TikTok overtakes YouTube for viewing time per user on Android devices

'Short-video, authentic content and live streaming,' are keys to TikTok's success says app analytics firm App Annie

In what feels like a sign of the times, a new report from app analytics firm App Annie says that people are spending more time watching content on TikTok than YouTube.

The report states that Tiktok first overtook YouTube in August last year, as users in the US watched more than 24 hours of content per month on TikTok compared to 22 hours and 40 minutes on the video platform.

In the UK, it’s even more stark, with TikTok users watching 26 hours of content a month versus only 16 hours on YouTube. However, it should be noted that the study only includes viewership on Android phones, so it may not be representative of all mobile users.

It’s also interesting to note how the Chinese-owned app has found success with three-minute maximum videos compared to the 10-minute format on YouTube.

However, when it comes to overall time spent – YouTube still ranks superior, but mostly because it has more users. The Google-owned platform has an estimated two billion monthly users compared to TikTok’s 700 million. But this excludes iOS users and users in China where TikTok is called Douyin.

App Annie says that “short-video, authentic content and live streaming” are the reasons why TikTok has found success.

This makes sense considering how YouTube is also attempting to follow that short format with YouTube shorts (videos that are one-minute long) as is Instagram with its Reels, which allow users to create videos that are one minute or shorter.

TikTok launched September 2016 and has one billion monthly active users. It allows for 15, 60 or 180-second clips and has a trending sounds and songs list to help creators stay up-to-date for new content.

Updated: September 9th 2021, 3:29 AM