But what impact is it having on corporate bandwidth?
It might be hard to believe but Friday, April 23rd represents YouTube’s fifth birthday. The video website has since become such an integral part of the Internet that it seems to have been around for as long as the web itself.
Since that day millions of videos have been uploaded, totalling 1,700 years of content while users stream over one billion videos every day.
The Google-owned site has developed beyond a collection of videos of kids falling off skateboards, dogs chasing their own tails and Susan Boyle. YouTube has signed deals with a number of channels to broadcast TV shows after they have been broadcast, offering viewers an on-demand catch-up service.
It has also found a home in the enterprise, with many firms having their own channels on the site where they can offer tutorials, product demonstrations and interviews with senior executives. Companies such as Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, SAP, HP, Cisco and IBM all have a presence on the site.
The site has become so popular in enterprises that it now accounts for 10% of all corporate bandwidth, according to Network Box. This has resulted in some firms banning access to the site, which is a backwards step, according to Phil Stewart, director of customer service at Virgin Media Business.
“Banning staff from accessing YouTube in the workplace might sound like the obvious option, but this could do more harm than good,” he said. “Many workers use the site to keep up to date with business news, research potential purchases and even find solutions to problems that they’re facing at work.”
“It’s not uncommon for network managers to use the site to look up ‘how to’ videos when a problem has left them stumped. The best way to make sure that your network performance isn’t impacted is to ensure that you have enough bandwidth available to support video streaming alongside more mission-critical activities, such as VoIP, cloud computing or videoconferencing,” Stewart added.