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Nielsen Report Reveals YouTube’s Quiet Streaming Dominance

Photo by Azamat via Unsplash

Nielsen Report Reveals YouTube’s Quiet Streaming Dominance

By Movieguide® Contributor

YouTube is not traditionally thought of as being in the same category as Netflix, but a Nielsen report revealed the video platform was the streamer with the most TV usage this January, its twelfth straight month as the No. 1 streaming service.

In January 2024, streaming accounted for 36% of all TV usage, per Nielsen. Within that 36%, 8.6% of all TV usage was spent on YouTube, while 7.9% was spent on Netflix. January marked a full year of this trend, with other streaming services nowhere near these top two.

YouTube’s quiet dominance of the streaming space comes largely from Gen Z preferences, along with its introduction of live sports. According to a recent study, 61% of Gen Z prefers user-generated content above other forms of media. This causes them to turn to social media content, such as videos on YouTube, before they turn to traditional TV shows or movies.

Neal Mohan, YouTube’s CEO, also believes that YouTube’s rise in popularity on TV comes from a desire to have all forms of content in one place.

“When I started at YouTube, people thought about content from major studios and content from creators as entirely different,” Mohan said in a recent letter to the community. “But today that stark divide is gone. Viewers want everything in one place from a live sports game to the BBC to Khan Academy and Nikkie Tutorials. And they’re watching YouTube the way we used to sit down together for traditional TV shows – on the biggest screen in the home with friends and family.”

“Creators are thinking about how to optimize their content for the living room, and it’s easy to see why – it’s where their audience is watching!” he continued. “In the last three years, the number of top creators that received the majority of their watch time on the big screen increased more than 400%… And it might not be what you’d expect, but people like watching [YouTube] Shorts on their TVs!”

This increase in TV usage on the platform has helped YouTube reach an incredible milestone. The platform now averages a watch time of over 1 billion hours daily across all platforms (mobile, TV and desktop).

Despite its crown on TV usage, YouTube remains in a fierce battle with TikTok for mobile supremacy. The two platforms continue to step on each other’s toes as TikTok extends its max video length to 30 minutes while YouTube continues down the Shorts route. Both platforms also continue to cater to kids, perhaps the largest market, as they continue to fight for the top spot.

Movieguide® previously reported:

YouTube is becoming the top spot for children’s educational entertainment, and one skilled mom has demonstrated the power entertainment can have on a child’s cognitive development.

At first, mom and preschool teacher Rachel Griffin-Accurso had no idea what she was doing. “I ordered a green screen from Amazon and Googled ‘how to use a green screen with iMovie,’” Griffin-Accurso said about her first YouTube video. 

Griffin-Accurso, the content creator behind the “Ms. Rachel” YouTube channel, wanted to help her son learn after finding that he was “such a visual learner” and content that stimulated many senses would “really help him.”

“She was a preschool teacher, not a content creator; she used a camera she found in her house, recording herself by setting the camera on a pile of books so it’d be at the right height,” Wired reported.

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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