TikTok's popularity continues to soar as it eclipses YouTube in key markets

TikTok (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • TikTok reportedly surpasses YouTube's average viewership on Android.
  • YouTube still dominates overall viewership and user spending compared to TikTok.
  • The figures don't account for users on iOS or in China.

TikTok has become one of the most popular social media apps, and a new report highlights just how it stacks up to YouTube on the best Android phones.

The report by app analytics firm App Annie shows that TikTok has overtaken YouTube in terms of average time spent on the app per user in both the U.S. and the UK. The figures show a sharp increase in time spent on TikTok around the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least in the U.S., with the two streaming services battling it out for dominance over the past year.

In the U.S., users are spending an average of 24 hours on TikTok per month versus the 22 hours and 40 minutes spent on YouTube. The report shows a much bigger difference in the UK, with TikTok displaying a nearly 10-hour lead over YouTube in terms of average viewing time.

Source: App Annie

YouTube still maintains a lead when it comes to overall streaming time, and it's worth noting that the figures don't include TikTok users on iOS or those on Douyin — the Chinese version of the app. TikTok also continued to rise in popularity despite nearly being banned in the U.S. in 2020.

That said, YouTube clocks in roughly two billion monthly users versus TikTok's 700 million, according to BBC News, so TikTok still has a ways to go.

With the rise in short-form streaming content fueled by the pandemic, it's not surprising that TikTok has managed to rise as a real challenger to other social media apps, many of which have adopted the app's features and functions. Additionally, the app continues to dominate global app downloads.

Meanwhile, YouTube has not been sitting on its laurels, launching Shorts as a way to give creators more ways to engage with viewers. Google has also launched a $100 million YouTube Shorts Fund, which throws money at creators who make engaging Shorts and fuels the platform's monetization efforts.

YouTube also leads in terms of the amount of money users are spending on the app, followed by TikTok, suggesting that "consumers are opening their wallets to the creator economy at a level we've never seen before," and showing a positive sign for the industry, especially streaming apps that favor content creators.

App Annie notes that short-form and live video content are the biggest catalysts for deeper engagement between creators and viewers and that TikTok "could shake up the rankings in years to come."

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.