Early this year, the most popular YouTube video of all time — a 2007 clip of a British toddler gleefully biting the finger of his older brother — was supplanted by a brash newcomer.
The upstart was Lady Gaga's slithering, sci-fi-themed music video for her hit single "Bad Romance."
The shift was symbolic: YouTube, a subsidiary of the search giant Google, is growing up. Once known primarily for skateboard-riding cats, dancing geeks and a variety of cute-baby high jinks, YouTube now features a smorgasbord of more professional video that is drawing ever larger and more engaged audiences.
On Monday, YouTube will celebrate its fifth birthday by announcing it has passed two billion video views a day; YouTube said it reached the one billion mark in October.
Google executives said in January that the site, which has perennially lost money, had increased its revenue, and that ad space on YouTube's home pages for 20 countries was sold out every day toward the end of 2009. Many analysts say YouTube could break even this year for the first time, after five years of large losses generated by its high bandwidth and storage costs.
New York Times