According to a survey from app analytics firm App Annie, TikTok users now spend more time each month consuming video than YouTube users. In the United States, ByteDance’s app initially surpassed YouTube in August of last year, with users watching over 24 hours of material each month as of June 2021, compared to 22 hours and 40 minutes on Google’s video platform. In the United Kingdom, the disparity is even more pronounced: TikTok surpassed YouTube in May of last year, and consumers there now watch over 26 hours of material each month, compared to fewer than 16 on YouTube.
However, because the numbers only cover Android phone viewers, they may not be typical of all mobile users. However, limitations aside, they demonstrate TikTok’s stratospheric ascent in only a few short years, and are all the more amazing given that most of its videos are only three minutes long, compared to the ten-minute style favoured by many YouTubers. Not to mention the fact that TikTok was threatened with being banned in the United States for much of 2020, despite tumultuous discussions (Biden formally reversed Trump’s executive orders earlier this year).
According to BBC News, YouTube is still ahead in terms of total time spent, owing to its two billion subscribers vs TikTok’s 700 million. YouTube is still number one in terms of time spent on Android phones among “Social and Entertainment Apps” as of the first half of this year, omitting iOS users and users of the app renamed Douyin in China, with TikTok coming in fifth behind three Facebook apps: Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. According to App Annie’s research, consumers spend more money on YouTube than TikTok on both iOS and Android (excluding Android users in China).
If you’re wondering how TikTok became so popular, App Annie believes it’s because of “short-video, authentic content, and live streaming.” So it’s no surprise that YouTube has launched its own YouTube Shorts to mimic TikTok’s short-form video style.