TikTok overtakes YouTube in terms of average watch time

According to a report from app analytics firm App Annie, TikTok’s users now spend more time each month watching content than YouTube users. In the US, last year, in August, ByteDance’s app first overtook YouTube. In June 2021, TikTok users watched over 24 hours of content per month compared to 22 hours and 40 minutes on YouTube. In the UK, the difference is even starker.

In the UK, TikTok overtook YouTube in May last year and in June 2021, watched around 26 hours of content a month, compared to less than 16 hours on YouTube. Note that as per the data release, only Android viewership has been calculated.

The figures show the extent of TikTok’s meteoric rise over just a few short years. TikTok took over YouTube in 2021 after introducing three minute maximum video length policy. In 2020, TikTok faced continued threats that it would be banned in the US but despite that, it has outperformed Google’s service in the very next year.

Note that YouTube is still ahead in terms of overall time spent. However, this is due to its two billion users compared to TikTok’s roughly 700 million users. Again, excluding iOS users and Douyin in China, YouTube was number one in terms of time spent on Android phones among “Social and Entertainment Apps” in the first half of this year.

On the other hand, TikTok was ranked fifth behind three Facebook apps: Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The report points out users have spent more money on YouTube than TikTok across both iOS and Android worldwide.

App Annie outlined “Short-video, authentic content and live streaming” as the main reasons behind TikTok’s quick success. Considering this, it is not surprising that YouTube is attempting to tame TikTok by launching its own version of short video format, YouTube Shorts. We have to wait and see where this rivalry goes and whether TikTok performs similarly in the next few months.

Maria Janulis
Maria is a Florida-based columnist, working in the Journalism industry for the last five and a half years. She spends most of her time interacting with the like-minded group of people on social media.