And the First Nonprofit to Reach One Billion YouTube Views Is…

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 Sesame Street

March 6, 2013; Source: Mashable

Yesterday, “Sesame Street” released a YouTube video in which Count von Count shared the news: Big Bird and friends have become the first nonprofit organization to reach one billion views on YouTube. In true “Sesame Street” fashion, the announcement came in the form of song. You can watch the Count’s “Counting the You’s in YouTube” here:

The announcement also came with a YouTube blog post from the Count on the splendors of the number zero. Here’s an excerpt:

“So why do I, a person who loves to count, love the number zero? Well, for one thing, zero comes in very handy when there is nothing around to count. For you can count zero of that thing. Like right now, as I look around the castle, I count zero elephants, zero airplanes, and zero Justin Bieber CDs. Wonderful.”

In an interview with Mashable, YouTubeEDU Strategic Partnership Manager discussed the milestone as an indicator of the growing role of online video in education: “Access to educational video used to be restricted to whatever tapes or DVDs happened to be in the library or at home. Now high-quality, entertaining, and informative content is available on demand wherever there’s an Internet connection.” Some of “Sesame Street’s” most popular YouTube videos have been more along the lines of “just for fun” than what one might typically think of as educational, but it is that mix of play and learning that has helped to sustain “Sesame Street’s” success over the years.

“Sesame Street” is typically associated with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) but it is produced by a nonprofit that is independent of PBS, Sesame Workshop. As “Sesame Street” moves within a few years of its 50th anniversary, this social media success is quite a (yellow) feather in its cap. –Mike Keefe-Feldman