YouTube dominates youth video streaming, new figures from Ofcom reveal.
Watching videos online has become an increasingly popular pastime in the UK, as internet connectivity to mobile devices improves at the same time as publishers, broadcasters and VOD services ramp up their production of everything from TV shows and movies to sketches and clips. Stats from the ONS show that 2016, the proportion of adults who watched videos on demand from commercial services (for example, Netflix) has risen by 17 percentage points, from 29% to 46%.
While people watching videos online, and doing so on the go, is no surprise, Ofcom’s latest data highlights the striking extent to which YouTube rules the roost.
The majority of adults now watch videos on YouTube or similar, with that number rising from 47% in 2016 to 62% in 2018. The site is facing growing competition from social networks such as Facebook and Instagram, while Netflix is also increasingly commissioning and snapping up short-form documentaries and series.
YouTube, though, is comfortably ahead of the pack, particularly among the target audience of younger viewers. For the overall population, non-broadcast video comprises less than a third of total viewing (approximately an hour and a half of five hours in total). However, this is markedly different among young adults (16-34), whose consumption of non-broadcast sources is now greater than their broadcast-derived consumption.
Among this demographic, YouTube makes up the highest proportion of non-broadcast viewing. Those between 16 and 34 watch a similar mix of non-broadcast sources as the total population, but the total amount viewed is almost double. They watch SVOD for half an hour a day on average, but the largest chunk is YouTube, which they watch on average for more than an hour a day (59 minutes on devices other than the TV set). On the TV set, even, younger viewers watch an average 19 minutes a day of on-demand content, of which YouTube makes up a “significant proportion”.
The research arrives as a new video platform dedicated entirely to short videos has launched a round of funding. Major Hollywood players haved backed the venture, with $1 billion raised in total. With YouTube already ruling the roost for many young viewers, though, any new contenders will have to cover a long distance to catch up.