Last January, J.C. Penney’s Plano Employees Watched Five Million YouTube Videos

The most interesting nugget in this morning’s pillaging of J.C. Penney in the Wall Street Journal was this tidbit:

During January 2012, the 4,800 employees in Plano had watched five million YouTube videos during work hours, said Michael Kramer, a former Apple executive brought in by Mr. Johnson as chief operating officer.

Gawker broke down the numbers:

5,000,000 videos total ÷ 4,800 employees ≈ 1042 videos per employee (per month)

This means that, on average, every single J. C. Penney employee was watching over one thousand videos per month. It is also possible that one J.C. Penney employee was watching five million videos per month.

1,042 videos per month ÷ 21 workdays ≈ 49 videos per day.

49 videos per day ÷ 8 hours in the average work day ≈ 6 videos (per hour)

This means that, on average, every 10 minutes an employee of J.C. Penney would drop what he or she was doing to watch a video on YouTube. This employee would, say, write an email, then stop writing the email, then watch a YouTube video. After that, the employee would finish writing the email, go to the bathroom, then come back and watch a YouTube video. The employee would download a PDF of sales figures, refresh his or her email, read the first two pages of the PDF, and then watch a YouTube video.

(Looks over shoulder at Tim and Zac, does quick calculation, goes home and destroys college diploma, clicks on video titled “Gallon Smashing: the thing that beats the HARLEM SHAKE.”)


  • MCC

    As someone rightly pointed out in the Gawker comment section, it’s likely a lot of folks using Youtube playlists as background music at the workstation. Probably because Pandora and Spotify are blocked by the Penney’s no fun filter because streaming music services are obviously bandwidth hogging, efficiency destroying scourages that must be kept out of the cubes of corporate America at all costs…but not Youtube? Seriously, was there no one in IT who saw these numbers and thought it might be a good idea to flip the switch to block Youtube as well?

    • Neal Broten

      My thoughts exactly. I listen to music all the time on YouTube. Why would the leadership at JCP leak this information about their employees now?

  • Alexander Muse

    Justify the layoffs…

  • EricTeamSupport


  • StanX

    They are having more layoffs?

  • t_s_

    You know who else blocks Youtube? China.

  • Carey Onishi

    Wow! Looks like JCP is the place to work!!