Teens and kids are spending more time on TikTok videos than YouTube
This has been true since June 2020, when TikTok started to surpass YouTube in terms the average time people aged 4-18 spent on these two video platforms. TikTok was able to surpass YouTube in that month. The younger audience began spending an average of 82 minutes per days on TikTok, compared with 75 minutes on YouTube.
TikTok continues to be a dominant platform for younger users in the years that followed. At the end of 2021, teens and kids were watching an average of 91 hours of TikTok per days, compared to just 56 minutes per person watching YouTube.
The new data was created from teens and kids using YouTube and TikTok across platforms. It was compily by Qustodio, a parental control software company.
This analysis included 400,000 families that have an account with Qustodio for parental monitoring. This data is not an estimate, but a real-world measurement of their usage of websites and apps.
Teens: Kids don’t have to watch YouTube and TikTok for an hour every day
These figures are not exact. This means that kids don’t have to spend an hour watching YouTube and TikTok every day. The data instead shows how viewing habits have changed over time. Some days children will watch more online videos than others and switch between their favourite apps.
The larger picture that this data paints shows that the world’s biggest video platform is losing its grip over the next generation of internet users, specifically Gen Z and Gen Alpha.
Typically, Gen Z refers to people born between mid-to late-1990s to the 2010s. Gen Alpha, a generation whose childhood was halted by Covid and then driven online, includes people born after the mid- to late 2010s.
Qustodio had previously analyzed the app usage of kids and found that TikTok was close to YouTube in terms average time spent. The report was a bit clunky and did not include all the data.
The report included app usage data from early 2020 in a report that mainly focused on 2019 trends.
This was a decision made by the firm at the time to highlight the increase in connectivity at the start of the pandemic. It also focused on top markets rather than global trends.
TikTok is now watched by nearly as many children as YouTube in the US, UK, and Spain.
New research on the app habits and usage of kids shows that YouTube is under threat. Kids now spend their time split between YouTube and other apps like TikTok and Netflix. Children aged four to fifteen now watch YouTube videos on average for 85 minutes each day.
Teens: TikTok New data
It has been refined to give a better picture of the year-overyear change in video viewing habits among the youngest web users.
According to the firm’s findings in 2019, YouTube was still ahead of TikTok with kids and teens spending on average 48 minutes per day on YouTube.
However, TikTok was ahead for 2020 due to the shift in usage in June 2020. The average TikTok user spent 75 minutes per day compared to 64 minutes for YouTube.
The averages have gotten even farther apart over the past year. This younger generation spent an average of 91 minutes per days on TikTok, compared to just 56 minutes on YouTube.
The firm also provided metrics for the top countries, such as the U.S., U.K., and Spain. These show a more remarkable shift regionally than the global trends.
The average time spent by U.S. teens on TikTok was 99 minutes per day, compared to 61 minutes on YouTube.
TikTok usage in the U.K. was up to 102 minutes per daily, compared to 53 minutes for YouTube. We should also note that these figures include both app and website usage.
YouTube is aware, as are all social media app developers, Meta and Snap, of this shift in consumer behaviour. YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat all have now copied TikTok’s short-form vertical video feed, along with their own products.
YouTube Shorts is the YouTube video platform
YouTube believes that YouTube Shorts will be a discovery engine which will lead users to its longer-form products.
YouTube recently claimed that YouTube Shorts had reached 1.5 billion monthly users. It also suggested that different length channels were experiencing increases in their watch time. However, it didn’t share any figures.
YouTube’s first party data takes into consideration a wider global audience, not just teens and kids. It also includes cross-platform use on smartphones, tablets, the internet, smart TVs and game consoles as well as connected devices.
Qustodio’s research suggests that younger users have been choosing short-form content from TikTok, despite Shorts’ increasing popularity per YouTube’s data.
TikTok is slowly encouraging its users to watch longer videos. TikTok increased the maximum video length from 3 minutes to 10 minutes in its previous expansion.
While most TikTok videos don’t exceed 10 minutes, the TikTok “optimal” video length has been increasing.
TikTok stated that the best time to get traction was between 11 and 17 seconds in 2020. It amended this to 21-34 seconds in November 2021.
Teens: This could lead to an increase in TikTok’s average watch time over time
Qustodio’s annual report on digital trends shows that YouTube isn’t the only app feeling the effects of TikTok’s rise and the unique interests Gens Z/Alpha.
The apps that young people use are different than those of previous generations. Roblox is used by 56% of children, while Snapchat is used by 82%. They average 4 hours per day on their screens, including educational apps.
YouTube is still ahead of other video streaming sites in terms of time spent.
Last year, YouTube was the most popular platform for kids worldwide. It was follow by Disney+ (47 minutes), Netflix (45min), Amazon Prime (40min), Hulu (38) and Twitch (20 minutes).