The largest video sharing platform worldwide, YouTube, turns 8 this week. YouTube, which was acquired by Google in 2006, has become the go-to destination to find video content on almost every subject possible – from the latest viral harlem shake video to how-to demonstrations on making your home solar-energy equipped.
Make sure you’re up to date with the latest news stories, immerse yourself in cultural events or hear directly from the world’s leaders. Whatever you want to see, YouTube is the place to go.
With YouTube viewers can access and create news, information or entertainment, wherever they are and on whatever device is available. Today YouTube has announced that more than 100 hours of video footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute. That’s more than four days of video uploaded each minute. In 2012, it was 72 hours of video uploaded every minute. In 2011, it was 48 hours and in 2010, it was 35 hours.
With over 6 billion hours of video watched per month, a quarter of which are viewed on a mobile device, YouTube is growing fast each year. In the past year in South Africa, visits to the platform have grown by 80%, and uploads have increased by 30%. YouTube has evolved into more than just an entertaining and educational video sharing site – now, it plays a key role in advertising and business development as well.
One of the most important developments for business is the YouTube Partnership Programme (YPP). YPP, where partners get a portion of the advertising revenue on their channels, has uncovered a new generation of talented performers right on our doorstep. In South Africa, revenue given back to partners increased by 60% over the past year.
Peter Cilliers, local fitness expert and successful YouTube partner, has built a fitness empire through YouTube with his channel, Six Pack Factory. In just the four years, Peter has become the ultimate YouTube Star. Peter transformed his channel into a platform that helps viewers lose weight and train in the comfort of their own homes, and helps him earn R 70 000 a month by just uploading two fitness videos each week.
The success of Peter’s channel is seen in its over 68 million views since its launch, and over 160 000 subscribers, with approximately 250 subscribers joining each day. Peter’s revenue is generated organically without additional paid advertising on the site. He is also able to interact with his fans and customers through his YouTube channel, his website and social media.
Other South African YouTube stars include:
* Caspar Lee, “that South African teenager who sometimes talks to a camera”, has found success through uploading short videos about his everyday life to his YouTube channel, Dicasp. This London born teenager has made sharing his life on camera his full-time job and hobby, creating revenue through his channel ,which enables him to be financially independent at the age of just 18.
* Martin Lorton, a former IT Consultant, entered into a new business platform where he was able to share his passion, do something he enjoys, be his own boss, and earn an income to sustain him. Martin created a YouTube channel called Solar Power and Electronic Measurement Equipment. Here, he uploads videos that deal with topics around solar energy and equipment used in the field, including reviews, tests, experiments and his very popular tutorial footage.
* Rob the Ranger, relocated from England to South Africa in 1997, Rob Vamplew, has a passion for African wildlife and all that nature has to offer. This passion was the driver of his YouTube channel, iDube Rob the Ranger, where Rob uploads wildlife footage for his viewers to enjoy.
* The acapella music group, “The Soil”, first appeared on the YouTube radar in 2004. Since then, this platform has been the group’s major marketing tool, and has gone a long way in capturing the attention of fans. In 2012, their video, Sunday, made the top ten YouTube list in South Africa, showcasing the popularity of their music.
* KulaHappy, an animated comedy channel, started their YouTube channel in November 2011 and ran a joint campaign with Safaricom Ltd to create and promote local content. Within 1 month of the campaign they had moved from 20k to 1.2m total upload views.
* Nation Media Group- TV Broadcasting
Complementing TV broadcasting through YouTube.
* Tofo Tofo’s YouTube video inspired Beyonce’s ‘RUN THE WORLD’ choreography. Beyonce hired Mozambican dancers Tofo Tofo for her ‘RUN THE WORLD’ choreography after seeing their performance on YouTube. Beyonce wanted them to be a part of her video so badly that she had to get the US Embassy’s help to find them…
*Storm360, a leading entertainment company in West Africa, recently announced the launch of 6 new YouTube channels.
* Azonto compilations featuring a popular Ghanaian dance form, which combined have raked in millions of views.
*Ameyaw Debrah is a freelance showbiz journalist and internet publicist based in Accra, who has built a name for himself by using YouTube.