VLC crosses 3 billion downloads, and still earns Zero money

Jean-Baptiste Kempf

Let’s get back in history. Let’s jump to the period when the internet was nascent. In 1996, a group of students from Paris wondered if there was a way to stream a video across the campus. And this curiosity turned themselves into entrepreneurs which started as an academic project and led the development of a media player application called VLC.

Over the past 23 years, VLC has earned fame. Not just fame but a common name among desktop and mobile users. Everyone remember the orange logo of VLC media players. And the main reason that grew the downloads was the media player’s ability to play almost every video format and availability on every computing platform.

Today, VLC reached another milestone. The media player has been downloaded more than 3 billion times across various platforms. The platform already reached the 1 billion downloads mark in May 2012.

The parent company VideoLan is a non-profit organization and runs solely on donations. This is quite a surprising fact. It’s a rare achievement when a tech company has witnessed such tremendous growth over these years without bringing in any revenue model or exploring business opportunities to make money. VLC media player continues to be free to use and does not serve any ads.


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