What Americans Watch On YouTube - Pew Research
A Pew Research study, published in December 2019 sheds some light on how YouTube videos are taking over the leisure time of viewers in the U.S. Pew researchers studied the most popular videos channels, those having at least 250,000 subscribers during the first week of 2019.
They found YouTube is the most popular social media with three-quarters of U.S. adults watching compared to 69% watching Facebook. But found that 90% of 18 to 24-year olds watch YouTube videos.
There are 44,000 channels with over 250,000 subscribers (but only 17% broadcast in English.) Those 44,000 YouTube channels provided over 48,000 hours of content each week, garnering over 14 billion views weekly, on average, each video is 12 minutes long with 60,000 views the first week.
Of those channels, 10% provided 70% of the video content each week and received 79% of the total views.
18% of the English speaking channels were focused on video games, receiving 34,347 views compared to 11,174 for videos on other topics. Gaming videos were 13 minutes long compared to only 5 minutes for others.
Although only 4% of videos among those popular channels were aimed at children under 13, videos that featured children drew three times more viewers.
81% of parents says they let their 11-year olds and younger watch YouTube. 61% of those who allowed children to watch said they have encountered content they felt was unsuitable for children.
64% of U.S. adults say they at least sometimes encounter videos that seem obviously false or untrue, while 61% say they've sometimes encountered videos that show people engaging in dangerous or troubling behavior.'
Half say they have used videos to figure out how to do things they haven’t done before, and 28% say they get their news from YouTube.
81% say they at least occasionally watch the videos suggested by the platform’s recommendation algorithm.
A surprise found by the Pew researchers was YouTube "recommends progressively longer videos – at least when it lacks information about the viewer needed for more personalized recommendations. After a chain of just four video recommendations, the algorithm was likely to suggest a video more than five minutes longer than the one it originally started on."
Pew Research Study on Americans and YouTube viewing