The biggest video sharing platform worldwide had a banner year in 2020. There are plenty of great wins for YouTube and with the popularity of online platforms higher than ever, there’s no sign of slowing down in 2021.
YouTube was first created in 2005 so it’s had plenty of time to grow into the social media giant we know today. With online video currently replacing so many different in-person events and activities, it’s no surprise that YouTube was able to make some good moves in 2020.
Understanding YouTube’s performance and current statistics will help anyone looking to monetize the platform or increase their viewership tailor their strategy in the most effective way.
Here we’re going to break down 30 of the most relevant YouTube statistics to help you do exactly that. It can be tough to look on multiple sites all over the web to compile your data, so we’re bringing them to you!
Let’s get started.
- 1 YouTube Usage Statistics
- 1.1 1. YouTube is the Second-Most Used Social Media Network
- 1.2 2. 16.4% of YouTube Traffic is from the United States
- 1.3 3. The Second-Most Visited Website Globally is YouTube
- 1.4 4. Over a Billion Hours of YouTube Video is Watched Daily
- 1.5 5. 41% of YouTube Watch Time is Via Mobile
- 1.6 6. Black Lives Matter Videos Had a Surge at the Beginning of June
- 1.7 7. Viewers 18+ Spend an Average of 42 Minutes on YouTube Every Day
- 1.8 8. An Average YouTube Visitor Will View 8.89 Pages Daily
- 1.9 9. More Than 70% of what People Watch is Based on the YouTube Algorithm
- 1.10 10. In 2020, 70% of Users Viewed YouTube in Place of Live Events
- 2 YouTube User Stats
- 2.1 11. YouTube Clocks over 2 Billion Monthly Active Users
- 2.2 12. 80% of Parents in the U.S. Say Their Kids Watch YouTube (11 and Under)
- 2.3 13. About 75% of all Teens and Adults 15+ Watch YouTube in the U.S.
- 2.4 14. 94.5% of Streaming Service Users Watch YouTube
- 2.5 15. Over Half of YouTube Users are Male
- 3 YouTube for Business Statistics
- 3.1 16. Gaming was Popular with Over 100 Billion Hours Watched in 2020
- 3.2 17. Daily Views of Videos Including the Words “Home Office” Increased 210% in March 2020
- 3.3 18. Videos with the word “Beginner” did well— 50% more viewership between March and July 2020
- 3.4 19. About 60% of B2B Decision Makers Use YouTube to Research Purchases
- 3.5 20. In the First 6 Months of 2020, Live Streams Increased by 45%
- 4 YouTube Ad Statistics
- 4.1 21. Targeting by Intent is More Effective Than Targeting by Demographic
- 4.2 22. 70% of Users Bought from a Brand They Saw on YouTube
- 4.3 23. YouTube is Predicted to Earn Almost $5.6 Billion Dollars in Ad Revenue in 2021
- 4.4 24. Year over Year, Channels Earning $10k USD/Year Grew by 50%
- 4.5 25. The Top US YouTube Ad in 2020 was Nike’s “Never Too Far Down | You Can’t Stop Us”
- 5 Fun Facts
- 6 YouTube Statistics: Summary
- 7 YouTube FAQs
YouTube Usage Statistics
These statistics help us understand exactly what type of usage can be seen on YouTube, helping brands, businesses, and influencers gage how much potential they have to gain momentum on the platform.
It can also help understand usage trends that are beneficial to marketers and other users that want to better understand their target audience. Here we’ll share five of the YouTube usage statistics that you need to know.
1. YouTube is the Second-Most Used Social Media Network
YouTube and Facebook have been fighting it out for the top social media network for a while now. Facebook is the most-used social media network with almost 3 billion monthly active users (2.8 billion to be exact).
The second-most used social media network is YouTube, coming in at roughly 2 billion monthly active users. YouTube is popular across the globe and has a strong lead on Instagram, which comes in at number 3 with about a billion monthly active users, and TikTok, which has risen to about 1 billion monthly active users as well.
2. 16.4% of YouTube Traffic is from the United States
The United States is a big consumer of YouTube, but they’re not the only country that uses YouTube widely. In fact, only 16.4% of YouTube’s total traffic is from the United States, roughly.
The U.S. is the largest single source of YouTube visitors, but it’s overall traffic only accounts for a small fraction of all the visits to YouTube on a global scale. The countries that follow the U.S. in highest single YouTube traffic source is India at roughly 9% and Japan at almost 5%.
3. The Second-Most Visited Website Globally is YouTube
YouTube was acquired by Google in 2012, and that makes Google the official placeholder of the first and second-most visited website worldwide. Congrats, Google!
