Wondering how many videos are on YouTube?
Whether you're just curious or conducting industry research, this post has what you're looking for.
The short answer?
YouTube has at least 800 million videos on the platform.
However, some sources claim more than 1 billion videos. Ultimately, the exact number of videos on YouTube is unknown.
In this post, we'll break down the numbers and, more importantly, look at some other interesting YouTube statistics.
Let's dive in.
How Many Videos are on YouTube?
According to multiple sources, the number of videos on YouTube is estimated to be over 800 million.
However, some sources claim there to be more than 1 billion videos on the video streaming site.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to know the exact number of videos there are on YouTube as there are a ton of factors to account for.
- YouTube not publically disclosing up-to-date-figures
- Videos are constantly uploaded to the platform
- The origin or source data isn't clear
- The amount of videos being deleted is unknown
That being said, here are a couple of stats that seem to be fairly legit:
- As of 2023, 500+ hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
- The average length of videos was 11.7 minutes in 2018
Therefore, if these numbers are accurate, the total number of videos uploaded to YouTube between January and October 2023 alone, would be 1,122,416,640.
That's one billion, one hundred and twenty-two million, four hundred and sixteen thousand, six hundred and forty videos.
So, as you can see, from just these two YouTube stats, most of the sources that claim 800 million YouTube videos are way off.
Let's dig a little deeper to see how to calculate the number of YouTube videos there could be.
How to Determine the Number of Videos That Exist on YouTube?
It all boils down to the average length of video. If we know that, we can divide it by the amount that's uploaded to the platform and get a rough estimate of videos that exist.
The problem is that the average length of videos is hard to determine. Plus, the amount of content that's uploaded to YouTube per minute has changed over the years.
For example, in January 2009, an average of 15 hours of video was being uploaded every minute. Then, in 2019, that number sits around 500 hours of video uploaded per minute.
Multiple sources seem to agree with this number, but weirdly, the statistic is the same in 2023.
Now, we have already worked out that 500 hours of video uploaded in 2023 divided by the average length of 11.7 is over 1 billion videos in 2023 alone.
But what if we increased the average length?
Let's say the average video length has been 30 minutes since the average upload rate has been 500 hours per minute.
Here's the calculation:
500 hours = 30,000 minutes of video uploaded per minute
30,000 minutes / 30 minutes average length of video = 1,000 videos uploaded per minute
1,000 videos per minute * 60 = 60,000 videos uploaded per hour
60,000 videos uploaded per hour * 24 = 1,440,000 videos uploaded per day
That equates to 525,600,000 videos uploaded every year since 2019 and 437,760,000 from January to October in 2023.
That's a total of 2.5 billion videos uploaded since 2019 alone.
Now, this doesn't take into account the amount of videos that are removed from the platform daily.
This is just another reason why it's hard to determine the total number of YouTube videos.
How Many Videos Are Removed From YouTube?
It has been reported that 5.6 million videos were removed from YouTube during July and September 2022 due to community guideline violations.
In 2019, the Verge reported that YouTube had deleted 17,000 channels and more than 100,000 videos from the platform due to the hateful content policy.
As there is little data about the total number of video removals since the launch of YouTube in 2005, it adds further difficulties in working out the true number of videos on the platform.
Moreover, the number of videos that are deleted by the user is also unknown.
How Many YouTube Shorts Are There?
On July 13, 2021, YouTube launched YouTube Shorts, a feature that allows YouTubers to upload vertical 60-second clips.
There are 757 million YouTube Shorts in 2023. This is estimated by viewing the number of videos with the hashtag #shorts.
