A video hosting service allows individuals to upload and share personal, business or royalty-free videos and to watch them legally. The type of video content uploaded can be anything from short video clips all the way to full length movies. With the increasing prevalence of technology and the Internet in everyday life, video hosting services serve as a portal to different forms of entertainment, whether it be comedy, shows, games, or music. Content may be either both user-generated or commercial product. The entertainment industry now uses this medium to release music and videos as well as movies and television shows directly to the public. Since many users do not have unlimited web space, either as a paid service, or through an ISP offering, video hosting services are becoming increasingly popular, especially with the explosion in popularity of blogs, internet forums, and other interactive pages.
YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. The service was created by three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim - in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries. The site allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to favorites, report and comment on videos, subscribe to other users, and it makes use of WebM, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, and Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.
Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, and Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. YouTube earns advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Red, a subscription service offering ad-free access to the website and access to exclusive content made in partnership with existing users.
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