Google's Schmidt: YouTube has "already" killed off TV

Google-owned YouTube has revealed it dishes up some six billion hours of entertainment to viewers every month, releasing a celebratory video (see top) to mark the achievement.

What's more, the popular video-hosting site has "already" overtaken television as a medium for media consumption, according to outspoken company chairman Eric Schmidt.

"(YouTube is) not a replacement for something that we know. It's a new thing that we have to think about, to programme, to curate and build new platforms," he said.

The six million monthly views milestone is just the beginning, the Google boss added.

"Wait until you get to six or seven billion," Schmidt commented.

Announcing the news on the YouTube blog, VP and global head of content Robert Kyncl agreed and said that the digital media host offers a more dynamic alternative to traditional TV viewing.

"We recently announced that YouTube hit an incredible milestone of [one] billion unique monthly visitors, connecting 15 per cent of the planet to the videos they love," he wrote.

Kyncl added: "And those global fan communities are watching more than 6 billion hours of video each month on YouTube; almost an hour a month for every person on Earth and 50 per cent more this year than last."

"I thought that YouTube was like TV, but it isn't. I was wrong. TV is one-way. YouTube talks back. TV means reach. YouTube means engagement," he opined.

As befits his job title, Kyncl went on to praise YouTube's third-party media partnerships as a key reason behind the platform's rapid growth.

"Media companies like Time Warner, The Chernin Group, Bertelsman, Discovery Communications and Comcast have all made significant investments in companies that create, aggregate or service content for YouTube in the last 12 months," he noted.

Kyncl concluded: "History - from the transition to radio, then TV, from network to cable - tells us that advertisers always follow the audience. Content creators have long recognised the power of YouTube's platform to connect with an audience. Advertisers are increasingly doing the same. Together we'll continue to build YouTube as a global destination for the next generation of entertainment."

Recent speculation has pointed to YouTube offering paid subscriptions in the near future. The site already features a limited range of pay-per-play content, like films and live streams.

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