Google itself comes in first as the most-visited website in the world; YouTube follows as the second-most visited website in the world.
The great thing about YouTube is that it’s not only a mobile app, it’s also a website, and it’s website component still gets a lot of visits. It’s not necessary for users to use the mobile app to access YouTube, not even from a cell phone, and features are widely streamlined across both the website and mobile app in terms of functionality.
4. Over a Billion Hours of YouTube Video is Watched Daily
If you thought the world was small, this next statistic may almost change your mind. Over 1 billion hours of YouTube video is watched daily, all around the world. This is a huge number!
It’s very interesting to consider how it could be possible that a billion hours of YouTube video is viewed not monthly, not weekly, but daily. Considering the fact that people view a variety of videos back to back and may leave YouTube playing all day in the background, it’s wholly possible.
You can even listen to 10 hours of traffic sounds if for some reason you’re into that!
5. 41% of YouTube Watch Time is Via Mobile
Even though YouTube is fully functional and optimized for desktop use, it’s equally as good for mobile, and the usage stats show. Since we always have a cell phone in hand, it’s become increasingly easy for apps and websites to pick up traction with mobile use.
That said, YouTube is viewed via mobile 41% of the time, which is a pretty big chunk of their view time. This also hints at why YouTube has a billion hours of video viewed daily; it’s always right in your hand.
6. Black Lives Matter Videos Had a Surge at the Beginning of June
Social Media usage trends have shifted in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic and also due to growing social unrest in the US, and YouTube has reflected those changes. This is a good sign that people are looking toward the future trying to be an active part in the change.
In early June, the video “how to be an ally” increased its view rate by 23%, and almost half of people agree that they look to online videos to help understand diverse cultural issues and new perspectives that they can adopt.
Songs that reflected American turmoil such as “This is America” and “Fight the Police” also had an increase in plays in June, as well as other protest-related songs. It’s clear that a lot can be deducted from the content that people view on social media.
7. Viewers 18+ Spend an Average of 42 Minutes on YouTube Every Day
Another way to explain the billion hours of videos viewed daily is the amount of time that people spend on YouTube every day. The average time spent on the platform for viewers 18+ is 42 minutes, showing that they do hang around for a while and not just check out one video.
One of the best things you can do is put your recommended videos at the end of your content so that people can click and view more of what you have to offer; also, YouTube will automatically recommend videos once a user’s has finished playing, so if a user doesn’t close out the app or navigate away, YouTube will continue to play, perhaps playing more of your content or other related.
8. An Average YouTube Visitor Will View 8.89 Pages Daily
Because users rarely come into YouTube to view only one video, it’s no surprise that the average visitor to YouTube will visit almost 9 pages during their visit. This increases the time viewed and spent on the platform as well as the amount of content that they check out.
This type of usage is how YouTube determines what to recommend people based on their algorithm, making it important to know which kind of patterns your target audience has.
9. More Than 70% of what People Watch is Based on the YouTube Algorithm
Speaking of the YouTube algorithm, most of what people watch on YouTube is because of the way that YouTube recommends videos to their users. YouTube compiles different viewing trends and based on what you like dand what you watch most frequently, YouTube will populate recommended videos and videos that come next. For that reason, about 70% of what people end up viewing on YouTube is due in one way or another to the YouTube algorithm.
This is perhaps one of the most important statistics— you’ve got to find ways to get your videos working in with the YouTube algorithm so that they’ll be recommended to more viewers and expand your reach naturally. Understanding this as well as what your viewers typically view can help you design videos that are likely to perform well against the YouTube algorithm.
10. In 2020, 70% of Users Viewed YouTube in Place of Live Events
As we all know, COVID-19 put a big damper in most live events around the globe. This is not only due to the fact that they couldn’t go out and watch things live, but many artists and creators flocked to YouTube to replace their events and still keep in contact with their fans.
This pushed the boundaries of how people consume entertainment and what different options there are out there to reach your target audience.
YouTube User Stats
Who are YouTube viewers? These statistics will help us have a clear picture of the different types of people that watch YouTube.
11. YouTube Clocks over 2 Billion Monthly Active Users
As we mentioned earlier, YouTube has over 2 billion monthly active users from around the world, beat out only by Facebook’s 2.8 billion. This is 2 billion monthly active users that are logged in.
YouTube doesn’t require users to be logged in when they watch videos, so it’s wholly possible that there are many different users that are unaccounted for. While it’s not for certain, YouTube could easily have more users than Facebook if they were all reported.
