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UPDATE February 27, 2019 — YouTube continues to be the web’s premier online video-sharing platform. YouTube is easily the most recognizable video distribution platform with the widest and most diverse audience in the world. Unsurprisingly, it’s also an advertising destination for brands looking to reach new viewers and target niche demographics. We’ve compiled the top YouTube user statistics to get a better understanding of the depth and diversity of YouTube’s platform.
Here are the 10 most important YouTuber user statistics:
Binge-watching has become an incredible phenomenon, particularly among Millennials, with 60% of people aged 18-29 binge-watching and 26% doing so daily. Furthermore, YouTube was chosen by people across age groups as the preferred destination to binge-watch content. Marketers can capitalize on these viewing habits and behaviors to reach their audience in creative ways.
Millennials are not the only ones that love YouTube. In fact, GenX and Baby Boomers are YouTube’s fastest growing demographics, with time spent by adults 35+ and 55+ growing 40% and 80% faster than overall growth, respectively. YouTube reaches 95% of online adults 35+ and 55+. A recent study shows that 1 in 3 baby boomers use YouTube to learn about a new product. That same study shows 68% of the generation watch YouTube videos to be entertained, 75% of the generation watch to embrace nostalgia, 68% use it to stay in the know, and 73% use it to access how-to content.
YouTube has reported that the platform has over 50 million active reference files for unique content. While this makes up less than 5% of YouTube’s total user base, YouTube’s total content creator base is still the largest in the world. YouTube recently released that the number of content creators earning five or six figures continues to increase by 40% year-over-year. The number of YouTube channels with more than one million subscribers also doubled in 2018. The enormous amount of new content made available on YouTube means that users are constantly coming back to use the platform. YouTube reported that over 1 billion hours of content is watched every day, proving that content engagement is very high as well.
The amount of time Millennials dedicate to traditional TV continues to dwindle. During 2017 18-34 year-olds watched an average of 21 hours of TV a week, compared to 2018 where total weekly watch time was just 15 hours 57 minutes on average. When it comes to where Millennials get their video content, YouTube is the preferred provider nearly two times more than traditional TV. In a survey conducted by Google and ComScore, 35% of Millennials stated that they preferred viewing and searching for content on YouTube more than on TV. By comparison, only 19% of Millennials preferred traditional TV as a video destination. Studies by Nielsen and Google have also found that individuals 18+ more than doubled the time they spent on YouTube.
The most popular type of content on YouTube are videos that are uploaded by individual users, with nearly 80% of 18-34-year-olds and 71% of 35+ year-olds preferring the content style. Content uploaded by brands, companies, and institutions trails in closely at second, with 74% of 18-34-year-olds using YouTube to access branded videos. Other content types are significantly less popular, with only 14% and 12% of users 18-34 finding movies on YouTube for movies and ongoing TV shows, respectively. These statistics show that marketers need to utilize videos uploaded by popular video creators, or influencers, to best reach their audiences on YouTube.
Most adult users over the age of 18 find YouTube ads engaging. 62% of Millennials are likely to take action after viewing an ad and 51% of individuals over 35 will likely take action after viewing an ad. If ads are personalized and relevant, nearly half of Millennials would pay more attention to the ad. The way that brands advertise on YouTube should reflect consumer preference to better engage audiences.
YouTube users are primarily accessing the platform on mobile, with 70% of users viewing content on a mobile device. ComScore found that mobile viewing on YouTube led to a threefold increase on video views and a threefold expansion of audience scale. Brand marketers should thus be ready to format any ads according to mobile standards.
Many sources speculate that the majority of YouTube users are male, however, studies conducted by Google and Nielsen actually found that the gender demographic is evenly split, with female viewership in the slight majority. While YouTube’s total user base might be closer to 50/50, studies have found that men make up the majority of viewers in 90% of YouTube’s content categories. The most male-dominated categories are in gaming, sports, and virtual worlds. Female-dominated categories are make-up and cosmetics, skin and nail care, and weight loss.
Among kids aged 6 to 17 YouTube is now more popular than any other career path. 1 in 3 Gen Z and Millennials aspire to be a YouTuber (34.2%) compared to 1 in 6 who want to be a movie star (15.7%). Perhaps even more surprising, among those surveyed money was the fourth reason they wanted to be a YouTuber behind creativity, fame, and self-expression. The largest portion of the group (24%) said they were drawn to YouTube as a career because it supported their creativity.