YouTube dominates TV streaming in U.S., per Nielsen’s latest report

Nielsen today released its January report on viewing usage across linear TV and streaming, which revealed that YouTube is once again the overall top streaming service in the U.S., with 8.6% of viewing on television screens. Netflix, meanwhile, saw 7.9% of TV usage. The new data points to YouTube’s dominance in the TV streaming arena and marks 12 consecutive months of the platform being in the top spot.

In a blog post celebrating the achievement, the Google-owned streaming service announced that viewers now watch a daily average of over 1 billion hours of YouTube content on their televisions, which could indicate that there’s a preference for user-generated videos among U.S. consumers rather than traditional TV shows. Sixty-one percent of Gen Z reported that they favor user-generated content over other content formats.

Plus, creators are seeing an increase in viewership come from TVs. According to the company, the number of top YouTubers that receive the most watch time on TVs has sky-rocketed by more than 400%. HopeScope, a creator who reviews viral products, notably saw a 172% jump in TV watch time in 2023. This could be good news for family-friendly YouTubers who have to compete with TikTok for kids’ attention. Children ages 4 through 18 spent a global average of 112 minutes daily on TikTok in 2023, per a recent study.

Although YouTube may have precedence in the living room, TikTok continues to dominate on mobile devices. The short-form video app recently began testing the ability for TikTokers to upload 30-minute videos, which could step on YouTube’s toes. TikTok also entered the spatial reality space, launching a native app on the Apple Vision Pro. Meanwhile, YouTube decided to not build a dedicated app for the device.

YouTube has reached a few other milestones in recent months, including the 100 million users who pay for YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. Additionally, YouTube TV now has more than 8 million subscribers and YouTube Shorts recently achieved over 70 billion daily views.

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