Beyond footage of cute pets or amateur feats of daring, YouTube has helped reshape contemporary life in its role as a worldwide social hub for video-sharing — with singers, musicians and the recording industry among the site's beneficiaries. This weekend, musicians and YouTube fans alike are awaiting the inaugural YouTube Music Awards.
In less than a decade, YouTube has helped propel small acts to big-time success and become an online service that can put artists on the fast track to gaining a fan-base, sponsorship and record deals. Today, many musicians consider it vital for their success.
CBC News offers this quick look back at YouTube's music-related milestones.
February 14, 2005 - Domain name YouTube.com is registered by founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim (who met while working at PayPal).
December 2005 - The video-sharing site officially launches and 8 million videos are watched per day.
July 2006 - YouTube hits 100 million videos viewed per day (Meanwhile, 65,000 files are uploaded daily).
Beginning at 5 a.m. ET Sunday morning, YouTube will webcast musical performances from five world capitals — Seoul, Tokyo, Moscow, London and Rio — as a teaser for the main event, which streams live from from New York's Pier 26 that evening.
The public has voted online for winners in six categories: video of the year, artist of the year, response of the year, innovation of the year, YouTube phenomenon and YouTube breakthrough. Major stars like Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are on the roster, but there are popular grassroots artists in the running, too.
August 2006 - Vimeo, a rival video-sharing site, is acquired by media giant IAC/InterActive Corp., with content created and uploaded largely by artists, musicians and indie filmmakers.
October 2006 - Google acquires YouTube for $1.65 billion US, the web giant's biggest purchase to date. Google calls the deal “the next step in the evolution of the Internet."
Autumn 2006 - YouTube signs deals with three major music labels: Sony BMG, Warner and Universal.
May 2007 - YouTube and music giant EMI form partnership.
May 2008 - The site registers 13 hours of video uploaded every minute.
October 2009 - U2 streams a Pasadena, Calif. concert (for an estimated 96,000 fans) live on YouTube, claiming it as the first time a show of that size would be streamed live.
October 2009 - YouTube hits 1 billion views per day.
Feb. 19, 2010 - Justin Bieber's Baby uploaded. The teen Stratford, Ont. star was famously discovered after having uploaded his amateur performances to the site. With more than 920 million views to date, Baby remains the second-most viewed YouTube video overall (He would be topped from first place by viral sensation Psy).
Feb. 16, 2011 - Maria Aragon, a 10-year-old from Winnipeg, uploads her cover of Lady Gaga’s song Born This Way. The young fan's version becomes a worldwide sensation and lands her at Gaga's side onstage in Toronto. The video hovers around 57 million views.
July 15, 2012 - K-Pop star Psy uploads Gangnam Style. The infectious track becomes the most watched YouTube video ever, currently surpassing 1.8 billion views.
March 2013 - YouTube registers 1 billion unique users per month, who watch more than 6 billion hours of videos per month.
Nov. 3, 2013 - The inaugural YouTube Music Awards take place in New York.
For more on YouTube's blockbuster rise, tune into CBC Radio's The World This Weekend at 6:00 p.m. Sunday for a feature from Colleen Ross and to CBC-TV's The National for Deana Sumanac's report.