YouTube is a video-sharing platform featuring a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media content, including music videos, TV clips and other video clips such as video blogs, Let's Play gaming videos, short original videos and educational content. YouTube content is free to view, although it sometimes underlies regional restrictions for reasons such as copyright. As of July 2015, more than 400 hours of video content were uploaded to YouTube every minute and according to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, more than 1 billion hours of content are consumed on the platform every single day as of March 2017. Popular types of YouTube content include music videos – in February 2017, the most viewed YouTube channels on the video platform belonged to Indian music label T-Series, with over than 952 million channel views in the preceding month, and Ryan ToysReview, with over 745 million views in the previous month. Other popular video types include beauty and fashion tips, vlogs, as well as instructional videos on everything from language learning to stain removal.
While at its origins YouTube was intended as a platform on which users can post original content that they thought to be interesting, funny or in any other way worth sharing, the website has since become a powerful money-making tool. While companies, musicians or film distributors might use YouTube as a form of free direct advertisement, many producers of different products also operate overt or hidden product placement schemes. The most popular YouTube brand channel based on number of views was LEGO as of April 2017. YouTube also generates the majority of its revenues through in-site advertising, with owners of popular or YouTube partner channels being eligible to receive a percentage of the revenue they helped create. Some of the most popular YouTube channels are not maintained by brands but by online personalities such as video game commentator PewDiePie or comedic duo Smosh. PewDiePie was for a long time the Youtuber with the highest earnings. As of June 2016, Felix Kjellberg / PewDiePie generated estimated annual earnings of 15 million U.S. dollars.
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