YouTube Statistics: Channels, Viewership, Popularity

Posted by Darko Radić
youtube statistics

What started with a young man’s visit to the zoo and his infatuation with elephants grew into a leading video-sharing platform on the planet and the second largest search engine.

Nowadays, YouTube is the king of video, playing an essential role in the global marketing industry. Therefore, learning more about YouTube SEO or relevant statistics is a must for marketers and SEO specialists.

So, let’s dive into YouTube’s colorful world through numbers and facts.

Top YouTube Statistics | Editor’s Choice

  • 81% of adults in the US use YouTube.
  • In 2020, YouTube Premium hit 30 million subscribers.
  • YouTube had a 49% growth rate in the first quarter of 2021.
  • 70% of watch time on YouTube comes from smartphones and tablets.
  • Globally, YouTube has around 2.24 billion users.
  • 23% of adults in the US regularly use YouTube as a news source.
  • 51% of YouTube users visit the site daily.
  • YouTube creators upload approximately 30,000 hours of video per hour.
  • The average YouTuber makes around $18 per 1,000 views.
  • The most viewed video on YouTube has more than 9 billion views.
  • YouTube ad revenue per view is between $0.05 and $0.10.

YouTube Statistics: Company Revenue, Growth, and More

Most of us think of YouTube as a massive company, but many underestimate the size of this global corporation. So, to paint a clearer picture, let’s check the latest statistics related to YouTube’s revenue, growth, and other financial aspects.

1. In 2020, YouTube generated $19.77 billion in advertising revenue.

Acquired by Google in October 2006 for $1.65 billion, YouTube quickly started breaking records. Over the years, the membership base and revenue have grown exponentially.

For instance, YouTube revenue stats for 2020 revealed that YouTube almost hit the $20-billion mark. Therefore, it’s more than evident that YouTube shows no signs of stopping. The future looks bright for this California-based enterprise.

2. 81% of US adults use YouTube.

As expected, YouTube was among the winners of the pandemic in the social media market. Because of quarantines, lockdowns, and travel restrictions, many turned to YouTube for entertainment.

According to YouTube usage statistics, the US user base grew from 73% in 2019 to 81% in 2021. According to experts, such growth could lead to $30 billion in revenue for this fiscal year.

3. YouTube Premium hit 30 million subscribers in 2020.

After YouTube launched its premium service in 2014, the reception was disappointing. Moreover, YouTube Red attracted less than 10 million users before YouTube relaunched it as YouTube Premium in May 2018.

So, as the number of YouTube users is growing, more and more people are opting to subscribe to the ad-free service.

4. YouTube’s number of users in America could grow to 228.1 million by 2024.

In 2020, 214.9 million Americans watched videos on YouTube, an audience corresponding to 74.2% of internet users in the United States.

As a result, YouTube’s net advertising revenue could grow by 17.8% year over year and reach $6.87 billion by 2022. That’s why SEO specialists should analyze the latest video marketing statistics and reap the benefits of YouTube’s massive reach.

youtube ad revenue

5. According to YouTube statistics, the company generates 90% of revenue from ad sales and 10% from subscription services.

Despite the benefit of the uninterrupted viewing experience, YouTube Premium users account for around 1% of YouTube’s active user base.

Thus, YouTube ads generate the most profit, even though YouTube shares the spoils with content publishers.

6. YouTube’s estimated worth was around $170 billion in 2020.

We’ve already mentioned that Google paid “only” $1.65 billion for YouTube 15 years ago. In the meantime, the video-sharing platform has generated over a 10,000% ROI, with the current value exceeding $170 billion.

So, it’s clear that the impressive YouTube growth rate justified the investment. In addition, the adoption of mobile devices and the rise of social media further improved YouTube’s positioning.

7. In the first quarter of 2021, YouTube had a 49% growth rate.

Alphabet, YouTube’s parent company, reported that the video platform generated $6.01 billion in advertising revenue during the first quarter of 2021. In comparison, YouTube’s revenue in Q1 2020 was $4 billion.

