Video-share site YouTube gets one billion visits every month
Explosion in mobile devices key to staggering audience figures
ABOUT one in seven people on earth now use YouTube every month, the company says. That means a billion people look at the video-sharing site monthly.
In a blog post, YouTube's owner, Google, said the staggering numbers worked out at roughly half the number of people who use the internet.
Much of the growth has come from the explosion in mobile devices, which has removed the need for viewers to be attached to a laptop or a fast wifi connection.
"For the first time, an entire generation has grown up watching content on their own terms.
"This generation, known as 'Generation C', is defined by the internet, mobile, and social-consuming content when and where they want.
"They watch YouTube on all screens, constantly switching between devices. They are deeply engaged with online video, watching, creating and uploading videos on YouTube and they thrive on community, defining what's popular by sharing videos with friends and family.
"Finally they are expert curators who care about finding content that matters to them," Google added.
The growth YouTube is experiencing replicates the expansion of Facebook, which topped one billion users last year.
The social network gets more than half its traffic through the likes of smartphones and tablet computers, and has only recently begun to work out how to monetise this business.
Last year, mobile-phone use of YouTube by 18-to-34 year olds was up 74pc year on year and is now about the same as people of the same generation watching purely on desktop computers.
Some two-thirds of that age bracket watch videos on two devices or more, compared to only 53pc of the wider population.
Given the fact that YouTube is now eight years old it is perhaps surprising that the most watched video ever is a relatively recent addition.
'Gangnam Style' from South Korea's Psy has been viewed nearly 1.5 billion times in the nine months since the video was released.
The fact that it is a music video at the top reflects a wider trend on the site.
Four of the top six all-time most watched clips are music videos, and in Ireland things follow a similar track.
The most viewed one this week is a clip of rugby pundit George Hook doing the Harlem Shake.
Damien Rice, The Script, Rihanna, and Metallica all feature in the six most watched of all time.
It's perhaps surprising that the most watched video in Ireland ever is Metallica's classic 'Fade to Black', with just under 30.5m views since it was posted seven years ago.
The seven-minute, 28-second epic has had many years to rack up the views.
In the last month a puppy doing the Harlem Shake has clocked up nearly 6m viewers.