YouTube may be more diverse than you think. According to an exclusive report from Janko Roettgers of GigaOM’s NewTeeVee, a whopping 60 percent of all video views on YouTube come from non-English speakers.
This surprising news comes on the heels of YouTube announcing that they were adding a couple new African languages to the mix—IsiZulu and Afrikaans—bringing YouTube to a total of 51 languages. They also offer country-specific recommendations and content in 34 different countries around the globe. You can change your location by scrolling down to the bottom of the page on YouTube.com and clicking the ‘Location’ link. Select one of 34 countries or ‘Worldwide.’ You can change your language in the same area by clicking on the ‘Lanugage’ link.
I think it’s important to reiterate here that we aren’t talking about 60% of YouTube views coming from an international audience. We’re talking about 60% of views coming from an audience that has changed the language of their interface to something other than English (whether they are in an English-speaking country or not). This means that people whose primary language is English in countries like the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia account for less than half of all YouTube views. I don’t know about you, but this was news to me!
Of course, once you take a step back and think about it you realize that YouTube is pretty big all over the world. Videos from Russia, South America, Poland, Japan, Israel and other countries go viral on a pretty regular basis. And people in countries where English isn’t the primary language are just as addicted to YouTube as we English speakers are. When you take this into account, I guess that 60 percent statistic becomes a little less surprising.
What do you think? Were you surprised to hear that 60 percent of YouTube views come from non-English speaking audiences? What language do you surf YouTube in?
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.