The YouTube Powerhouse

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On April 23, 2005, an 18-second clip was uploaded to YouTube, a video sharing site that has become the go-to place for all things media.

The video features YouTube co-creator Jawed Karim at the zoo, pointing out the elephants behind him. It’s almost hard to believe that almost exactly 11 years later, this clip has more than 30 million views.

YouTube has become one of the most influential platforms for content sharing, racking up over 4 billion video viewsper day. Anyone can upload videos to the site, allowing access to whatever content that person is sharing to anyone with Internet connection.

More and more, users are taking advantage of YouTube’s accessibility and creating brands for themselves, earning a following that can range anywhere from 5,000 subscribers to 20 million.

Thanks to YouTube’s partnership deal, people like Michael Buckley, creator of the “What the Buck” show, can earn a real living off of making YouTube videos.

According to a 2008 New York Times article, “Mr. Buckley quit his day job in September after his online profits had greatly surpassed his salary as an administrative assistant for a music promotion company. His thrice-a-week online show ‘is silly,’ he said, but it has helped him escape his credit-card debt.”

Buckley isn’t the only one making his money’s worth. The online gaming industry has grown tenfold within the past few years, bringing in millions of dollars in revenue. YouTubers are earning thousands by filming themselves playing video games. Felix Kjellberg, known on YouTube as PewDiePie, has over 43 million subscribers and has made $7.4 million—all by playing video games in his home and uploading it to YouTube.

Nowadays, people are striving to be discovered online. The YouTube powerhouse has garnered so much value that even superstars like Justin Bieber broke into fame by posting videos on the site. And to think that a humble video at the zoo started it all…

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