24 Top YouTube Statistics For 2021: Usage, Demographics, Trends

Less than 2 decades since it was founded, YouTube has gone from a small, niche social platform where creators could share random funny home videos to a bonafide media source in its own right—more popular even than mainstream television.

In this post, we’ve compiled a list of the top YouTube statistics that reveal interesting insights about the state of the video-sharing platform.

We’ll be digging through usage statistics, demographics, trends, and more.

Ready? Let’s get started:

YouTube usage statistics

Let’s start with some statistics that reveal just how popular YouTube is around the world.

1. YouTube viewers watch 1B+ hours of video content every day

01 YouTube views per day

This staggering statistic shows just how much time viewers spend on YouTube each day. Watch time has risen year on year alongside the average video length. The average video on YouTube this year is over 10 minutes long. (YouTube)

2. YouTube has over 2B+ logged-in users each month

02 YouTube logged in users per month

In addition to the users that pass by to watch a video or two, YouTube also has over 2 billion logged-in users each month. On YouTube, you have to be logged in to like, subscribe and comment, so this statistic shows just how engaged the average YouTube viewer is. (YouTube)

3. YouTube is the second most popular website in the world

This is according to a list of top websites published by Alexa Internet. YouTube is beaten only by Google. (Alexa)

YouTube user demographic statistics

Want to learn more about who the most prolific YouTube users are? These statistics provide some insights into which demographics are most interested in YouTube content.

4. Around 15.4% of YouTube’s traffic is from the US

04 YouTube biggest audience is in the US

According to Alexa Internet, the largest percentage of YouTube traffic comes from the US. This is closely followed by India, which makes up 10% of total traffic, and Japan which makes up 5% of total traffic. (Alexa)

5. YouTube’s biggest demographic is under 35s

05 YouTube biggest demographic is under 35s

It’s no surprise that YouTube is most popular with the younger generations. In fact, 77% of US users are between the ages of 15 and 35. However, YouTube’s also extremely popular with older users too. According to Statista, 73% of 35-45-year-olds also use YouTube. (Statista)

6. Almost three-quarters of all adults in the US watch YouTube

Despite YouTube being extremely popular with kids and teens, it’s also a hit with adults. According to Pew Research, almost 75% of US adults watch YouTube, and it’s even more popular than Facebook and Instagram. (eMarketer)

YouTube channel statistics

Here are some statistics relating to the most popular channels and channel categories on YouTube. 

7. T-series is the largest channel on YouTube by subscribers

07 Largest YouTube channel with subscribers

Despite being the center of a subscriber battle with the YouTube superstar PewDiePie, T-series, the Indian music channel finally exceeded PewDiePie’s subscriber count and became the number one most subscribed channel on the platform, with over 170 million subscribers to date. (Statista)

8. PewDiePie has the largest audience of any individual creator

Although he lags behind some corporations like T-series and CoComelon in terms of subscriber count, PewDiePie is the most successful individual creator. He’s well known for making organic gaming and commentary videos and currently has around 110 million subscribers. (Social Blade)

9. Gaming channels are the most popular type of channel

Gaming is one of the most successful industries on YouTube. According to YouTube’s top 10 lists last year, half of the most subscribed channels were gaming channels. Also, half of the ‘breakout creators’ from last year were also gamers. (YouTube)

YouTube video statistics and trends

The statistics below reveal what the best-performing videos are on YouTube and reveal some recent video content trends.

10. Commentaries are the most popular type of YouTube video

10 Commentaries are most popular on YouTube

According to MediaKix, commentary videos like vlogs and conspiracy videos are the most popular type of content on YouTube. They’re followed closely by product reviews and how-to tutorials. (MediaKix)

11. Annual views of yoga videos almost tripled in 1 year

11 Annual views of yoga videos

In 2020, many people turned to yoga and mindfulness as a way of getting through the worldwide pandemic. According to YouTube, yoga video views almost tripled in a single year. (YouTube)

12. Thrifting videos increased 10x between 2017 and 2019

Forget buying your clothes brand new from stores. Thrifting is the new trend, and YouTube demand for thrifting videos shows just how popular the trend is. The number of thrifting channels increased tenfold in just two years. (YouTube

