The way we consume video is changing quickly. Rather than gathering around the TV to watch our favorite shows, we are gathering in virtual communities to share both short- and long-form video tailored exactly to our in-the-moment needs and wants.
YouTube’s first video was uploaded on April 23, 2005. It has been watched more than 45 million times. The content? A young man at the zoo observing that elephants have very long trunks.
Of course, YouTube content has become much more sophisticated since 2005, however, the network still provides a platform in which everybody from kids to major brands could develop a loyal subscriber base.
For marketers, the YouTube chance is clear: tap into a massive viewer that’s actively looking for and sharing video content online. In this roundup of YouTube statistics that matter to marketers, we will examine the numbers you should know to guide your YouTube business strategy.
YouTube user statistics
1. YouTube has more than 1.9 billion monthly active users
Among social networks, YouTube’s number of users is second only to Facebook.
2. They live all around the world
YouTube provides localized versions of its website in 88 countries and provides support for 76 languages. Only 16.6 % of YouTube visitors come from the United States, according to Alexa, with India (8.3%), Japan (4.6%), and Russia (4.1%) being the next-largest markets.
3. More of them are male
YouTube has more male users (55 %) than female (45 %). That differentiates the network from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, all of which have more female users.
4. YouTube is the most popular social media website for teens
96 % of online U.S. teenagers use the site, according to Forrester Research—yes, almost all of them. That’s up from 87 % in 2014. For comparison, 76 % of the same demographic uses Facebook, the next most popular social media website.
5. Millennials “can’t go without” it
In a recent comScore survey asking which 3 apps are most important and would be the hardest to give up, 18- to 34-year olds named YouTube behind only Facebook and Facebook Messenger in terms of social networking apps.
Even more particularly in the millennial demographic, 86 % of millennial dads use YouTube for parenting guidance.
6. It’s also one of the more popular social websites for seniors
Only 11 % of YouTube’s users are 65 or older, however, that ties it for first place among social networks with Facebook and LinkedIn when it comes to percentage of senior users. The other social networks have far fewer senior users: Twitter has 6 %, Instagram 2 %, and Snapchat less than 1 %.
7. Generation X watches more than 1.5 billion YouTube videos per day
And 75 % of those aged 35 to 54 watch YouTube at least once a month.
8. More than half of all U.S. adults use YouTube
58 % of American adults use the site, according to Pew Research Center. Compare that to the 26 % who use Instagram and the 15 % who use Twitter and it’s clear YouTube is delivering a much-desired service. Among social media websites, only Facebook is used by more U.S. adults (66 %).
9. Users have likely been to college
More than two-thirds (67%) of YouTube users have at least some college education.
YouTube usage statistics
10. People watch lots of YouTube content
A billion hours per day, to be exact. That’s more than 114,000 years of YouTube video watched every single day.
11. The best videos rack up millions of views
The 10 top-viewed videos in 2017 collectively amassed more than 630 million views, including up to more than 40 million hours of watching time.
12. And so do the best adverts
The top 10 ads on YouTube generated 539 million views and 14 hours of watching time, plus 3.6 million Likes.
13. Self-directed learning rules
70 % of viewers use YouTube to help solve a problem with work, school, or hobbies, and 86 % mentioned they frequently use YouTube to learn new things. When asked about the reasons they visit YouTube, the most common response (65%) was “to help me repair something in my home or car.” Entertainment was the second-most popular response, at 57 %.
Among millennials, the numbers for self-directed learning are even higher: 93 % of them use YouTube to find out how to do things.
14. People also use the site to get news
YouTube ranks behind only Facebook when it comes to the social websites American adults use to get their news. 15 % of U.S. adults get news on YouTube, compared to 45 % on Facebook and 11 % on Twitter.
15. It’s by far the multimedia app leader
YouTube accounts for 68 % of time U.S. adults spend using multimedia apps, according to comScore. The closest competitor is Netflix at 21 %.
16. And the preferred online video provider
A study by Google and comScore found that 48 % of online video viewers name YouTube as their top video website, followed again by Netflix at 29 %.
17. YouTube is the second-highest ranked website worldwide
Alexa ranks YouTube behind only Google in its “top 500 websites on the web” list, which is based on a mixed measure of unique visitors and pageviews.
18. AI is pulling viewers in
More than 70 % of the time users spend on YouTube is spent watching videos recommended by the site’s artificial intelligence algorithms.
19. Mobile views are the majority
20. TV usage is up
People are also watching YouTube on much larger screens. Users are watching more than 100 million hours of YouTube videos on their TVs every day, a rise of 70 % since last year.
YouTube for business statistics
21. Copyright is a serious business
YouTube has paid out more than $2 billion to rightsholders who’ve made claims via Content ID, which helps identify videos utilizing copyrighted material.
22. The highest-paid YouTube star earned $16.5 million last year
Daniel Middleton, recognized on YouTube as DanTDM, has more than 17 million subscribers to his channel of gaming videos.
The top 10 highest-paid YouTube stars mixed earned $127 million, according to Forbes.
YouTube advert statistics
23. More than half of U.S. marketers run YouTube video adverts
51 %, to be exact. And 62 % say they plan to extend their YouTube video advert spend in the next 12 months.
24. That represents a quarter of digital advert spend
YouTube accounts for 27.1 % of digital advert spending share by U.S. senior marketers.
25. The six-second rule
A third of YouTube’s large advertising customers use its six-second bumper adverts. The number of customers utilizing the adverts increased 70 % in the first two quarters of 2017.
YouTube’s own figures show these brief adverts are working, with 70 % driving “a significant lift in brand awareness,” and 90 % driving a lift in advert recall.
26. Both audibility and viewability of YouTube adverts are over 90 %
95 % of YouTube adverts are audible, that means the audio level is at or higher than 10 % at some point during the advert playback. 93 % of YouTube adverts are viewable, that means at least 50 % of pixels are viewable on screen for at least two seconds.
27. People pay more attention to YouTube adverts than to TV adverts
In a study commissioned by Google, Ipsos Reid found using eye-tracking data that 62 % of advert time on YouTube mobile receives the viewer’s attention, compared to 45 % of TV advertising time. For paid YouTube adverts (that’s, adverts which are watched in full or for at least 30 seconds, rather than being skipped), 83 % of advert time receives the viewer’s attention.
YouTube performance statistics
28. Marketers are confident YouTube videos convert
70 % of U.S. marketers are confident they could create YouTube videos that lead to purchases, and 81 % are confident they could create engagement with YouTube videos.
29. Value for both B2B and B2C
YouTube is in the top 3 most valued social media platforms for B2C marketers, and number 4 for B2B marketers, according to research from Clutch and Smart Insights. In this analysis, it was the only network where the worth was perceived to be basically the same whether marketing to consumers or business.
30. Combining advert formats improves outcomes
YouTube’s internal figures show that utilizing bumper adverts to remarket to TrueView advert viewers increased lift in advert recall by 42 to 104 %.
31. YouTube adverts improve engagement on the site itself
YouTube found that viewers who see TrueView advertisements are 10 occasions extra more likely to interact with the model on YouTube—for instance, by subscribing to the model’s channel, watching extra of the model’s movies, or sharing their movies.