Right here’s a enjoyable quantity to consider: in 2019, YouTube dominated 70 p.c of the whole time individuals spent on their telephones watching the highest 5 leisure apps. It’s additionally the one a type of apps (measured amongst Android telephones, which dominate 75 p.c of cellphone utilization worldwide) that isn’t particular to China — an space the place Google doesn’t even function.
The data from AppAnnie’s latest report reveals simply how far forward YouTube is on the cell entrance — the place extra persons are spending their time, particularly youngsters and younger adults. It’s one thing that firms like Netflix, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, and Disney must have in mind as they compete not just for the very best content material, however for individuals’s consideration.
“With YouTube dominating 70 p.c of time spent within the prime 5 streaming apps, the platform proves that it’s nonetheless holding its weight among the many acceleration of recent video streaming platforms — significantly because it was an early pioneer out there,” AppAnnie cell analyst Lexi Sydow wrote in a brand new report.
It’s necessary to acknowledge that YouTube and Netflix do various things. YouTube is a platform for user-generated content material that depends on promoting income and its creator base; Netflix is a subscription service that invests billions of dollars into scripted and unscripted leisure. As extra subscription-based streaming providers (Disney Plus, HBO Max), advertising-based streaming providers (Pluto TV), and free video apps (TikTok) enter the market, competing with one another comes all the way down to who can seize individuals’s consideration essentially the most constantly. Netflix’s competitors isn’t simply with Disney or WarnerMedia, which provide related content material; it’s additionally with Google.
“We do marvel within the fullness of time, ‘Can we be as large as YouTube?’” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings stated in July 2019. “YouTube is seven instances bigger than us, roughly, in viewing hours, and an exceptional service. In fact, it’s free. So the true query is, can we produce sufficient content material that persons are keen to pay for?”
Time spent on YouTube and frequent visits to the positioning enormously outweighed time spent on different in style streaming cell apps — most notably, Netflix — according to an MIT report from 2019. A 2019 report from networking gear agency Sandvine additionally acknowledged that YouTube makes up 37 p.c of all downstream cell web site visitors around the globe. Whereas Netflix noticed development around the globe and infrequently dominated app downloads throughout the leisure house in particular territories (Brazil, South Korea, France, Germany), individuals had been nonetheless spending much less time on streaming providers like Netflix on their cellphone; they had been, nonetheless, rising the period of time they spent on their telephones for apps like TikTok and YouTube.
A part of that has to do with how individuals use YouTube. Its movies are shorter than what’s accessible on Netflix or Hulu, however not as brief as what’s on social apps that embody video content material like TikTok and Instagram. YouTube can be free so the entry barrier is way decrease. Since YouTube depends on content material from its consumer base and sees a whopping 500 hours of content material uploaded each minute, there’s a seemingly unending collection of native movies for individuals in each nation to look at. YouTube can serve its world viewers far quicker and simpler than Netflix can.
There’s one other benefit that YouTube has over Netflix: music streaming. AppAnnie notes that YouTube Music noticed huge development between December 2017 and December 2019. Google CEO Sundar Pichai touted the expansion throughout a latest name with buyers, noting that the service has hit 15 million subscribers. The crossover between YouTube correct and YouTube Music helps preserve individuals in YouTube’s ecosystem, Sydow wrote, and will increase time spent on the platform.
The surge in reputation for different apps, most notably TikTok, nonetheless isn’t hurting YouTube, however it’s placing a small dent in Netflix. TikTok, the social media app created by Chinese language firm ByteDance, noticed three-digit proportion development during the last two years. Most notably, AppAnnie experiences that it most likely performed a consider taking time away from Netflix. Sydow wrote that TikTok’s development signified that “competitors within the video streaming house is heating up not solely by conventional firms launching standalone streaming providers, however from social media firms carving new mobile-first consumption pathways.” Once more, like YouTube, TikTok additionally has the benefit of being free to make use of.
All of this information reiterates that YouTube is a huge within the on-line video house and monopolizes loads of what individuals watch. It additionally, nonetheless, presents an fascinating query about incoming streaming providers like Quibi. Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s streaming app is making an attempt to grasp individuals spending extra time on their telephones to look at issues and cater to cell consumption. Quibi sequence can have a better manufacturing worth than movies on YouTube or TikTok, and they’re going to run anyplace between 4 and 10 minutes, which is way shorter than Netflix and Disney Plus. The aim isn’t to compete with the Netflixes of the world; it’s to serve an viewers in search of transient leisure on their telephones that’s extra conventional than what’s accessible now.
Whether or not it really works will take time to see. What’s evident is that extra persons are watching issues on their telephones than ever earlier than, and there’s going to be intense competitors as extra apps that cater to cell viewing enter the sphere. Netflix and YouTube and Quibi are making various things, however they’re all competing on your consideration, and that’s the place the true conflict exists.