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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