YouTube Tops 2B Views a Day, 5 Years After Launch

YouTube has been doing a lot of celebrating lately — of the 5-year anniversary of the purchase of its URL back in February, then in April, of the first video uploaded to the site. Now the online video site is celebrating the launch of its first beta version in May 2005 with the announcement of some significant milestones.

YouTube streams more than 2 billion videos a day, with a full day’s worth of video — 24 hours — uploaded to the site every minute, according to a post on the YouTube blog today. Meanwhile, its partner ad revenue tripled last year, and it now monetizes over a billion video streams per week worldwide.

All that momentum has gotten YouTube (finally!) on the brink of profitability, with analysts saying they expect the site to actually make money for the first time in 2010. According to research from Citi earlier this year, YouTube is expected to pull in about $945 million in 2010, with revenues forecast at $1.1 billion next year. That’s not bad for a video site that just a few years ago was best known for stupid pet tricks and pirated video.

To celebrate the five-year milestone, YouTube launched a page featuring some of its most successful and recognizable contributors — like Tay Zonday and Ryan Higa — talking about their YouTube experience during the first five years of the site’s existence. YouTube is also asking its users to upload their own videos about how YouTube has affected their lives.

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