Not sure if YouTube Advertising is the right advertising channel for you?
With video content on the rise, YouTube has seen record-breaking numbers that prove the power behind this marketing channel. But is there a reasonably high ROI in it for your brand? Is it worth the investment to create a video ad and start running it?
To find out, it’s important to have a clear picture of who is using YouTube, and what kind of content they’re consuming. The YouTube ad statistics provide powerful insights into the might of this platform, and will clue you in on how you can use it to grow your brand in 2020.
Who Uses YouTube?
How wide is the swath of users on YouTube? To find out, we pulled some statistics on the users. The numbers here may surprise you.
More Adults Use YouTube Than Facebook
Seventy-three percent of American adults use YouTube, topping Facebook users by 4%, and nearly doubling Instagram’s adult user base.
YouTube Isn’t Just for Young People
A surprising number of older adults and seniors consume video content on YouTube:
- 71% of people ages 26-35
- 67% of people ages 36-45
- 66% of people ages 46-55
- 58% of people ages 56 and older
YouTube Is the Most Popular Platform In America
Topping Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and, well, everything, YouTube has more users than any other platform in the US.
Most Men Use YouTube
Seventy-eight percent of American men watch video content on YouTube.
Women Use YouTube Slightly Less Than Men
The numbers are still strong, though. Sixty-eight percent of adult American women consume content on YouTube.
Most Young Adults Use YouTube
A whopping 81% of Americans ages 15-25 years old watch videos on YouTube.
YouTube Reaches More Americans Than Every Cable TV Network Combined
For American consumers ages 18-49 years old, YouTube widely outpaces cable TV for video content consumption.
Americans Use YouTube More Than Anyone Else In the World
Fifteen percent of YouTube’s traffic comes from America, with India landing in second place at 8.1%, and Japan coming in third, at 4.6%.
Most of YouTube’s Popular Content Isn’t In English
Interestingly, despite the US making up the majority of YouTube users, only 33% of the content from some of the most popular channels on YouTube is in English.
What People Watch on YouTube
The types of content that most viewers on YouTube consume might surprise you. These data points prove a powerful concept in marketing: that content informs the earliest phases of the buyer decision process.
The YouTube Algorithm Influences 70% of What People Watch
This is a crazy one. As it turns out, most of what people watch on YouTube is heavily influenced by YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. In a Pew study, 81% of people said they watched things recommended by YouTube.
Most Popular Videos Come from the Same Small Percentage of Creators
According to Pew Research, 79% of views on YouTube are on just 10% of the channels, suggesting that most of the popular content on YouTube is created by a very small portion of channels.
Viewers Don’t Care About Famous Actors
Data straight from YouTube shows that the relevance of content to a viewer’s interest is 3x more influential than content featuring celebrities. The moral of the story? You don’t have to pay a famous actor or influencer to get the views.
Influencer Content Dominates the Beauty Sector
About 60% of views of beauty content on YouTube are on influencer content, while 39% goes to brand content, and just 1% to publishers.
Relevant Content Performs Better Than Swanky Content
Here’s the really great news: production values aren’t the end all be all for YouTube viewers. It turns out, interesting content is on average 1.6 times more important than production values to viewers.
More People Than Ever Use YouTube for Product Research
Between 2017 and 2018, views for product review content doubled, implying users being a purchase decision with product research on YouTube.
Most Shoppers Use YouTube at the Beginning of Their Shopping Process
The data supports YouTube’s use as a consumer product research tool. Eighty percent of users say they use YouTube’s product content early in the buying process.
Viewer Engagement Has Increased by 70% On YouTube
This means that viewers are no longer just quietly watching — they’re connecting with creators, commenting on their content, and engaging.
Most Viewers Watch YouTube On Mobile Devices
As is the case for most web traffic, YouTube users on average spend 70% or more of their viewing time using the platform on a mobile device.
Streaming Onto TVs is YouTube’s Fastest Growing Screen Segment
Smart TVs, Roku players, and similar devices now make up over 250 million hours of watch time per day on YouTube. Watching YouTube from a TV screen has increased by over 39% in the last year alone.
YouTube Is Second Only to Netflix for Video Streaming
For Americans ages 18-34 years old, YouTube is the most popular video streaming platform with ads, and is second only to Netflix in video streaming as a whole.
How Ads Are Performing On YouTube
How buyers consume content ultimately impacts what kinds of advertising they respond to. Predictions indicate that by 2022, 82% of global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads.
Increasing Video Consumption is Driving YouTube Ads Revenue
With YouTube on track this year to make a record-breaking $5.5 billion in net revenue from advertising alone, the case for YouTube ads has never been stronger.
Growth Compounds Growth On YouTube
According to YouTube, channels that make $10,000 or more per year grow 50% year over year.
Google Preferred Ads On YouTube Increase Purchase Intent By 53%
YouTube’s role as a product research platform may have something to do with this. YouTube reports that their premium ad offering, which targets the top 5% of channels on the platform, is dramatically effective at producing buyers.
They Also Improve Ad Recall By 112%
Even more dramatic is the impact these ads have on ad recall for YouTube advertisers. YouTube’s Google Preferred ad campaigns improve ad recall for views by as much as 112%.
YouTube Is the Third-Best Influencer Marketing Platform
Tailing behind Instagram and Instagram stories, YouTube as an influencer marketing platform will be a force to be reckoned with in 2020.
Most Shoppers Have Discovered a Brand Through YouTube
In a powerful study, Think With Google reported that 90% of shoppers surveyed said they had discovered a new brand through YouTube.
Marketers Say YouTube Is the Most Effective Video Advertising Platform
Most marketers will tell you that YouTube is the most effective advertising platform, with a staggering 78.8% of them saying it trumps even Facebook.
Viewer’s Prefer TrueView Ads Over In-Stream
Eight out of 10 YouTube viewers say they prefer skippable TrueView ads over ads that interrupt their streaming.
YouTube Ad Statistics to Fuel Your Strategy
YouTube advertising is a powerful way to engage new buyers with your brand. If your company isn’t getting in front of buyers on this platform, it’s time to start now.
As video consumption data points continue to indicate large-scale growth in video consumption, it’s going to be up to brands to get out there and be seen.
Is your team ready?
Ellen is the founder at Tuff and one of the team’s core growth marketers. She is a versatile marketer with expertise in multiple channels – from ppc to seo to email to others – responsible for the experiments and testing. She is happiest when she’s on the ski hill or outside pointing her mountain bike downhill.