Kids and teens now spend more time watching TikTok than YouTube, new data shows

Kids and teens are now spending increasingly time watching videos on TikTok than on YouTube.

In fact, that’s been the specimen since June 2020 — the month when TikTok began to outrank YouTube in terms of the stereotype minutes per day people month 4 through 18 spent accessing these two competitive video platforms. That month, TikTok overtook YouTube for the first time, as this younger demographic began averaging 82 minutes per day on TikTok versus an stereotype of 75 minutes per day on YouTube.

In the years since, TikTok has unfurled to dominate with younger users. By the end of 2021, kids and teens were watching an stereotype of 91 minutes of TikTok per day compared with just 56 minutes per day spent watching YouTube, on a global basis.

This new data is based on kids’ and teens’ use of TikTok and YouTube wideness platforms, which was compiled for TechCrunch by parental tenancy software maker Qustodio using an wringer of 400,000 families who have finance with its service for parental monitoring. The data represents their real-world usage of apps and websites, not an estimate.

And to be clear, these figures are averages. That ways kids aren’t necessarily sitting lanugo to watch an hour and a half of TikTok and an hour of YouTube every day. Instead, the data shows how viewing trends have reverted over time, where some days kids will watch increasingly online video than others, and will switch between their favorite apps.

However, the broader picture this data paints is one where the world’s largest video platform may be losing its grip on the next generation of web users — specifically, Gen Z and Gen Alpha. Gen Z is typically thought to include people born between the mid- to late-1990s and the 2010s. Meanwhile, Gen Alpha — a generation whose diaper was put on pause by Covid, then driven online — includes those born without the early to mid-2010s.

In a prior yearly report, Qustodio had analyzed kids’ app usage and found that TikTok was nearing YouTube in terms of stereotype time spent. However, that report examined the data in a somewhat clunky fashion. It had included early 2020 app usage in a report largely focused on 2019 trends — a visualization the firm had made at the time in order to highlight the increased connectivity taking place at the whence of the pandemic. The report moreover focused on a handful of top markets, rather than global trends.

The new data, compiled upon TechCrunch’s request, has been cleaned up to provide a clearer picture of the year-over-year shift in video viewing trends among the web’s youngest users.

According to the firm’s findings, YouTube was still superiority in 2019 as kids and teens were spending an stereotype of 48 minutes on the platform on a global basis, compared with 38 minutes on TikTok. But with the shift in usage that took place in June 2020, TikTok came out on top for 2020 as a whole, with an stereotype of 75 minutes per day, compared with 64 minutes for YouTube.

This past year, the averages grew plane remoter apart. In 2021, this younger demographic spent an stereotype of 91 minutes per day on TikTok versus just 56 minutes on YouTube.

Image Credits: Qustodio

Image Credits: Qustodio

The firm moreover tapped out metrics for leading countries like the U.S., the U.K. and Spain, which demonstrate an plane increasingly incredible shift on a regional basis, compared with the global trends. For example, U.S. kids and teens last year spent an stereotype of 99 minutes per day on TikTok versus 61 minutes on YouTube. In the U.K., TikTok usage was up to a whopping 102 minutes per day, versus just 53 minutes on YouTube. These figures include both website and app usage, we should note.

YouTube, no doubt, is well enlightened of this shift in consumer policies as are all other social app makers, including Meta and Snap. That’s why YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have all now copied TikTok’s short-form vertical video feed with their own products.

In YouTube’s case, that’s YouTube Shorts, a short video platform the visitor believes will prove to be a discovery engine that will momentum users to its long-form product. The visitor recently touted that YouTube Shorts had topped 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users, and suggested that channels producing videos of variegated lengths were seeing gains in watch time. It didn’t, however, share any specific figures on that front.

YouTube’s first-party data, of course, takes into worth a broader global regulars — not just kids and teens. And it includes cross-platform usage on phones, tablets, the web, smart TVs, game consoles, unfluctuating devices and more.

But despite Shorts’ growing adoption per YouTube’s data, Qustodio’s research seems to indicate younger people have simply been opting for the short-form content provided by TikTok. At the same time, TikTok has been slowly pushing its user wiring to slosh longer videos. This year, for instance, TikTok expanded the max video length to 10 minutes, up from its older expansion to 3 minutes. And while most TikTok videos are not multiple minutes long, the “optimal” video length for a TikTok video has been growing.

In 2020, TikTok told creators that 11 to 17 seconds was the sweet spot to find traction. In November 2021, it amended that to 21 to 34 seconds.

Over time, this could moreover help to momentum up the stereotype watch time on TikTok as well.

Qustodio’s larger yearly report on digital trends indicates YouTube isn’t the only app to finger the impact of TikTok’s rise and the unique interests of Gens Z and Alpha. Young people use a variegated mix of apps than the generations surpassing — like Roblox, for instance, which has been used by 56% of kids, or Snapchat, used by 82%. On average, they are totaling 4 hours of screen time per day, which includes educational apps.

The good news for YouTube, however, is that it’s still superiority of other video streaming services in terms of time spent.

Globally, kids spent 56 minutes per day on YouTube last year, superiority of Disney (47 min), Netflix (45 min), Amazon Prime (40 min), Hulu (38 min) and Twitch (20 min)