Youtube Ups Video Limit to 15 Minutes, So What?

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 29, 2010
Updated • Mar 18, 2015
Google, Youtube

Google announced just a moment ago on the official YouTube blog that the length of videos on YouTube for regular users on the site has been increased by the company. The maximum play time of videos uploaded by standard users on the site has been increased from 10 to 15 minutes.

We want YouTube to be the best place to upload video. Without question, the number one requested feature by our creators is to upload videos longer than 10 minutes. We’ve heard you, and today we’re pleased to announce that we’ve increased the upload limit to 15 minutes.

A 50% increase may seem like a lot on first glance, but then again a maximum playing time of 15 minutes is not. Dailymotion for instance supports video uploads with a playtime of up to 20 minutes for some time now, Vimeo, another popular video hosting service does not limit the maximum video length at all (but limits the Megabytes that can be uploaded per week to 500 Megabytes).

If you read the official announcement over at the YouTube blog you can read between the lines why YouTube offers such a restrictive video length.

It is not a resource issue, apparently. Joshua Siegel, YouTube product manager states:

In the meantime, you may wonder “why now?” -- the upload limit for non-partners has been 10 minutes for years. Well, we’ve spent significant resources on creating and improving our state-of-the-art Content ID system and many other powerful tools for copyright owners. Now, all of the major U.S. movie studios, music labels and over 1,000 other global partners use Content ID to manage their content on YouTube. Because of the success of these ongoing technological efforts, we are able to increase the upload limit today. We will continue our strong commitment to provide advanced technology and tools to protect the rights of small and large copyright owners worldwide. We’ll also do everything we can to release incremental improvements like this one that benefit our video creators.

The upload limit was ten minutes because of content distributors, and is now 15 minutes because of them. This reasoning surely does not please the family trying to upload a birthday video or holiday trip, the geek who reviews computer hardware, or people who do not want to cut their videos in parts so that they can be published on YouTube.

What Joshua basically means is that YouTube made the decision to limit everyone's (that is that of basic users) video length to 15 minutes to avoid conflicts with copyright owners because of the possible abuse of some users.

Does that sound right? Or should not they better allow users to upload videos with a longer playtime, and deal with copyright issues when they are detected?

What's your take on the video limit increase?


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  1. TheOneWhoDoesntRhyme said on September 4, 2010 at 2:08 am

    15 minutes is considerably better than 10 minutes. I’m glad it’s something.

  2. Anonymous said on August 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I want to post a show on youtube with the pilot episode lasting 1hr+ so not really

  3. Jaxx89 said on July 31, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    No matter what, piracy has been and will be an issue. As far as Google is concerned, try searching for your favorite shows latest episode and you will never find it on any of the Video sharing sites. They deal with it very well like they’re supposed to.
    But why the limit? I still have to speed up my captured videos to 200% or some even 500% which I really don’t like.

  4. Heather said on July 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Excellent. Now I don’t have to listen to my classical music in parts.

  5. Simon B. said on July 30, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I beleive there was a technical reason for limiting to 10 min, since that was about as much as can fit in one “block” of their data storage system. The idea was to make sure that a youtube server that has the beginning of a movie in memory is sure to have the full clip. On the other hand, when high quality movies where introduced, this limit was obviously already beaten. It still seems like they should’ve upped the limit to be equal to their competion.
    About wasting time with longer videos, that’s a filtering and self discipline issue… ;-)

  6. TheGenuineIslam said on July 30, 2010 at 12:02 am

    I think they should allow uploading videos and limit the size to 1GB per video . As for the copyrights issue , I say , Google isn’t a poor company so it can hire people to monitor the uploaded videos and remove the illegal ones … it is that simple !

  7. Lonny Dunn said on July 29, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Just another non answer, non explanation by the Search Engine Powerhouse. These folks for all their billions per month in revenue or phantom Market Caps based upon thin air are about technology, and their handliing of real life questions that arise is always rather nonsensisical. They are probably as flabbergasted by the question as you or I are about the response. The PR of these operations is simply not grounded on earth, nor vetted by “real people” before published or released. They would do well getting out of their computer labs and grabbing a guy or gal off the street and say, “Hey, this is the issue, this is how we’d like to lie to the public, and this is how we intend to mislead them…>Now can you help us out a minute, and tell us whether this statment makes sense??”

    Which really goes to the heart of your article doesn’t it? It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that YouTube is completely fabricating a response, but only they didn’t do a very good job at fabricating a response.

    I guess one parapgraph of gibberish is a good as the next, right?

    For what they do, there should be no limits. For what they were paid to be bought out, they should build servers to reach the moon, and provide enough bandwidth indefinately forever. Which they do btw….There are many educational videos and commentary by rich, eccentric billionaires who they let ramble for hours…So this seems to be just a way for them to justify cutting off the weirdos and pre empt the nuts; if the subject ever comes up. They are probably banking that throwing the rest of this bone just pre empts another question they aren’t prepared to answer…….

    I tweet at ProNetworkBuild Lonny Dunn Editor/Author

  8. Paul said on July 29, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I use the “will YES’ Close to the Edge fit into one video” to determine the optimum length a YouTube video should be. The answer is still no.

  9. Yang said on July 29, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    I think the limit was fine where it was at 10m. No one is funny or interesting for 10m unless they get paid in which case, their distribution is NOT youtube. No one has the attn span of 10m, increasing it to 15m will only worsen the material that is posted. People complaining about the 10m limit are the only ones wanting more, which means their already long video is 50% longer… great.

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