YouTube surpasses Netflix as the most popular video streaming service among teens

Teenagers in the United States say they watch more videos on YouTube than on Netflix, according to a recent survey conducted by investment bank Piper Sandler in partnership with DECA. The survey found that teenagers in the United States now spend more time watching videos on YouTube than on Netflix.

The findings come just a year after YouTube announced it was planning to launch a streaming video service to compete with Netflix, Apple, and others. As we reported back in August 2022, Alphabet-owned YouTube said it was in talks with entertainment companies about participating in the platform, The Wall Street Journal also reported that YouTube hoped the new platform, which was referred to internally as a “channel store,” has been in the works for at least 18 months.

According to the latest survey, teens reported dedicating 29.1% of their daily video-watching time to Google-owned YouTube, surpassing Netflix for the first time, which accounted for 28.7%, CNBC reported. The data illustrates the increasingly competitive landscape of the streaming industry and underscores YouTube’s strong position as a popular provider of free online video, particularly among young audiences.

Piper Sandler analysts wonder whether this shift is due to changing consumption habits, as the content on YouTube has been improving over time, and the streaming industry continues to evolve and intensify competition.

“We wonder if this is a push or a pull in regards to the changing consumption habits, as content on YouTube appears to be improving over time and the streaming industry becomes more and more competitive,” Piper Sandler analysts wrote.

Piper Sandler has been conducting semi-annual surveys of American teenagers since 2001, focusing on their preferred brands, gadgets, snacks, and restaurants. The most recent survey involved over 9,000 teens in the U.S. conducted in September, with an average age of just under 16 years old. This data can be valuable for investors looking to identify trends in the broader economy based on how young people spend their money.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s woes continue as 25% of Netflix subscribers said late last year that they plan to end their subscriptions this year due to price hikes and a high cost of living. A survey of 1,000 Americans about their Netflix habits found that 25 percent said that they planned to leave the streaming service. As of September 2022, Netflox lost about two-thirds of its value. In addition, the company also lost nearly 1.2 million subscribers in the first two-quarters of 202.

Netflix and YouTube emerged as the top platforms for daily video consumption in the survey, with Hulu in third place, holding a share of around 7%. Prime Video and Disney+ gained ground, while teenagers indicated that they were spending less time on cable TV, HBO Max, and Hulu compared to the spring.

It’s worth noting that the Piper Sandler survey did not compare YouTube and Netflix to TikTok, as it categorized the Chinese video-based platform alongside social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat. The survey found that 38% of teens named TikTok as their favorite social media platform, while Instagram led in self-reported monthly usage. The Piper Sandler analysts also noted that teenagers reported spending approximately four and a half hours per day on social media, an increase from previous surveys.


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