As a result, YouTube growth statistics reveal that the company has twice the growth of Netflix, which reported a 24% increase in revenue in Q1. Nonetheless, the two giants remain locked in a battle for every viewer and subscriber.

8. In 2018, the average length of YouTube videos was 11.7 minutes.

Finding the perfect length for a YouTube video is one of the marketers’ essential tasks. But, of course, various categories require different lengths.

For instance, statistics showed that the average YouTube video length was around 11 to 12 minutes in 2018. However, the average gaming video was 24.7 minutes long, while music videos averaged 6.8 minutes. Likewise, the average length of entertainment videos was 12.9 minutes.

9. 70% of YouTube watch time happens on mobile devices.

Smartphones and tablets have conquered the world, and we use them for various purposes. For example, social media marketing statistics show that mobile devices help us connect and interact with others.

YouTube has also benefited from the worldwide adoption of smartphones and tablets, and most people watch YouTube on mobile devices.

YouTube Demographics: Viewers

These days, it seems like everyone has an account on YouTube. After all, the platform offers almost every type of video content, making it interesting to a global audience. But to learn more about YouTube viewers, we have to look at the demographics and the following statistics.

youtube viewer demographics

10. YouTube has approximately 2.24 billion users.

According to company filings, press materials, traffic data, app downloads, and other data, YouTube’s global user base in 2021 is 2.24 billion.

Also, estimates on YouTube user demographics reveal that the worldwide user base could reach 2.85 billion by 2025. Of course, marketers and advertisers should make the most of this opportunity and use the platform to increase brand awareness and boost visibility.

11. Over 2 billion YouTube monthly users account for one-third of all internet users.

As we said, YouTube’s massive popularity provides marketers and content creators with an excellent opportunity to connect with viewers. According to YouTube viewership stats, YouTube users watch more than a billion hours of video every day. Plus, localized versions of the platform are available in over 100 countries across 80 languages.

12. According to YouTube viewer demographics, an equal percentage of male and female internet users in the US used YouTube in Q3 of 2020.

Since 72% of male and 72% of female internet users visited YouTube in Q3 of 2020, it’s clear that both genders in the US find YouTube equally appealing. They visited YouTube in search of entertainment and education, given that the pandemic limited everyone’s options.

When it comes to regular users, YouTube statistics from the third quarter of 2020 revealed that 62% of US users accessed YouTube several times per day.

13. 23% of US adults regularly get news from YouTube.

Finding a reliable news source in today’s world is easier said than done. For example, 36% of Americans get news from Facebook regularly. Yet, YouTube also serves as a source, with a fifth of adults using it to see what’s happening in the world.

Admittedly, older demographics of YouTube users are more inclined toward using YouTube as a news source. But, of course, they use other social media platforms as well, such as Twitter (15%), Instagram (11%), and Reddit (6%).

14. One in three baby boomers uses YouTube to learn about products or services.

As we all know, YouTube offers videos on almost any topic. Although funny cat videos will never go out of style, the older population primarily uses YouTube as a source of information. For instance, the most popular channels are Star News, Fox News, and WatchMojo.

Nevertheless, YouTube age demographics also reveal that 68% of baby boomers watch YouTube videos for entertainment.

15. 51% of YouTube users visit the site daily.

Over the years, YouTube has become so intertwined with our lives that we can’t imagine living without it. After all, more than half of YouTube users watch videos every day, which is a massive opportunity for marketers looking to improve their lead generation statistics. In 2018, around 45% of YouTube users visited the platform daily.

16. According to YouTube user demographics, 77% of internet users in the United States aged 15‒25 accessed YouTube in Q3 of 2020.

The outbreak of COVID-19 affected everyone’s lives, but younger generations quickly adapted to the “new normal” by using online services for communication and entertainment. So, it’s not surprising to see that a significant number of American internet users visited YouTube in the third quarter of 2020. On the other hand, 67% of users aged 56 and over accessed YouTube in the same period.

