YouTube Overtakes Netflix in Daily Video Consumption Among U.S. Teens: Piper Sandler Survey

A recent survey by investment bank Piper Sandler has revealed a significant shift in the video consumption habits of American teenagers.

The survey, conducted in September and featuring over 9,000 teens with an average age of just under 16, showcased a change that has raised eyebrows: YouTube has surpassed Netflix in terms of daily video consumption, marking a potential shift in the competitive landscape of the streaming industry.

YouTube’s Rise and Netflix’s Dip

According to the survey results, teenagers polled now spend 29.1% of their daily video consumption time on Google-owned YouTube, surpassing Netflix for the first time, with Netflix coming in at 28.7%. YouTube’s share of time has increased since the spring, gaining nearly a percentage point, while Netflix’s share has dropped by more than two percentage points.

The Competitive Streaming Landscape

This data point signifies that the streaming business is becoming increasingly competitive and underscores YouTube’s robust position as a free provider of online video, particularly among young audiences. The Piper Sandler analysts posit that this change in consumption habits may be a response to content quality improvements on YouTube and the growing competition within the streaming industry.

Piper Sandler’s biannual survey, conducted since 2001, focuses on teenagers’ favorite brands, gadgets, snacks, and restaurants, making it an invaluable resource for spotting trends in the broader economy.

Video Consumption Leaders

In terms of daily video consumption platforms, Netflix and YouTube were the clear leaders. Hulu claimed the third spot, with a share of around 7%. Additionally, Prime Video and Disney+ both increased their timeshare, indicating their growing popularity. The survey also noted a decline in teenagers spending time on cable TV, HBO Max, and Hulu compared to the spring.

A Missing Element: TikTok

It’s important to note that the survey does not compare YouTube and Netflix to TikTok. Instead, it places the Chinese video-based platform in a category alongside social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat.

TikTok Dominates Social Media

The survey revealed that 38% of teens cited TikTok as their favorite social media platform. However, Instagram was the leader in self-reported monthly usage. Teenagers polled in the survey reported spending around four and a half hours per day on social media, marking an increase from previous surveys.

In a world where digital platforms vie for users’ attention, these shifts in video consumption preferences among teenagers offer valuable insights into the evolving landscape of media and entertainment. As YouTube takes the lead in the daily video consumption race among U.S. teens, it’s evident that the streaming industry is in a state of flux, driven by changing consumer preferences and increasing competition.

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