YouTube Phenomenon Keeps Growing

It's hard to be amazed by anything on the Internet these days, but the video-sharing site YouTube is raising eyebrows among even the most savvy Web observers.

Started in February 2005, YouTube's popularity is exploding. In June alone, according to NielsenNet, YouTube drew 19.6 million visitors, almost triple the number from this past January.

YouTube is, according to The Early Show national correspondent Tracy Smith, mushrooming into the world's first online video network, featuring the latest and, in many cases, strangest videos from all over the world.

It boasts a collection of some 70 million video clips, from the comedic, to the connoisseur, and averages 60,000 uploads a day. There's no fee for uploads.

YouTube's community has grown to roughly six million members, a big audience with little overhead for advertisers, though it could be difficult to get noticed.

It was started for amateurs, and most of the site's content is still uploaded by amateurs, but YouTube is also fast becoming a major marketing tool for corporations that, in some instances, pretend to be amateurs.

While it may look as if each video has been created from the quiet confines of someone's bedroom, it's often a corporate boardroom calling the shots.

Twenty-five Years ago, Smith observes, you'd turn to MTV to catch the latest music video.