The most important factoid to come out of the various dispatches from YouTube about its fifth anniversary Sunday: America’s ass is being kicked by India, China, Switzerland, and even Guam.
That information came courtesy of Conan O’Brien, who was among several celebrities to contribute videos for the YouTube FiveYear Channel, in which they discussed their picks for the most essential videos on the Google-owned site.
From O’Brien’s video (below):
Nobody actually makes anything anymore. We’re all watching monkeys in propeller hats flush themselves down a toilet. And that’s why India is kicking our ass. And China, and pretty much everyone else. Switzerland, kicking our ass. Guam, way ahead of us.
That’s not the point of the Internet. It’s not to make money. It’s for someone you’ve never met, who’s a nerd in Palo Alto, to make money.
YouTube also marked the milestone in a post on the YouTube Blog titled, “At five years, two billion views per day and counting.” Highlights follow after the jump.
Five years ago, after months of late nights, testing and preparation, YouTube’s founders launched the first beta version of YouTube.com in May, with a simple mission: Give anyone a place to easily upload their videos and share them with the world. Whether you were an aspiring filmmaker, a politician, a proud parent, or someone who just wanted to connect with something bigger, YouTube became the place where you could broadcast yourself.
Over time, these aspirations have created a vibrant and inspiring community that helped transform a murmur of interest into something far greater than any of us ever could have imagined. Today, thanks to you, our site has crossed another milestone: YouTube exceeds over 2 billion views per day. That’s nearly double the primetime audience of all three major U.S. television networks combined.
What started as a site for bedroom vloggers and viral videos has evolved into a global platform that supports HD and 3D and broadcasts entire sports seasons live to 200+ countries. We bring feature films from Hollywood studios and independent filmmakers to far-flung audiences. Activists document social unrest seeking to transform societies, and leading civic and political figures stream interviews to the world.
Since we never could have predicted all that happened in YouTube’s first five years, we certainly can’t imagine what the future will look like. But we do know there’s a lot more to be done. For instance, we want to make it even easier for you to sort through and find the videos that matter to you. Although the average user spends 15 minutes per day on YouTube, that’s tiny compared with the five hours per day people spend watching TV. Clearly, we need to give you more reason to watch more videos! And we want to give you all the tools and support to make YouTube both your career and your community. After all, this is only the beginning of the video revolution. We’re just getting started.