YouTube to increase upload limit from 10 to 15 minutes

Sources at YouTube tell us that online video giant will soon increase the maximum duration of uploaded video clips from 10 minutes to 15 minutes. The move may not mean much to some, but if you're a YouTube uploader, the increase would mean significantly less chopped-up installments of longer form works, and subtly redefine the medium, given that YouTube is the largest video hosting service online.

YouTube Partners (online video companies like us and other content owners who have agreements with the company involving shared ad revenue) are already able to upload videos longer than 10 minutes, but it's a fairly big deal for the rest of the ecosystem— and amateur folk make up a huge portion of that ecosystem.

Just think about it: the move would bring 50% more "haul videos," from shopaholic teen girls; 50% more crazytime rants from random dudes; 50% more hamster montages; and 50% more double (whoah that's almost a triple) rainbows.

Why now? I don't know. Why not? But I'd put my money partially on the company's recent win in the Viacom case, and a sense that they've now figured out more effectively how to help the big content owners (labels, movie studios, TV networks) identify infringing uploads, which might tend to fall largely in that longer-form category.

We're hearing something about a "15 minutes of fame" contest to celebrate the expanded video duration, in which winning uploads will be featured on the YouTube homepage in a future spotlight.


  1. From a content creator perspective, this is HUGE. As a Director, I’d love to have some of my award-winning short films online on Youtube, however the length limitation has been a huge, annoying problem. Why I usually opt for Vimeo, however Vimeo doesn’t quite have the numbers that Youtube has (unfortunately, it’s a great site, far less… idk, whored out). Why I very much disagreed with Youtube doing away with ‘directors accounts’.

  2. I’m all for it! But… As a frequent uploader who comes up against the 10-minute limit, I’ve noticed that having that limit often *forces* me to edit my vids down. And, while that sounds bad, it really does present you with the opportunity to consider what parts of your vids are necessary and which are expendable. Often, it’s arguable that the final video is better (more concise) that it might have been otherwise. Furthermore, all of that forced editing makes for better video editing skills, which manifests is other positive ways later on. that said, I’m still in favor of 15 minutes.

  3. This is fantastic news. I am working on a short film that will probably come in at around twelve minutes. I was dreading having to change it to conform to YouTube’s limitations.

    I looked into becoming a partner but I don’t qualify. Although they don’t say exactly what the requirements are I assume they are quite high. I have over 250k video views, but in the YouTube universe I suppose that’s peanuts.

  4. This action moves the needle, albeit moderately. When they up the limit to 22 minutes, you will reach the level where entire programs will be able to be posted. Networks would be able to put full episodes of old shows on YouTube in a single file, sans commercials, of course.

    Imaging having every episode of “I Love Lucy,” “I Dream of Genie,” and “Bewitched” on YouTube. And don’t forget shows like “The Banana Splits” and “Speed Racer.” That would be awesome.

  5. What did I do early on to earn unlimited uploads on YouTube. Is that unique? Do you know why? I am not complaining.

  6. This is a big deal, and it was generally nicely explained.

    But fwiw I don’t think the paragraph beginning “Just think about it” is the right analysis. We won’t get 50% more videos of any given type; it’s not even clear that we’ll get 50% more total content of a particular category. (For example, when someone posts an entire movie, it will be fewer videos and the same total content.)

  7. I’ve had a lot of trouble with “stuttering” videos from YouTube recently. I don’t know whether the problem is on their end or if one of the Firefox patches on my end is causing it — I suspect the latter — but it’s deuced annoying.

  8. I recently uploaded a video that clocked in at 10:43; YouTube accepted it without complaint. I’m not sure why this worked; maybe it was because I used the uploader in Windows Live Movie Maker?

  9. I haven’t worried about this either. I got a Director account in 2006, so my unlimited length privileges are grandfathered in.

    Still, though, good that the later adopters are getting more time. It really should be unlimited for everyone, though; file size should be the limit, not video length.

  10. This is welcome! I have a memorial video I made for my dad that’s about 15 minutes long, and every time I try to decide how to chop it I wind up giving up.

    Of course, the music will probably be flagged, I may have … oh, I dunno. Do something.

  11. You know what my life has been missing? A three-second faceplant slowed down to take fifteen minutes.

    1. 300 frames per second….

      Call James Cameron, I’m sure he has SOMETHING lying around.

  12. I’m one of those uploaders. I post a video everyday and have done so since March 1st 2009. I also don’t edit my videos. One take and that’s it. A longer limit will be nice. I go by tetsubo57 on YT.

  13. I can’t even upload 10 minute videos due to lack of decent broadband access, but great stuff for those who can. Well done Youtube and roll on the time when we all have fibre to the home and can make digitalbritain really rock.

  14. I don’t think that increasing the time limit is going to do much for most youtube users, most videos are around 5 minutes. To be honest I think a time limit is dumb anyways.

  15. Great! Now “The Legend of the USS Titanic” can be better appreciated. Go Jaimie Brockett.

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