If you want to know the most popular video clip in New York last night or whether the average teenager prefers the Simpsons or South Park, then YouTube Trends Map is the service for you.
A real time, interactive chart of what's hot across all video categories and across all demographics in the US, the Trends Map lets users search popularity not only via category or age group but also by how clips are performing on social platforms such as Facebook. The map was launched Tuesday for the US, and the company will be monitoring its success before deciding whether to roll it out to other countries.
May has been a very busy month for the online video site. It announced that it now has 1 billion active unique monthly visitors who altogether consume 6 billion hours of content every month, and that in the US alone it reaches more 18-34-year-olds than any cable TV channel or network, leading YouTube's president of the Americas, Margo Georgiadis, to say, "If you want to win that under 40 generation, you've gotta be on YouTube."
The site, which has been experimenting with premium channels over the last 12 months, is widely expected to launch a subscription service later this month which could see YouTube charging $1.99 per month per channel.
The Financial Times claims that as many as 50 channels could move from free to subscription as early as this weekend, with the extra revenues going to help fund bigger and more ambitious productions. Currently, the bulk of the site's revenues are generated through advertising.
When approached for verification, YouTube told the Financial Times that it had "nothing to announce" regarding channel subscriptions but was "looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer."
But for now, what is certain is that across 56% of US regions with 2 million views and counting, the trailer to "True Blood" season 6 is the most popular YouTube video across all demographics in America.