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YouTube passes billion user mark

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

More than a billion people use YouTube each month, with viewing on smartphones helping drive growth, the Google-owned online video sharing venue said Wednesday.

In a blog post, the YouTube team noted that nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits the website, which has grown into a global hit since launching in 2005.

"If YouTube were a country, we'd be the third largest in the world after China and India," the team said.

"PSY and Madonna would have to repeat their Madison Square Garden performance in front of a packed house 200,000 more times. That's a lot of Gangnam Style," it added referring to the South Korean rapper and American pop singer.

Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion and has yet to disclose whether the service has turned a profit.

YouTube has gradually added professional content, such as full-length television shows and movies to its vast trove of amateur video offerings in a bid to attract advertisers.

YouTube confirmed early this year that its evolution as an Internet stage for video may include subscriptions to content that creators expect people would pay to watch.

"We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models," a YouTube spokesman told AFP.

"There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we're looking at that."

YouTube's layout showcasing television-style channels sets the stage for film or television studios to create pay channels on the service.

The video-sharing service says it is trying to "marry the best of TV and the best of online."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130320/youtube-passes-billion-user-mark