Milestones: YouTube hits 1 billion viewers; Popcornflix reaches 1 million on Roku

Providing original, or at least more compelling, content has paid off for YouTube, which this week reported it has topped the 1 billion mark of viewers tapping into its site each month. At the same time, being part of the Roku family of channels has helped Popcornflix to top the 1 million viewer mark.

YouTube reached its milestone after a long climb from late 2011 when it reported 800 million users. At that point its parent company Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) started to pour serious money into more original content to drive viewers to the site and attract advertisers to get in front of those viewers.

An initial investment of $100 million will be doubled in an effort to build viewership, although it's not all that certain at this point that the investment is doing what it's supposed to in terms of drawing advertisers, an Associated Press story reported from a conversation with Robert Kyncl, vice president and global head of content partnerships.

"Every year we reserve the right to get smarter," Kyncl said, according to the AP story. "What we're looking for is the acceleration of those who are figuring out how to retail their content."

If numbers matter, the eyes have it at YouTube which had 50 million viewers in 2006 when Google bought in for $1.76 billion.

For Popcornflix, being part of the 750-channel Roku universe is paying off, said Gary Delfiner, president of Screen Media Digital, which is a division of Screen Media Ventures which owns Popcornflix.

"Having passed a million downloads in under a year on Roku really says a lot about the popularity of the channel" which is an ad-supported movie platform, he said. "Roku offers the best streaming player on the market and we're proud to provide access to so many great films to Roku customers."

Roku, in fact, is such a great channel that Popcornflix has added another channel to put on its lineup, Frightpix which, logically, focuses on horror films.

For more:
- the Associated Press carried this story
- Popcornflix and Roku issued this press release

Related articles:
YouTube toying with subscription model

Roku planning second-screen tablet app