The numbers in total are staggering. To date, there are roughly 2 billion total videos on YouTube that have been watched a total of 39 trillion times, totaling 196 trillion minutes (or 400 million years) of time spent, according to Bernstein Research. What might be most interesting is that out of billions of videos, viewership tends to be intensely concentrated on the top 1% of YouTube channels, and they’ve accounted for 93% of all the platform’s views since its inception.
That means that nearly 3 trillion views went to everyone else, and that’s still a huge number, just in case you’re worrying about getting run over by top creators. Remember that a trillion is 1,000 billion, and a billion is 1,000 millions, which puts that figure a little more into perspective. In other words, there are still plenty of views to go around when it comes to artists and bands.
While Facebook looks like it’s threatening YouTube for the video crown, most analysts are still betting on the later to come out on top. The reason? It’s all about the advertising, and YouTube is far superior in how it handles the pre-roll ads, giving advertisers more bang for their buck, especially when it comes to the top 1% creators.
And don’t forget, although it may be small, YouTube does pay at least a small royalty, and since the company is under fire from a variety of music-related associations and labels, it’s more than likely that revenue is going to rise in the future.
That said, you probably won’t ever get rich on YouTube alone unless you manage to crack that top 1%, but if you keep the purpose of being on the platform in perspective (it’s all about distribution and exposure of your music and your brand), then the money becomes a secondary issue. While you can’t take your eyes off the money and expect to stay in business, the music, and the passion for it, always comes first.