Mark and I are still putting the finishing touches on a video interview we hope to share very soon, and he noticed something interesting when uploading a test version to YouTube:  The time limit has been increased.  He was able to easily upload a 13-minute edit without any problems.  A quick check of Google News revealed that, yes, YouTube has officially increased the time limit from 10 to 15 minutes

The move was made, according to YouTube's blog post, because of their increased ability to block copyrighted content:

"Well, we've spent significant resources on creating and improving our state-of-the-art Content ID  system and many other powerful tools for copyright owners. Now, all of the major U.S. movie studios, music labels and over 1,000 other global partners use Content ID to manage their content on YouTube. Because of the success of these ongoing technological efforts, we are able to increase the upload limit today."

The 10-minute limit was always  more about copyright than it was about YouTube's server load or bandwidth--though I'm sure those things were factors as well.  In the early days, before the time limit, users would upload entire feature films or television episodes.  Now that Content ID has been fine-tuned enough to catch a lot more copyrighted content in an automated way, the restriction can be eased a bit.  Partner accounts have been able to upload longer videos for some time now, and will still have that special privilege moving forward as well.  But this should be a very welcome change for the millions of non-partner account holders.

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Users who have previously had a video rejected for being too long will first need to log in and delete that video from their account history before uploading again under the new time limit rules.  And it's also worth mentioning that this limit probably actually works out to 15:59 as opposed to 15 minutes even, since videos uploaded under the old 10-minute restriction were allowed to be as long as 10:59.

YouTube is also holding a special promotion to help kick off the new time limits, asking users to upload videos for their own "15 minutes of fame."  They explain:

"Imagine that this video is all the world will ever know about you: what would you want to communicate? What will be the enduring stamp you've left on us all?"

Users need to tag their 15-minutes-of-fame videos as "yt15minutes," and upload it by next Wednesday (August 4, 2010).  YouTube will pick the best of the bunch and actually give those users their own version of "15 minutes of fame": featuring them on the home page for a day.

The 10-minute time limit has long been one of the most frequent complaints from users, so this news is sure to make a lot of people happy.  Of course, if their video is 30 minutes long, they'll still need to either split it up into two pieces or wait for the next increase on time limits.

  • registrycleaner

    Really good new!

  • Gurka

    Easy to fix with a Registry hack

    Start REGEDIT and find the entry "YouTubeTimeLimit". Change it as below (to 15 decimal):


    Default place is [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareCyberLinkPowerDirector8.0]

  • Ronnie Bincer

    15 min is nice, but I think may be too long for many youtube viewers to handle (unless they are very interested in the content). I'm not sure I would watch a full 15 min if I'm just browsing.

    I did not realize that the earlier limit of 10 min really meant 10:59... interesting to know. So now it is really "almost 16 minutes", eh?

  • NotLim

    Hi there! Really good new!

    I have to say something:

    I've also thought the limit could be 15:59, like before, when "10 minutes" were allowed, and actually was "10:59"

    I tested with 15:55 and with 15:25... same result: "length of video is too long"


    See you!

    • Mark Robertson

      Very good to know. Thanks for telling us.

  • Steve

    15 Minutes video is good, I remember having an 11 MB video and I faced an issue in uploading it. The point is that the user will be able to contribute more useful content with increased video limits.

    Having an extra five minutes to play with is fantastic and while it doesn’t seem like a lot, it will allow filmmakers to create works they couldn’t make before or were forced to break into parts.