TikTok has overtaken YouTube in terms of average watch time per user in the US and UK, according to a report by analyst firm App Annie. The short video app is considered “turning the streaming and social landscape upside down”. It led the global app market in terms of downloads in the first half of 2021. The growth comes despite the ban on TikTok in India, the largest market for the app. YouTube maintains its leadership position in total time spent on social, communication, photo, video and entertainment apps worldwide.
App Annie’s report found that average viewing time per user in the US on TikTok was nearly nine percent more than on YouTube. However, the gap was much wider in the UK, where the average time spent per user on TikTok was more than 64 percent more than on YouTube, the data shows.
TikTok first surpassed YouTube in the UK in May 2020 and has held the lead ever since. In the US, TikTok and YouTube have been swapping for the top spot since August last year, although the former started to dominate in April this year.
It’s important to note that the average time spent posting data posted by App Annie is based solely on Android users’ usage.
App Annie notes that TikTok’s gains over YouTube “could shake up the rankings in the coming years” as people spend more time on short video content.
TikTok also continued to lead the global app market on both Android and iOS devices in terms of downloads in the first half of the year. But at the same time, YouTube maintained its dominance for the total time spent on Android devices worldwide. Google’s video platform also managed to beat TikTok in consumer spending in the first half of 2021.
App Annie says YouTube is still a leader in the streaming, social, and photo and video space because of its depth and breadth of engagement. The company also says that live streaming is one of the features that is driving the growth of time spent.
Over the past few months, YouTube has been trying to tackle TikTok with the Shorts feature. The company had also announced a Shorts Fund worth $100 million (approximately Rs. 734 crores) in May to “monetize and reward” creators who develop short video content for its platform.
In addition to TikTok and YouTube, Snapchat is quietly expanding its presence in overseas markets, up 45 percent in the past 12 months compared to two years earlier, according to App Annie. Downloads for Snapchat in India were up 190 percent year-on-year for the 12 months ended June.
TikTok alternatives MX TakaTak, Instagram, Josh and Moj were the top four most downloaded apps in the country in the first half of 2021. In contrast, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Truecaller were the five leading apps in India in terms of most time spent by consumers. It was comparable to the data for all of 2020, although Truecaller overtook MX Player to make the list of the top five apps where users spent the most time in the country.
The report also notes that TikTok, Twitch, and Bigo Live were among the top 10 apps in the first half of the world based on consumer spending, thanks to in-app gift mechanisms introduced by these apps. In India, Disney+ Hotstar continued to dominate in consumer spending, followed by Chamet, Tango Live, Truecaller and Zee5.