Global Curiosity and an Open Approach to Viral Video Sends TED Talks Rocketing Past One Billion Views

TED Celebrates Milestone with Guest-Curated "TopTED" Playlists from Notable TED Community Members Including Ben Affleck, Glenn Close, Dave Eggers, Bill Gates, Bono, and Others

Nov 13, 2012, 09:00 ET from TED

NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TED is announcing today that its cumulative talk views have surpassed one billion views. Known for "Ideas Worth Spreading," the non-profit TED makes more than 1,400 videos available online for free, each exploring a single idea in 18 minutes or less. Topics range from distant galaxies to body language, from ocean life to global challenges.

TED, which began as a closed-door conference covering Technology Entertainment and Design, has evolved significantly since its start in 1984. After he purchased the conference in 2001 and turned it into a non-profit, entrepreneur Chris Anderson began exploring ways to bring the TED experience to people beyond the conference's auditorium. In June 2006, TED Executive Producer of Media June Cohen led an experiment to post six free talks online. It was the dawn of internet video, and few predicted just how people would respond. By September of that year, the first million talk views had been recorded, and the enthusiastic response to the talks prompted TED to shift its focus to the online distribution of ideas, and commit to releasing all its best material.

Today, TED Talks are viewed more than 1.5 million times every day – that's 17 new viewings commencing every second. In response to demand, TED has developed programs that allow a global community to spread its videos virally: more than 8,000 volunteer translators make the talks available in 90+ languages, a global community of TEDx event organizers create thousands of independent events each year, and media distribution partners like iTunes, NPR, China's YouKu, Netflix and Huffington Post actively bring TED to new audiences.

"The fact that TED Talks have been shared so extensively shows us that people are eager to learn and be inspired," said TED Curator Chris Anderson. "The spread of these talks across languages and borders suggests that intellectual curiosity is demonstrably alive and well.  Maybe the Internet isn't dumbing us down after all."

In honor of the billion views milestone, notable members of the TED community such as Bill Gates and Bono have created "TopTED" playlists of their favorite TED Talks. It is part of a new Playlists feature on that groups together great talks around a theme or an individual.  The 20 guest-curated playlists will be released over the course of this week. Mashable and iTunes are helping to share these playlists, iTunes offering them as limited-edition downloadable podcasts and Mashable hosting additional lists from tech superstars.

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs. The annual TEDGlobal conference is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED's media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed, and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

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Contact: Erin Allweiss: / 917.512.2118