12. 80% of Parents in the U.S. Say Their Kids Watch YouTube (11 and Under)
We’ve all seen it and experienced it— kids love YouTube and it can be an easy way to keep your little one distracted and happy. This is confirmed with the information that 80% of parents in the U.S. say that their kids watch YouTube.
Out of those parents, 53% confirm that their child views videos on YouTube daily. Most social media networks require users to be at least 13, but YouTube doesn’t even require users to register, meaning that children can really get the hang of YouTube from a young age.
YouTube is popular among pretty much any age group in the U.S., even with the youngsters!
13. About 75% of all Teens and Adults 15+ Watch YouTube in the U.S.
So, moving on from the youngest viewers, we also have adults and teenagers above 15 years old. 75% of people within this age range are YouTube viewers. There is a bit of a difference throughout the ranges for popularity, which we’ll check out here.
The most popular age range for YouTube is 35 and under, but just by a small amount— Americans ranging from 36-45 use YouTube as well, 76% of them in fact. The number drops a bit, to 70%, for those between 46-55, and 56+ comes in at 67%. As you can see, there is a slight drop as the age ranges increase, but most people have taken a liking to YouTube, at least in the U.S.
This is another thing that differentiates YouTube from other social media platforms; many users on other social media platforms see much less involvement from users in higher age ranges.
14. 94.5% of Streaming Service Users Watch YouTube
Another thing that has become extremely popular is the use of online streaming services to watch TV and movies. There is a correlation between people who use streaming services and people who use YouTube.
94.5% of people who use streaming services on their TV in the U.S. are also YouTube viewers.
In fact, YouTube is the most popular digital video platform in the United States followed by Netflix, coming in at roughly 75%.
A final tidbit is that YouTube’s watch time on TVs increased from prior year over 80%. This may also be due to the fact that more people are using smart TVs and have become used to downloading and using apps on their TV. In addition, TVs have better sound quality and may offer a better user experience than mobile or desktop.
15. Over Half of YouTube Users are Male
Understanding the gender breakdown of YouTube will help you decide on factors related to your target audience. While the difference isn’t huge, male users slightly wedged out female users.
56% of users on YouTube are male, with 44% being female. There is no data available for genders outside of male and female, and even though men took a higher percentage, there is still a huge female presence on YouTube.
YouTube for Business Statistics
Now that we’ve seen some key information about the people using YouTube, let’s take a look at some important statistics that will help you understand some more detailed information about YouTube for business and different ways you can boost your performance.
These stats may help businesses realize what direction they can gear some of their content or how they can target their ads to meet trending content topics.
16. Gaming was Popular with Over 100 Billion Hours Watched in 2020
Gaming remains a popular niche online, with over 912,000 YouTube gaming channels as well as many gamers active on Twitch doing live streams related to gaming and other topics.
On YouTube, 80,000 of the 912k gaming channels have at least 100k subscribers, which means they are hugely popular on the platform. The most viewed video game of 2020 was Minecraft, raking in about 201 billion views.
After Minecraft, Roblox followed with 75 billion views, and Garena Free Fire coming in third with 72 billion views.
17. Daily Views of Videos Including the Words “Home Office” Increased 210% in March 2020
Many people found the need to seek out information about home offices, and videos with a title that included the phrase “home office” were up a whopping 210%! This is a big deal— offering people content that is trending and that they are seeking out can have a big impact on your YouTube efforts.
What’s more, videos including the phrase “at home” were also up by a staggering 700% in March as well. Including buzzwords like “quarantine” and “routine” racked in a huge number of views in March, reaching the 10.5 million views mark.
This just goes to show how important it is to take action quickly when something comes out as trending and when people are looking for videos on these topics and want to view them.
If you can get out content quickly that falls within the viral or trending topics, you’ll be likely to see a spike in your video views, ultimately helping with your performance against the YouTube algorithm.
18. Videos with the word “Beginner” did well— 50% more viewership between March and July 2020
With so many people being in mandatory quarantine and having a lot more time to do different things, there was a huge surge in videos that included the word “beginner” in the title, and these vidos performed very well between March and July of 2020.
In fact, videos including this word reached over 9 billion views globally. The purpose varied from country to country, with 66% of people in Germany picking up a new hobby and 94% of people in India learning how to do things themselves. Overall, India was right on the money, as 82% of people around the world had the same idea.
Here are some of the things people were focused on learning:
- Beauty Tutorials: 50% increase.
- Bike maintenance and/or repair: 90% increase.
- Gardening: 6 million views over the March-July period.
- Self-care: an increase of 215% in daily uploads related to self-care, showing people’s desire to be at peace.
- Haircuts: some people really needed a haircut, and they picked up the scissors. themselves, with huge spikes in videos about how to do an at-home haircut.
