'

YouTube celebrates 2 billion views daily

The video site turns five and announces that it serves 2 billion page views every day.

YouTube now serves 2 billion page views a day, its has announced.

The world's most popular video site marked its fifth anniversary with a blog post announcing that it enjoys 2 billion views every day.

Different metrics may bring up different numbers, however: the site drew 13 billion views a month in March, according to comScore numbers, and is unlikely to have amped that up to 60 billion this month, going by the math.

But whichever way you slice it, YouTube is the undoubted leader in the online video market, with a 41.8 percent share in March, said comScore. Its closest competitor, Hulu, had a 3.4 percent share with 1 billion views in the same month.

Last year, comScore data also showed YouTube as the first site to cross the 10 billion views per month mark.

Born in 2005, the site was snapped up by Google for US$1.65 billion in 2006.

It spent the first few years trying to find a way to make money, exploring avenues such as allowing video makers to sell videos for download on the site and ads--both in-video and clips before a video runs.

Taking a page from Google's own AdWords business, YouTube also sells keywords to video owners so their clips show up at the top when users run a search.

YouTube additionally announced earlier this month that it may give content owners a way to charge for access to their videos.

YouTube said in a blog post last year that it was monetizing "billions of video views worldwide", although its January 2010 earnings call showed that the company is not profitable yet, according to reports.

Barclays analyst Douglas Anmuth was quoted in reports as saying that the site is likely to turn a profit this year, and predicting that revenue will grow 55 percent to US$700 million.

The video site has had its share of legal scuffles. In particular, it went through a drawn-out legal battle with broadcasting giant, Viacom, over copyrighted material being uploaded to YouTube.

Viacom filed a copyright infringement claim against YouTube in 2007. Google responded by taking down the infringing videos, although the case has continued to drag out in court. Viacom still wants compensation, while YouTube said it was unable to detect videos that infringed when these were first uploaded.

Other music labels such as Warner Music, Universal Music Group, Sony Music and EMI have licensing deals with YouTube, although talks with Warner broke down in late 2008. The pair was back with a renewed agreement late last year, which allows users to include songs owned by Warner in their clips once again..