TikTok vs. YouTube: Watch Time Favors Big T

In the ongoing TikTok vs. YouTube battle, short apparently beats long in the watch time game.

According to an App Annie analysis, TikTok now beats YouTube in terms of Android watch time in the US and the UK.

  • TikTok users in the US watch an average of 24 hours of content per month. In comparison, US YouTube users, on the other hand, watched 22 hours and 40 minutes.
  • TikTok users in the UK watched an average of 26 hours of video per month. On YouTube, that figure was only (“only”) 16 hours.

Limitations of this report

This report only looked at Android users. We haven’t seen the iOS data yet, but we would expect it to be similar.

TikTok heating up as a marketer’s go-to social platform

If you’ve been wondering why every major social media platform is trying to imitate TikTok, here’s your answer: attention

YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels are copycats of the short-form popularized by TikTok.

This study backs this up with hard numbers.

But it also depends on how the idea is modeled.

Quibi, for example, failed.

Pick your battles carefully

While TikTok has more watch time than YouTube, YouTube has three times the number of viewers.

Furthermore, if you do Shorts, YouTube is very generous with organic reach.

TikTok is more hit-or-miss, though accounts with low followers can go viral, which is much harder to do on YouTube.

Our advice for marketers

Consider all of these factors before deciding on which social network to focus on.

YouTube tends to have a more “serious” audience depending on the niche, so it might be easier selling something like medical equipment on YouTube. That would be almost impossible on TikTok.

For products that are fun and entertaining and more geared toward a Gen Z audience, TikTok should be a better bet.

Like any platform, there is some level of overlap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *