Last week Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said: "That's already happened. It's not a replacement for something that we know. It's a new thing that we have to think about, to programme, to curate and build new platforms." Recently YouTube crashed through the one billion unique users per month mark, with Psy's Gangnam Style video.
YouTube is making huge gains in the Irish market, as there is a seismic change in how consumers source information and content.
Last year The Late Late Toy Show was the top watched show on Irish television, with 1.319 million viewers tuning in. YouTube stats show that Irish users have watched a 16- second Japanese clip of a couple getting jiggy a staggering 47 million times since. Metallica's Fade to Black has clocked up 30.7 million views, with Rihanna's Cry video watched 27.4 million times. Damien Rice's The Blower's Daughter has also amassed 24.1 million views.
Over the last month there have been 1.73 million views of cartoon Wingarddium Leviosa 2. Other top rankers include a clip of RTE show Republic of Telly's Orchestra Hidden camera prank, which has been seen almost 1.19 million times. This is more than the 1.1 million television viewers who tuned in to watch Katie Taylor win gold in the Olympics or the 1.08 million who watched the final episode of Love/Hate.
RTE dismissed claims that YouTube was now bigger than television, claiming that the two could not be compared. "Irish viewers watch more television now than they did five years ago. Irish viewers watch three hours and 35 minutes of TV every day," RTE said.
It has been suggested that the average British person watches 20 minutes of YouTube per day.