YouTube Channel Statistics: Creators

YouTube is a free video-sharing platform, and almost anyone can contribute to the massive selection of YouTube videos.

But do you know how many YouTube content creators exist or how much content they upload? If not, here’s an opportunity to learn more about YouTube channels and video makers.

youtube channels and creators statstics

17. YouTube creators upload approximately 30,000 hours of video per hour.

Admittedly, not every video on YouTube will have the best lighting or the highest sound quality. Even so, content creation never stops since consumers’ demand is growing as well.

For instance, one of the amazing facts about YouTube is that users upload more than 500 hours of video every minute. Moreover, the number of uploaded videos per minute increased by 40% between 2014 and 2019.

18. Overall, YouTube users create and post at least one video per second.

Whether for fun or profit, people worldwide post videos on YouTube all the time. As a result, the platform offers everything from funny cat videos to SEO courses and explanations on using a rank tracker to improve position in SERPs.

Consequently, YouTube statistics show that the global YouTube audience watches more than a billion hours of video per day.

19. Children under the age of 13 aren’t allowed to create YouTube channels or accounts.

Despite our ever-growing hunger for content, there are limits to who can post on YouTube and what type of video the platform supports. For instance, children can’t upload videos. Instead, they can only listen to music and watch their favorite cartoons, especially via YouTube Kids.

Speaking of YouTube channel demographics, we should also mention that teenagers between 13 and 17 can only open a YouTube account with parental permission.

20. YouTube creators earned four times more revenue from channel memberships in 2020 than in 2019.

Although YouTube is free, die-hard fans eagerly join membership programs and pay monthly fees to access exclusive content and support their favorite creators. In 2020, many subscribers expressed solidarity, and over 10 million viewers bought their first Paid Digital Good.

Of course, the more members you have, the higher YouTube channel revenue you can expect. In December 2020 alone, more than 100,000 channels earned money from the Paid Digital Goods program on YouTube.

21. The average YouTuber makes around $18 per 1,000 ad views.

If there were a universal, bulletproof formula for succeeding on YouTube, we would all be millionaires. Yet, this video-sharing platform is unpredictable, with dozens of variables affecting the success of your video content.

By monetizing their channels and attracting attention, YouTubers can earn decent profits. After all, the average YouTuber revenue from a thousand ad views is close to $20.

22. YouTube videos with variations of “beginner” in the title have attracted more than 7 billion views since March 2020.

Millions of people worldwide use YouTube as a learning platform, thanks to a vast selection of tutorials and how-to videos. As expected, many people want to start their learning journey from scratch, and that’s why beginner-friendly content attracts so much attention.

Some of the most viewed YouTube channels during the pandemic were educational since many people worked on their skills during lockdowns.

23. The average daily views of beginner-focused videos have increased by more than 50% since March 2020.

As we mentioned earlier, the outbreak of COVID-19 changed the global trends in video consumption. As a result, people went online to look for information, and many soaked up the knowledge from YouTube.

The demand for high-quality content skyrocketed across industries and markets. For example, YouTube channel growth statistics reveal that beauty tutorials attracted 50% more viewers in 2020 than in 2019.

24. 78% of baby boomers agree they still have a lot to learn, and YouTube is their preferred learning platform.

People born between 1946 and 1964 are increasingly adapting to the new world, a culture where social media and mobile devices are almost unavoidable.

Moreover, the majority of baby boomers use smartphones and tablets to learn something new. Consequently, more than two-thirds cite YouTube as their favorite knowledge source.

25. The most-viewed YouTube video currently has around 9 billion views.

Published in June 2016 by Pinkfong, a Korean education brand, “Baby Shark Dance” is the most viewed video on the platform. Plus, several other versions of the song also have billions of views on YouTube.

In February 2021, “Baby Shark Dance” surpassed “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, becoming the most viewed video.

YouTube Advertising: How Much Do YouTube Ads Pay?

For many people, making money is the motivation for uploading videos to YouTube. Yet, the platform rarely makes people millionaires, and marketers know that it’s better to use it as an advertising platform. Here’s why.

