1 Billion Views: The Viral Rise of TED Talks in One Chart

More

TED, the Technology, Entertainment, and Design mega franchise of ideas, has announced that it has amassed more than 1 billion views since it posted the first talks online in 2006. They've created an interactive chart that chronicles "great moments" along the way to 1 billion views. Here's a screen shot:


TED_chart_2.png

"Our most recent metrics show that TED Talks are being viewed at a rate of 1.5 million times a day," they write, "which means that a new viewing commences 17 times a second." That's a staggering number, so where are these views coming from? TED.com, YouTube, Netflix, iTunes, and other platforms like Virgin America's in-flight programming. 

Six years in, the "experiment" of putting the videos online is an obvious success but at the time TED wasn't sure it would work. Most lecture-style talks captured on video are agonizingly dull to watch online, a slow trickle of information that can't compete with the many visually stimulating distractions out there -- it's just faster to read a transcript. TED Talks succeeded, though, by packing as many brilliant ideas into a few minutes as possible -- a strategy that many successful web video series (like YouTube's EDU channels) use now. 

TED has a few curated lists prepared for this special occasion, curated by Reggie Watts, Ben Affleck, Bill Gates, and others. You can also check out their YouTube playlist of their 20-most-watched videos here -- or The Onion's spot-on spoof here

Jump to comments

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In