Here are some more interesting stats about YouTube shorts:
- YouTube Shorts have collectively earned more than 5 trillion views since its launch
- In 2020, YouTube Shorts received 3.5 billion daily views
- The daily Shorts view count sits at 50 billion in 2023
Other Interesting YouTube Statistics
- As of 2023, there are 113.9 million YouTube channels
- Roel Van de Paar holds a Guinness World Record for the channel with the most video uploads, standing at 2 million videos
- Categories that get the most views on YouTube are Music, Educational, Entertainment, Gaming, and Product Reviews
- Baby Shark Dance has the most amount of views with 13.60 billion, followed by Despacito with 8.31 billion views
- YouTube viewers watch 1 billion hours of video per day
- An estimated 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube daily
- YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, with 109 billion visits per month
- There are more than 2.70 billion active users on YouTube
- YouTube revenue in 2022 was $29.2 billion
YouTube's Growth and Milestones Over the Years
Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has seen exponential growth in users and revenue. Let's take a look at some key moments in YouTube history:
- April 23, 2005: The first YouTube video was uploaded by co-founder Jawed Karim, entitled “Me at the Zoo”
- July 2006: 65,000 videos were being uploaded per day
- October 2006: Google acquires YouTube for $1.65 billion
- May 2007: YouTube launched the partner program, allowing creators to be paid
- August 2007: YouTube started monetizing the platform with Google Ads
- April 2009: YouTube launched Vevo, a music video service to combat music piracy
- April 2011: YouTube Live was launched, allowing users to broadcast video live
- 2012: Approximately 60 hours of video were being uploaded every minute
- December 2012: “Gangnam Style” became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views
- March 2013: Unique monthly visitors reached 1 billion
- November 2015: YouTube Red, a subscription service launches, providing premium content to users
- February 2016: YouTube Red is replaced with YouTube Premium
- 2018: The average length of a video was 11.7 minutes
- 2019: YouTube makes over $15.1 billion
- 2020: The average user spends 17 minutes on the site daily
- 2021: 81% of US adults use YouTube
- 2022: The YouTube Android app gets over 10 billion downloads
- 2023: YouTube Premium has 80 million active users worldwide
- 2023: YouTube's projected revenue will hit $30.4 billion in 2023
How Does YouTube Manage Such a Large Volume of Content?
To manage such a vast amount of video uploads and bandwidth from its users, YouTube's systems need to be sophisticated.
Videos are stored in warehouse-scale data centers owned by Google, and the data is managed by Google File System (GFS), a proprietary distributed file system, and BigTable, a storage system also developed by Google.
Additionally, YouTube leverages a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to stream videos from servers closer to the viewer's location. This ensures a faster and more reliable streaming experience.
Using a combination of programming languages such as Python, C, C++, Java, and Go, YouTube's services run smoothly in the background.
This advanced infrastructure and the estimated running cost of $5 billion per year is what enables YouTube to handle so much video content.
What Does the Future of YouTube Look Like?
The future of YouTube is going to be a promising one, with many exciting developments on the horizon.
First off, YouTube is rolling out dozens of new features, making the mobile and TV app a more enjoyable experience for users.
One includes holding down a video to double the playback speed. This can help creators gain more video watch time.
Another is improvements to the description box design, making it easier to see social media links and making YouTube more appealing for creators to build an audience off the platform.
Second, YouTube Shorts are gaining more popularity and watch time, which will help creators benefit from YouTube Shorts monetization.
Lastly, YouTube is launching a bunch of AI-powered features to help creators make better content, such as AI Insights, which provides creators with YouTube video ideas based on what their audience is already viewing.
Dream Screen will allow content creators to use AI-generated backgrounds in YouTube Shorts, making it easier to add more content.
And YouTube Create will be a new mobile app that will make video editing easier.
This means the future of YouTube will only get better as a marketing platform for creators and will gain more attention from users with the UX enhancements.
So, if you want to know exactly how many videos are on YouTube, you might be disappointed.
Is it 800 million or closer to 2.5 billion? Who knows? But if the calculations in this post are accurate, then it's likely there are way more than 2 billion videos on YouTube.
What's next? No matter how much content there is on YouTube, it certainly has a lot of potential for passive income. Check out that article to get some ideas for the right YouTube niche.