How much electricity does Youtube use?

PewDiePie

As of 2019, data centers consume about 2% of global electricity. According to Swedish KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the internet uses 10% of the total electricity consumption worldwide. How much of that is consumed by Youtube? After Netflix and embedded videos, Youtube is the third biggest global internet bandwidth eater. About 11.4% of global internet traffic is consumed by Youtube.

Youtube electricity consumption vs. household electricity consumption

Electricity
Electricity – high voltage pylon

Total global electricity consumption is 21,372 TWh. Therefore Youtube uses about 243.6 TWh (over 1% of global electricity). How does that compare to typical household electricity consumption? In the United States the average annual household electricity consumption is 10,766 kWh. So, let’s do some quick maths… It’s not easy because of the unit orders of magnitude, but the result is: annual global usage of Youtube could power an American household for about… 2 billion years. Or all 127 million U.S. households for about 8 years.

How much of this is used by specific channels? Let’s do the math again! Youtube generates about 1.8 trillion annual video views (which means, an average internet user watches 407 videos in a year). This number translates to 135 kWh per 1000 views.

So, let’s have a look at Youtube channels total electricity consumption:

Youtube channel

Total views in billions (2019)

Electricity consumption (GWh)

How many U.S. homes it could power

T-Series

89

12015

1,112,500

World Wrestling Entertainment

37

4995

462,500

PewDiePie

23

3105

287,500

JustinBieberVEVO

19

2565

237,500

KatyPerryVEVO

17

2295

212,500

Ed Sheeran

16

2160

200,000

TaylorSwiftVEVO

16

2160

200,000

BuzzFeedVideo

15

2025

187,500

5-Minute Crafts

13

1755

162,500

And while we’re at it, we can count these for some specific viral videos as well:

Youtube video

Total views in billions(2019)

Electricity consumption (GWh)

How many U.S. homes it could power

Despacito

6.5

877,5

81250

Gangnam Style

3.4

459

42500

“Sugar” by Maroon 5

3

405

37500

Chocolate Rain

0.12

16,74

1550

Numa Numa guy

0.04

4,73

438

The laughing baby

0.01

1,35

125

 

Youtube vs. environment

To conclude: energy consumed by Youtube videos is enormous. Youtube and environmentalists are looking at possibilities of energy conservation. One of such ideas is detecting visitors who are not watching the video, only listening to music, or other audio. A script would switch the video feed to a static image not consuming bandwidth (and therefore, consuming less energy), while leaving the audio for the listener to enjoy.

Top image: PewDiePie, a Youtube celebrity (Photo credit: camknows / Public Domain)

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1 Comment


  1. So, we can be sure of one thing: PewDiePie is greener than T-Series.

    Reply

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