YouTube Europe boss: ‘sharing is viral, content has no frontier’

18 Nov 2010

Video traffic is currently one-third of today’s web but by 2013 it will be 90pc, opening up a major opportunity for anyone to create content, YouTube EMEA director Sebastien Missoffe said today.

Missoffe, who was speaking at the Audio Visual Federation conference ‘Digital Content and the Creative Economy’, said the digital revolution is continuing apace and at YouTube he is seeing first hand the changes in the way people are consuming video.

He said that devices, too, are changing at an alarming rate and demonstrated this by turning his Android smartphone into a remote control for videos he was watching on his laptop. “A phone is no longer a phone,” he said simply.

“Sharing is viral and content has no frontier,” he said, pointing to the success of the original Old Spice ad which has inspired more than 5,000 videos on YouTube.

“It’s about engagement and how content is being discovered. There are more than 36,000 different Lady GaGa videos on YouTube. More than 35 hours of content is being uploaded every minute on YouTube.

“There is an opportunity for anyone to create content,” he said, pointing to the success of Fred Figglehorn, an ordinary kid somewhere in America’s midwest, who, at the age of 12 began amassing an online audience with more than 500 million views.

“Today, Fred is 14 and every time he puts out a new video he is viewed 10 million times. Hollywood has come knocking and a film deal is planned, this demonstrates the emerging bridge between online video and the global entertainment industry.”

Missoffe said that video today accounts for one-third of the world’s web traffic and that by 2013 it will account for 90pc of the web’s traffic.

“We believe that YouTube mirrors the world’s online population. We have as many users under 18 as over 45. Today, YouTube is the fourth-largest site on the web.”

In Ireland, YouTube has 1.3 million users and Missoffe said the Irish aren’t immune to producing their own viral efforts, such as Crystal Swing.

“There are three kinds of content on YouTube today – user generated, professional and by media partners.”

Future video tools

Missoffe said that YouTube is hard at work developing reporting tools for businesses and media firms who want to leverage what is effectively the world’s second-largest search engine after Google.

“At present, I can tell you that 50pc of all content on YouTube attracts comments,” he said.

In terms of YouTube’s work in Dublin as part of the wider Google family, Missoffe said: “What we’ve learned in Dublin is the creativity and energy of people in Ireland. They are able to bring a creative concept and make it successful.

“There is a formidable opportunity for Irish creativity to leverage the audience and growth of online video and bring in a lot more successes,” Missoffe said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years