13. Handcam videos are exploding in growth

13 Handcam videos are exploding in growth

YouTube videos that had the word ‘handcam’ in the title reached over 1 billion last year, up by millions compared to the year prior. Handcam videos are a specific type of mobile gaming video in which the creator points the camera at their hands, and reflects the wider trend of the growth of mobile gaming viewership on YouTube. (YouTube)

14. Top trending videos are now 9.5X longer

There’s been a clear shift towards longer-form videos on YouTube over the last decade or so. In 2019, the average video was 9.5X longer than in 2010. Longer videos increase watch time and allow creators to fit more ads into a single video, thus generating more revenue. (YouTube)

15. Time spent watching YouTube on TVs in the US has risen 80% year over year

15 Time spent watching YouTube

Another clear trend we’ve seen over the last year or so has been a marked increase in watch time on CTV screens. TVs have been taking a huge chunk of watch time away from mobile devices for a number of years now, but when the pandemic hit and more of us spent time at home in front of our TVs, this shift became even more apparent. (eMarketer)

16. YouTube livestreams increased by 45% in the first half of 2020

National lockdowns last year meant live events all across were canceled, so it’s not all that surprising that digital streams of live events would surge in their absence. Livestreams are popular with viewers who like to feel connected to something greater than themselves and recreate the atmosphere of a live event from the comfort of their own homes. (YouTube)

YouTube marketing statistics

If you’re interested in learning more about YouTube for business, check out these YouTube video marketing statistics.

17. Around 63% of businesses post their video content to YouTube

17 Businesses publish on YouTube

This makes it the second most popular video content distribution channel for businesses, following just behind Facebook. (Buffer)

18. 90% of YouTube users have discovered new brands/products on the platform

This is according to a 2019 post from Think with Google. Video content is one of the most powerful ways to showcase your products in action, so it’s no surprise that so many people use it to discover new products. 

19. YouTube ad targeting by consumer intent outperforms targeting by demographic data

19 YouTube ad targeting by consumer intent

Effective, data-driven targeting is the key to successful ad campaigns. And as this stat shows, you’re better off targeting by consumer intent on YouTube than by demographics. Doing so leads to a 100% higher lift in purchase intent and a 32% higher lift in ad recall. (Think with Google)

20. YouTube US net ad revenues will reach over 6.8B by 2022

That reflects an estimated year-over-year growth of around 17.8%. If you add that figure to revenues from other countries around the world, it’s likely that the total global net YouTube ad revenues will be in the tens of billions. (eMarketer)

YouTube financial statistics

One of the most common questions about YouTube relates to how much creators can earn on the platform. Here are some financial statistics that can help to answer that question.

21. YouTube channels earning 6 figures per year has grown 40% year-on-year 

No one knows exactly how many creators reach the 6 figure thresholds, but whatever that figure is, it’s rising quickly. The number of creators earning more than $100,000 per year has been growing by 40% year-over-year. (YouTube)

22. YouTube’s highest-earning channel last year was Ryan’s World

Ryan Kaji—child star of children’s toy review channel Ryan’s World—was arguably YouTube’s biggest financial success story. The channel raked in around $29.95 million in revenue in 2020, making it YouTube’s top-earning channel. It was followed closely by Mr. Beast at $24 million. 

The reason for Ryan’s World’s financial success likely has something to do with the type of videos they produce. Product review videos are highly monetizable through affiliate marketing and brand sponsorships. (MoneyWise)

23. The average YouTube channel earns around $0.50 USD per 1,000 views from AdSense alone

This is according to a post on Renderforest, but take this figure with a pinch of salt as it doesn’t seem to be based on a large volume of data. (Renderforest

24. YouTube influencers with over 500K followers earn $3857 per sponsored video on average

24 YouTube influencers sponsored videos

Brand sponsorships are another one of the most common YouTube monetization strategies. As this figure shows, it can be a huge source of income if you have a large reach. (eMarketer)

Final thoughts

There you have it—24 revealing YouTube statistics to help inform your video creation or marketing strategy this year. We hope you found this useful. Good luck!