26. In the first quarter of 2021, YouTube ads generated $6.01 billion.

According to Alphabets’ latest reports, YouTube’s global advertising revenue grew nearly 50% year over year.

More precisely, the revenue in Q1 2021 grew by 49% compared to Q1 2020, amounting to around $6 billion in the first three months of 2021.

27. Typically, YouTube ad revenue per view is between $0.05 and $0.10.

YouTube advertising costs are lower than the cost of some keywords in PPC campaigns on the Search Network. In some cases, the cost of keywords can go as high as $50 per click or more.

With YouTube advertising, businesses only pay when users engage with the ads. So, with an average view CTR of 0.51%, YouTube is among the best options for cost-effective advertising.

28. When running ad campaigns with Google AdSense and YouTube, the average CPC is around $2.

YouTube monetization rates vary depending on various factors, but the average CPM (cost per mille) falls around $7.50. In essence, this metric shows how much advertisers spend to display ads on YouTube.

Nowadays, YouTube supports several formats of ads, so marketers can choose the ones that work best. In addition, by using YouTube Analytics, advertisers can track video performance.

29. Creators with 5,000 views per month earn between $1 and $20 from AdSense and YouTube.

YouTube ad revenue from running a relatively small YouTube channel will not make you a millionaire. Without a massive fan base, most videos will not attract enough views to provide a satisfying return.

For instance, those same creators with 5,000 monthly views could earn between $170 and $870 selling merch. However, with one million views per month, earnings from AdSense and YouTube could fall between $250 and $4,000.

30. On average, YouTube channels receive $18 per 1,000 ad views.

The average YouTube advertising rate is $0.18 per view, but it varies across industries and types of videos. In any case, the higher the number of ad viewer rates, the better. As a rule of thumb, consistency and creativity are essential for increasing traffic.

Overall, Google pays out 68% of ad revenue. In other words, Google pays publishers $68 for every $100 advertisers pay. However, on average, only 15% of viewers watch 30 seconds of a video, the required length to count ads for payment.

YouTube Statistics | The Takeaway

All things considered, the most popular video-sharing platform is also a bustling marketplace. Millions of companies and organizations use YouTube for marketing, attracting audiences worldwide.

However, making an SEO-optimized video can be easier said than done. That’s why marketers turn to SerpWatch because this app is more than a rank tracker. For instance, it can improve keyword research and make your videos more effective.

In any case, using YouTube is a must in 2021, and this trend will likely continue in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions | FAQ

Who has the most subscribers on YouTube?

The number of subscribers is one of the crucial metrics. Of course, the more people follow your account, the higher the view count. In essence, the number of subscribers corresponds to a brand’s customer base.

According to data from June 2021, the Indian music network T-Series has 187 million subscribers making it the most popular channel on YouTube. In comparison, the second-ranked account, YouTube Movies, has around 138 million subscribers. The famous YouTuber PewDiePie is in fifth place, with 110 million YouTube subscribers.

What is the most viewed video on YouTube?

The number of views determines the earnings from AdSense, and that’s why creators want to have as many views as possible. Namely, the so-called viral videos are every content creator’s dream because they attract the most attention.

For instance, “Baby Shark Dance” is the most viewed video on the platform, with more than 9 billion views. Published in 2016 by a Korean education brand, “Baby Shark Dance” surpassed the previous record-holder, “Despacito,” on February 11, 2021.

How many YouTube channels are there?

Undoubtedly, YouTube is the most popular video-sharing platform on the planet. So, if you want people to see your video, the best place to publish it is YouTube. But, of course, creators need to have an account before uploading content to the platform. As a result, the number of channels on YouTube continues to grow.

According to the latest data, there are over 37 million channels on the platform. On top of that, the same research reveals that the number of YouTube channels increased by 23% in 2020.

How much does YouTube pay per subscriber?

First, we should clarify that YouTube doesn’t pay per subscriber. Instead, the platform pays per view, as long as you meet the criteria. That way, YouTube gives smaller channels a chance to generate revenue by attracting the audience through content.

