YouTube was founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. YouTube is the leader in online video, sharing original videos worldwide through a Web experience. YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs, and email.
Everyone can watch videos on YouTube. People can see first-hand accounts of current events, find videos about their hobbies and interests, and discover the quirky and unusual. As more people capture special moments on video, YouTube is empowering them to become the broadcasters of tomorrow.
YouTube received funding from Sequoia Capital in November 2005 and was officially launched one month later in December. Chad Hurley and Steve Chen proceeded to become the first members of the YouTube management team and currently serve as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer respectively.
In November 2006, within a year of its launch, YouTube was purchased by Google Inc. in one of the most talked-about acquisitions to date.
YouTube has struck numerous partnership deals with content providers such as CBS, BBC, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, Warner Music Group, NBA, The Sundance Channel and many more.
In March 2007, Viacom introduced its much talked about $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube. In a statement explaining why they were pursuing legal action, Viacom stated that “we must turn to the courts to prevent Google and YouTube from continuing to steal value from artists and to obtain compensation for the significant damage they have caused.” The lawsuit was preceded by a takedown request from Viacom ordering YouTube to remove over 100,000 clips from its stable of networks.
In May 2007 YouTube announced a revenue-sharing arrangement called “Partners Program” to cut in some of its biggest pro-am producers on the revenue generated from their videos. Partners at launch included LisaNova and smosh.
In June 2007 YouTube launched local versions in Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the U.K. Additionally in June, Apple’s iPhone launched with a YouTube application, further extending YouTube’s penetration in the mobile market following its November 2006 partnership with Verizon’s vCast service.
Over the summer and fall of 2007 major announcements were made about advertising models for YouTube. In August, YouTube introduced “YouTube InVideo Ads”, a set of flash overlays displayed on the lower portion of videos. Advertisers are charged per impression, and the resulting revenue will be shared with the clip creator. In October, Google announced the inclusion of YouTube videos in its AdSense product. Site owners using AdSense can select videos from certain content providers, and ads will be served contextually as they relate to either the site or the video. Resulting revenue will be split between content providers, site owners, as well as Google.
In October 2007, YouTube announced a new service called “Youtube Video Identification” in order to assist copyright holders in protecting their content. With the service copyright holders upload full copies of their content to the service and complex algorithms are applied against YouTube’s library of clips to see if any match the uploaded content. Copyright holders can then either have YouTube remove the videos in question or allow YouTube to serve advertising along with the content and split the resulting revenue.