It is just five years since the first video was uploaded on YouTube by one of its founders. Now over 24 hours of video a minute are uploaded to the site and it receives over a billion views a day. YouTube has its sights set on turning a few minutes a day watching videos on the web to something more like the hours a day we generally spend watching television. That vision could become a reality once televisions are routinely connected to the internet.
“People think about the world of TV and the world of online video as being different ways to distribute video,” said Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, in an interview with the Telegraph newspaper. “But what happens when every TV is connected to wi-fi with a browser?”
“That is what we envision. Instead of this world of online video and this world of TV there is just one world,” he said. “There won’t be a difference in the future.”
“The iPad — is that a phone or a computer?” he questioned. “If I put it on my wall is it a TV? People continue to try to throw things in the buckets when really these are all going to be different-sized devices with a connection to the internet.”
As on the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch, YouTube has a dedicated application on the iPad. With its nearly ten-inch screen, viewing YouTube on the iPad feels like much more of a natural multimedia experience than on a laptop or desktop computer.
YouTube is already available through widgets or applications on various internet-connected televisions and an increasing number of televisions will be network connected in the next few years.
According to the co-founder of YouTube, the aim is now to deliver a more seamless experience across different devices. “We have some solutions for mobile, we have some solutions for TV, but they are not very consistent and they are somewhat separate. So, I start watching something on my mobile phone and then I can finish watching it on my PC, I sort my favourites on my PC and I want to watch it on my TV.”
Within the next five years, YouTube expects to see much more video viewed over the internet. “Although YouTube is the most successful video platform, the number of minutes watched, 10-15 minutes a day, is small when compared to the five hours watched on the TV set,” said Salar Kamangar, vice president of product management for YouTube. “It’s hard for me to imagine that in five to 10 years from now most of the content we consume won’t be delivered over the internet.”