More precisely, YouTube uses a metric called cost per mille or CPM. In essence, this marketing term indicates the cost per 1,000 views, and the average CPM ranges from $0.20 to $10. Yet, the most common rate is around $1.50–$3 per 1,000 views.

How many users are on YouTube?

YouTube attracts a broad audience, and people can access the platform from more than 100 countries. Likewise, YouTube allows almost everyone to create an account and upload content, as long as they meet the age requirements.

As a result, the latest data shows that the overall YouTube user base exceeds 2.2 billion active members. In other words, more than two billion users visit the platform at least once a month.

How much do you get paid for YouTube views?

Even though many users try as hard as possible to attract more subscribers, they eventually realize that the essential YouTube metrics are views. Arguably, these two elements affect each other, given that a massive fan base should lead to a significant number of views. Yet, YouTube and Google pay per view, not per subscriber.

So, the average rate per view in 2021 is around $18 per 1,000 views. In other words, your YouTube channel, if properly monetized, could generate between $0.01 and $0.03 for an ad view.

How much does an average YouTuber make?

Depending on the number of views and subscribers, YouTube channels can become money-making machines. After all, many YouTubers enjoy a luxurious lifestyle after building a fan base and attracting millions of subscribers.

As a rule of thumb, the average YouTuber with a million subscribers earns around $60,000 a year. But, of course, there are many variables at play, and YouTube celebrities also make money from YouTube indirectly. Namely, most YouTubers also sell merchandise or promote various products and services.

How old do you have to be to have a YouTube account?

Like most websites and platforms in the modern online world, YouTube also imposes certain age restrictions. Needless to say, the primary goal of such limitations is to protect children.

More precisely, YouTube’s policy is that children under 13 can’t create channels or accounts. On the other hand, children between 13 and 17 can only open an account with parental permission. If you’re 18 and older, YouTube will let you create one account per email.

What is the most popular YouTube channel?

A large portion of the YouTube content revolves around music and entertainment. So, it’s not surprising to see that music channels dominate the list of the most popular YouTube channels. However, educational content also attracts attention together with gaming videos.

According to the latest data, the most popular channel on YouTube belongs to T-Series, an Indian music network. Believe it or not, T-Series has more than 187 million subscribers. In comparison, the second most popular channel, YouTube Movies, has “only” 138 million subscribers.

How much data does YouTube use?

YouTube has playback settings that allow you to personalize your streaming experience. You can choose the video quality, change playback speed, watch videos in VR, and more. Consequently, those advanced features require more data, with a full HD video eating up to 1.65GB per hour. On the other hand, the standard 480p video quality requires around 260MB per hour.

Therefore, data consumption depends on the playback quality. The better the video, the more data YouTube will use. For example, 4K video will use as much as 2.7GB per hour. Overall, the global consumption is around 440,000 terabytes of YouTube data every day.

How many videos are uploaded to YouTube every day?

Nowadays, YouTube has a vibrant community, with millions of active content creators. Businesses and individuals post new videos daily, and the uploads come from desktop and mobile devices.

More precisely, content creators worldwide upload around 720,000 hours of video to YouTube daily. In other words, every minute, about 500 hours of content is uploaded to the platform. Of course, the number of uploaded videos should only grow in the future.

What percentage of video views on YouTube come from mobile?

In the last decade, mobile devices have transformed our lives, the way we do daily tasks and spend free time. For example, listening to music and watching videos on mobile devices has become the norm due to the convenience they provide. Also, modern mobile devices can handle the technical requirements of playing high-definition videos.

For that reason, the latest YouTube statistics show that more than 70% of video views on YouTube come from mobile.


Sources: Alphabet, BigCommerce, Business of Apps, CNBC, CNBC, eMarketer, Influencer Marketing Hub, Journalism, Mannhowie, Parentzone, Pew Research, SmallBizTrends, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, Think With Google, Think With Google, Think With Google, TubeFilter, WhistleOut, YouTube, YouTube

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