In 4 Years, YouTube Has Gone from 100 Million Hours of Video Viewed a Day to 1 Billion

That's a lot of cat clips

YouTube has seen patronage jump by 10 times.
Source: Getty Images

In a brief blog post today, YouTube revealed that people are watching 1 billion hours of video daily on its website and mobile app. An email from a representative for the Google-owned platform added more context to that figure: “We set this goal back in 2012, when we were about 100 [million hours].”

So the video platform’s patronage has grown by roughly 10 times in four years. That’s a lot of cat clips.

Cristos Goodrow, vp of engineering at YouTube, who authored Monday’s blog post, threw out a metaphor to help wrap your brain around that crazy figure.

“If you were to sit and watch a billion hours of YouTube, it would take you over 100,000 years,” he wrote. One-hundred-thousand years ago, “our ancestors were crafting stone tools and migrating out of Africa while mammoths and mastodons roamed the Earth.”

He also quipped that “if you searched for ‘100,000 years’ on YouTube, you’d find a really killer KISS track.”

If nothing else, the 1 billion-hour milestone represents how consumer habits have shifted in recent years from television to digital channels like YouTube. According to its website, YouTube has more than 1 billion regular users.