- Guitar: people wanted to enhance their guitar skills from March to the end of April, bringing in 160 million views on the topic.
- Raising chickens: yep, a big increase in people raising chickens, or at least wanting to share it! Views of videos with this in the title increased by 160%.
- Bread: another big thing of the pandemic was baking your own bread, especially sourdough. Can’t blame people, especially since many grocery stores were sold out! Daily views about baking sourdough bread increased 458%. Huge! Bubble tea recipe videos also increased by about half that much, 200%.
19. About 60% of B2B Decision Makers Use YouTube to Research Purchases
For marketing to other businesses, YouTube is perhaps your best avenue for getting your ads out there in a big way; YouTube is the top-used platform for B2B decision makers before making purchases.
That means all the people (or most, at least) are checking out YouTube looking for the best info and guide to make their choices, which holds a lot of weight. Facebook came in with 48.5% of decision-makers using it, and LinkedIn with only 33%.
A cross-platform marketing effort would cover all of your bases, but YouTube has the biggest chunk of all three.
20. In the First 6 Months of 2020, Live Streams Increased by 45%
As we know, 70% of users relied on YouTube to bring them live events, which means that creators and output of live streams was up, by 45% to be specific.
Live streams have a different way to reach your audience and can be quite the event— finding a way to implement them in your strategy can be a valuable way to reach more people and further your efforts.
YouTube Ad Statistics
Finally, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of how ads played out on YouTube helping you to hone in on the right strategy for your YouTube.
21. Targeting by Intent is More Effective Than Targeting by Demographic
It’s much more effective, actually, with a 100% higher lift in purchase intent. This is a big deal because traditionally it was thought that targeting by demographic would be more productive, connecting to a target audience.
When you target by intent, however, you reach people at their core of needs and that is an even stronger connection; this shows through the 32% higher lift in ad recall. In fact, even combining demographics and intent only was slightly more effective.
Intent targeting is the way to go.
22. 70% of Users Bought from a Brand They Saw on YouTube
That’s a pretty big number, and this comes from a study that was done by Talkshoppe in February of 2020.
2,000 users were studied ranging from 18-64. 70% of those users bought from a brand they saw on YouTube. This is quite impressive, and researching with a larger sample would be great to see if this is true across a larger audience.
Even still, it’s worth noting and perhaps has larger implications that YouTube has big influence, especially in terms of product demos, tours, and more in-depth analysis of different products and brands.
23. YouTube is Predicted to Earn Almost $5.6 Billion Dollars in Ad Revenue in 2021
Yes, you read that right. $5.6 billion, and that’s in the U.S. only. This is 1.5b more than YouTube made in 2020, which is a hefty projection. This is due to the fact that there are more ads being purchased in a variety of different formats.
One of the most popular campaign types, TrueView for Action, allows users to create compelling calls-to-actions (CTAs), boosting leads and conversions. This new ad type increased 260% in 2020 alone.
YouTube is projected to make almost 7 billion in net revenue for ads by 2022.
24. Year over Year, Channels Earning $10k USD/Year Grew by 50%
This isn’t necessarily just from ad revenue; it likely includes other types of YouTube monetization, but the amount of channels breaking the 10k mark is pretty interesting. This growth is indicated year over year, but the specific year isn’t indicated.
Over that same year period, channels earning $100k USD/year increased by 40%, which is even more astounding. If you can find your rhythm and hit it big on YouTube, there is definitely potential to generate some income on the platform.
25. The Top US YouTube Ad in 2020 was Nike’s “Never Too Far Down | You Can’t Stop Us”
So, which ad came out on top? Nike’s “Never Too Far Down | You Can’t Stop Us” was the top ad. The top ad isn’t necessarily based on views; it’s based on the following three factors:
- Organic and paid views
- Watch time
- Audience retention
Now that we’ve reviewed some of the most important YouTube statistics, we’re going to dive into 5 fun facts that do still offer quite a bit of insight into YouTube and it’s unique platform.
26. Google Acquired YouTube for $1.65 Billion
YouTube was created by 3 former PayPal employees in 2005, and YouTube remained in their hands until it was eventually bought by Google in 2016.
Google paid $1.65 billion to acquire YouTube, and still remains in control of it today. YouTube had a revenue listed at $15 billion as of 2019.
27. Six Figure YouTube Channels Also Grow by 40% YOY
As mentioned above, the amount of creators making over 100k have consistently grown, and that means that it’s official— six figure YouTube channels are a thing, and the people in charge of them keep multiplying.
