YouTube claims first-ever lead over Netflix in teen viewership

In brief: YouTube has become the service where teens watch the most videos, replacing Netflix in the number one spot for the first time ever. Both platforms remain hugely popular among younger viewers, but time spent on YouTube has been rising lately as time spent on Netflix slightly declines.

Investment bank Piper Sandler’s 46th semi-annual Generation Z survey of 9,193 US teens (via CNBC) shows that participants spend 29.1% of their daily video consumption time on YouTube. Netflix was a close second at 28.7%. The Google-owned service took its first-ever lead thanks to a small rise since the Spring and Netflix falling by 2 percentage points.

Piper Sandler analysts have theorized whether the change is due to the content on YouTube improving and the streaming industry becoming increasingly competitive.

Hulu was in third place when it comes to teens’ platform of choice for video consumption with a share of 7%, even though the amount of time participants spent watching the service decreased. Prime Video and Disney+, meanwhile, saw their time share increase, while cable TV and HBO Max declined.

While TikTok is essentially a video platform, the survey places the app in the social media category. As with other surveys, ByteDance’s product is the most popular among teens, with 38% choosing it as their favorite social media app. However, Instagram had the highest self-reported monthly usage. Teens said they spend around four and a half hours each day on social media.

A recent study (above) by Common Sense Media and the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found that 11- to 17-year-olds were spending an average of 1 hour and 52 minutes on TikTok each day, accounting for almost 40% of their daily phone use.

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Despite its popularity among the younger demographic, TikTok is constantly making unwanted headlines. Utah recently sued the company over its China connections and claims it manipulates children with its addictive design. Montana has banned the app – though TikTok is appealing the decision in court – and a lot of people support a nationwide ban.