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Google Inc (GOOG), Time Warner Inc (TWX): YouTube Has Become A Dominant Media Platform

Most of us can probably assume YouTube is quite popular as it’s become ingrained in many people’s lives, but the latest issue of Fortune gives some mind-blowing numbers behind the video-sharing site’s utter dominance. It attracts over one billion users each month globally, which is up 50% in the past 12 months.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Further, 6 billion hours or about 130 billion videos are watched each month and over 100 hours are uploaded each minute. In the U.S. alone over 130 million viewers watch 32 billion minutes of video monthly, and those figures do not include mobile devices.

..Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) now rings up $3.6 billion in revenue on YouTube — almost all of it from advertising — and that top line will grow 20%, to $4.3 billion, in 2014, according to Barclays. Based on estimated operating margins of 30% to 35%, Barclays puts the total value of YouTube at between $15.6 billion and $21.3 billion.

As expected, media companies are pouring money into efforts to capitalize on the shift. Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) recently led a round of investing that raised $36 million for a YouTube studio named Maker. They’re not alone, Bertelsmann, Comcast, Discovery Communications, and the Chernin Group, as well as several VC firms, have plowed capital into an assortment of other YouTube channels and networks. The driving momentum behind this fundamental change is of course a younger demographic, which is using cable TV less and less.

Americans overall have their TV sets on for 34 hours a week, according to Nielsen, and they watch just one hour of video on the Internet each week. But viewing habits among millennials point to a dramatic shift: 18- to 24-year-olds watch just 23 hours of TV and 21/2 hours of online video.

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