still maintains an independent operating team
    However, under the high cost of platform and user operation and maintenance, it is still not profitable until 2010
    Subsequently, Google announced its senior vice president Saglar Kamanga as YouTube CEO, to comprehensively promote the development of YouTube business
    Kamanga has made an outstanding contribution to the monetization of Google's products, developing Google's landmark marketing tool, AdWord
    After Kamanga entered YouTube, he led the page revision of YouTube, changing the disorganized state of the content
    In 2011, Google invested $100m to strengthen YouTube's original content
    YouTube has added more than 100 new channels, covering sports events, audio-visual entertainment and other content
    Through the rich content system, so that advertising has a more accurate positioning, so as to improve advertising revenue to recover funds
    He also worked with professional media, and in October 2012, YouTube provided hundreds of millions of dollars in financial support to media companies and celebrities to help them produce high-quality programs and increase advertising revenue
    At the same time, it has enhanced the scope of advertising business and explored more profit models, such as participatory video advertising and brand channels (brands use advertising as content to attract users to participate in interaction), traditional agreementsSharing model (platform sharing advertising revenue with content providers), adsence model (sharing revenue between content and platform with advertising), text (on-screen comment) advertising, etc
    There has been an unprecedented increase in the company's profits
    However, the attractiveness of UGC to advertisers due to its content, attractiveness and quality is still far from that of large variety series platforms
    This has become a bottleneck restricting the advertising business of YouTube
    In December 2010, Google launched the Tureview advertising model, which became a "lifesaver"
    YouTube set a precedent of "5 seconds can skip advertising", by selling effective advertising to improve the real and effective exposure of advertising
    Advertisers do not have to pay for skipped ads, providing advertisers with a more friendly experience in ROI computing and budget control
    In the ranking of advertising bidding, advertisers with high completion rate will be more popular with YouTube, because it means higher revenue
    After all, Google has accumulated a large number of advertisers to support it to form a long enough bidding queue
    Therefore, advertisers will try their best to optimize their advertising materials and improve the completion rate
    Opel also won the prize at the Cannes Advertising Festival for its "interaction" with YouTube ad buttons
    At the same time, in the scope of business, YouTube also continues to expand its business territory
    In 2012, YouTube promoted the pairing of televisions and mobile devices and entered the TV business
    Let the audience find the video they want to watch on the mobile device and put it on the TV
    In September, YouTube launched a mobile client, with more than 1 billion visitors a day, accounting for 25 per cent of its total traffic
    The client contains advertising functions, and these people become contributors to ad clicks
    The commercial value of YouTube has greatly increased
    In 2018, YouTube video bloggers showed a trend of productivity and specialization
    More than 1 million bloggers fill the platform with high-quality content, including top production teams
    Through the continuous expansion of the business boundaries of paid subscription services such as YouTube Premium, YouTube games, YouTube music and YouTube TV, YouTube has achieved an unprecedented increase in the number of monthly active users and business value
    Vevo, an online music video site founded by the three record giants Universal, Warner and Sony, surrendered to YouTube in May 2019
    All of its music videos are located on the YouTube platform, while shutting down its own mobile and website businesses
    The super platform effect of YouTube poses varying degrees of challenges to practitioners in many subdivided fields
    Of course, YouTube is not without problems
    Although high-quality content has a high number of broadcasts and subscriptions, a large number of long-tailed contentTo valid distribution
    Its copyright Filter system also has a great negative impact on users' content production
    In September 2019, YouTube was fined $170 million for illegally collecting personal information about children and profiting from it
    All kinds of comments brought about by the recent epidemic have made YouTube even more worried
    YouTube has advertising revenue of $15
    15 billion in 2019, and it earns less than $8 a year from each of its users
    By contrast, Facebook's advertising revenue in 2019 is expected to be $67
    25 billion
    Facebook's 2
    45 billion monthly active users are 36% higher than YouTube, but advertising revenue is 343
    9% higher
    For YouTube, there is still a way to go
    Conclusion after 13 years of development, YouTube has basically solved many problems in the early days of its establishment, such as copyright, low quality of video, high cost of hardware and network resources, and so on
    It has become a content ecological closed loop with good profitability
    Through the combination of "content segmentation + paid services", YouTube can tap the commercial value of cumbersome UGC content and help creators improve their creative ability
    Drive out content marketers who are of little value to the platform through mandatory cooperation agreements
    And then lock up video creators through more attractive revenue sharing to keep them producing content
    On the face of it, YouTube is a content platform, but behind the huge traffic is the common technical capabilities of Google and YouTube, advertising system, as well as the support of hardware and resources
    Most importantly, there are the huge scale advantages brought about by the global business, and the profitability of YouTube resulting from the gradual reduction of marginal costs
    It is not easy to tell the story of YouTube in China
    First of all, under the differences of YouTube technology and users, the business development of Chinese version of YouTube is bound to be more difficult
    Second, the loss problem has plagued YouTube for many years, and YouTube's profit story is only told under the support of Google
    This may pose an even greater challenge to China's future YouTube
    In terms of globalization, backed by Google, the language, scale and first-mover advantages of YouTube are obvious
    If Chinese audio and video platforms want to tell the same story, the road will be more difficult
    Finally, there is no other YouTube, in front of the YouTube and every platform behind it is struggling to survive in the shadow of winner-takes-all
    Although it is not easy, we still wish those Chinese YouTube who work hard and do good can create more value for their users and find a unique road to success in the face of difficulties and obstacles
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