28. The First YouTube Video Was Posted in 2005
The video was 19 seconds long and it was titled “Me at the zoo,” posted by one of YouTube’s creators, Jawed Karim, on April 23rd, 2005.
YouTube was founded February 14th, 2005 in San Mateo, CA.
29. There are over 37 Million YouTube Channels
This figure comes from 2020, and it grew 23% over prior year, showing that YouTube continues to be popular and more and more users are deciding to register and create their own channel.
500 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube per minute, so things show no sign of slowing down!
30. 37% of Mobile Internet Traffic Belongs to YouTube
This comes from 2019, and since data is measured by MB, this may be a reason why YouTube has such a staggering lead over other platforms like Facebook, with only 8.4% of web traffic.
Netflix has the most internet traffic overall, but on mobile, not so much, at only 2.4% via mobile in 2019. An updated version of this would be interesting to see.
YouTube Statistics: Summary
Alright, there you have it! A rundown of all top YouTube Stats. At a glance, here are the most striking or important:
- YouTube has over 2 billion monthly users
- It’s the second most popular website
- 41% of YouTube watch time is via mobile
- Over 1 billion hours of video is watched daily on YouTube
- The average user spends 42 minutes viewing YouTube
- Users check out about 9 pages when using the app
- There are more men on YouTube than women
- The US accounts for 16.4% of YouTube viewership
- Ad success is calculated by organic and paid views, watch time, and audience retention
- 80% of U.S. parents say their kids watch YouTube
- There are over 37 million YouTube channels
Let’s examine 5 of the top FAQs about YouTube as we head on out the door.
1. Why is YouTube so Popular?
This question is frequently asked, albeit very relative. Here are some of the reasons why we think YouTube has gained so much traction:
- Huge global reach
- Easy to share videos
- Not required to sign up in order to use
- Easy to use on mobile, desktop, web browsers, and TVs
- Potential to make money
- Ability to share unique and longer content
YouTube has been popular pretty much from the get go; they were founded in February 2005 and saw their first video with a million views in October of 2005, making the huge power that YouTube has in marketing and viral sharing very clear.
2. Who Owns YouTube?
YouTube is owned by Google, who bought the company in 2012 for $1.65 billion USD.
3. What’s the Most-Watched Video on YouTube?
Curious minds out there may be wondering, what video is the most watched on YouTube, and how many views does it have? Well, here we have answers!
The most-watched video on YouTube is “Baby Shark Dance,” with 8.17 billion views. This goes to show the power of a viral video! It was initially uploaded in 2016, but became popular in 2017 building up through 2020.
The remaining top 4 are:
- “Despacito”: 7.25 billion
- “Shape of You”: 5.22 billion
- “See You Again”: 5.01 billion
- “Johny Johny Yes Papa”: 4..98 billion
#5 spot is interesting because it just confirms how many kids are actually viewing YouTube— this is a video uploaded by LooLoo Kids in 2016! “Baby Shark” was also intended for kids, but once it went viral, it really spiked up for all audiences and people started doing challenges using the song.
4. Can I Make Money on YouTube?
As we can see from the above statistics, you absolutely can make money on YouTube. In fact, when YouTube began doing advertising and monetary offerings, the platform really began to take off and launched it to what it has become today.
There are a few different ways to make money on YouTube:
- Monetize your video viewership
- Become an affiliate and review products
- Become an influencer and get sponsored by brands
- Sell branded merchandise
- Sell online courses or information
- Start a paid membership program
All of these options can help you earn some money on YouTube. YouTube also has a monetization program, YPP (YouTube Partner Program), which you can activate on your account.
You have to be eligible, and you must:
- Have 1,000 subscribers
- 4,000 watch hours
Both of those should be completed over the past 12 years, which is why it can be tough to get things rolling without another option from the list above. You’ll eventually be able to become part of the YPP, but having additional income from other endeavors will only ultimately help you make more money.
5. How Can I Get More YouTube Viewers?
One of the biggest factors in making money on YouTube is having a lot of video views. It’s important to keep your viewership up so that you can not only sell any products or services that you may be selling, but also so that you can reach the thresholds for earning income on YouTube.
Some things you can do to increase your YouTube video views include:
- Create unique and interesting content
- Optimize your video thumbnail
- Add a watermark to your videos
- Use embedded links on your videos
- Use a YouTube growth service like SidesMedia or UseViral
- Promote your YouTube videos on other social channels
- Encourage viewers to subscribe
- Create playlists
- Use end screens to encourage more views
A combination of the action items above will help you to start bringing in more YouTube views. Always ensure that you have an attractive video thumbnail so that people are drawn to your video and also use titles that are optimized for YouTube searches.