When most businesses are shaping out their social media strategy, Facebook is at the top of their list. Then often Instagram, and maybe Twitter. YouTube is sometimes the social media channel that’s considered last.

Some businesses don’t see it as immediately valuable because things don’t go viral natively the same way that they do on Facebook, and video marketing is of course more time intensive.

If you aren’t carefully considering YouTube, you should. And if you are using YouTube, you want to optimize your channel in order to drive real results from the platform. In addition to having great reporting tools for both organic and paid ads, the platform can give you incredible reach and an effective way to reach your audience.

If you need any more proof or are wondering where to get started, this article can help. We’re going to look at 23 incredible YouTube statistics that you can use to shape your marketing plans.

YouTube Usage & Demographic Statistics

YouTube has been around since 2005, and it’s come a long way since then. This much is clear in the usage statistics below.

YouTube marketing statistics

1. YouTube has more than 1.5 billion users, which is second only to Facebook.

2. Together, users view more than 500 million hours of video each day on YouTube. This is huge.

3. Almost 1/3 of all internet users are on YouTube. YouTube, therefore, can help you reach 1/3 of all internet users. Think that one over for a second.

4. The average YouTube viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes. This means that when users are on the platform, they’re staying and they’re watching a lot of content. They’re ready to sit and watch; this is different from other platforms.

5. YouTube offers localized versions of its site in 88 countries, offers support for 76 language, and has only 16.6% of its visitors coming from the US. The next largest markets are India at 8.3%, Japan at 4.6%, and Russia at 4.1%.

6. In 2015, 18-49 year olds spend 4% less time watching TV than the previous year, even though YouTube watch time went up by 74%. Many people are shifting away from watching as much TV as we used to, and are now utilizing more social media video and digital video services. This is a trend that’s expected to continue.

7. 96% of teens in the United States use the site. Only 76% of this age group uses Facebook the same way, making YouTube a potentially more effective channel to reach this in-demand audience.

YouTube Content Statistics

We know a little bit about who is on YouTube (1/3 of all internet users, so most of your audience), but it’s also important to know how the platform is being used. Let’s take a look at a few statistics about the content on YouTube and how people are interacting with it.

8. The top 4 content categories that are most frequently watched are comedy, music, entertainment/pop culture, and “how to.” This last category is particularly important for businesses, because lots of people flock to YouTube to look for step by step video tutorials showing them how to tackle certain tasks.

9. “How to” searches on YouTube are growing 70% on a year-on-year basis. Again, “how to” content will be the holy grail for businesses on YouTube. Use this knowledge and create more valuable, actionable content for your followers.

10. 32% of the most-viewed brand videos average 31-60 seconds long. This shows that there’s not only room for branded videos to do well, but that true branded videos are going to be most effective when sitting in that short space of 30-60 seconds. It’s just enough time to add value without losing people.

11. Only 18% of U.S. adults get news on YouTube. This is in comparison to the 45% who get news from Facebook, and 11% on Twitter. Ultimately, YouTube won’t be the best platform for breaking news, but that’s ok; evergreen content is where this platform really shines.

12. Having video on page can drive a 157% increase in organic traffic from the SERPs. YouTube videos aren’t just valuable on YouTube; they can help drive traffic to your Page from Google’s search engines, connecting you to more audience members looking for different things.

13. In 2017, the top-viewed videos amassed a collective 630 million views and 40 million hours of viewing time. While most brands won’t have a video go viral, this shows the potential of what can happen on YouTube. Even just a tiny fraction of that momentum could be enough to change your business forever in the best way possible.

YouTube Mobile Statistics

If you’re up to date with a lot in the marketing world right now, you know that mobile has taken center stage. Mobile traffic exceeds desktop traffic, and increasing numbers of people are watching more video on mobile than ever before. This is true for YouTube, too.

YouTube marketing statistics

14. More than 50% of YouTube video views come from mobile users. Is your channel and your content mobile-friendly? If not, you could be isolating more than half of your target audience.

15. Average mobile viewing sessions last more than 40 minutes. This is contradictory to what some people expected, and certainly to what happens on other platforms. Mobile users are willing to engage with long-form content, it just has to be at the right time. And this is your chance to connect with them at that perfect time when they’re engaged and ready to watch.

16. There are, on average, over 1,000,000,000 mobile video views daily. One billion is an enormous number. Again: don’t isolate these viewers.

YouTube Ad Statistics

And now we come to our last section: YouTube Ads. A lot of small and medium-sized businesses are typically intimidated by YouTube’s ad platform, even though it’s technically part of Google Ads and exceptionally easy to use. You can learn more about how to create different kinds of ads here.

YouTube statistics

Now let’s take a look at a few YouTube ad statistics so you can assess whether or not the platform is right for you.

17. More than half of U.S. marketers run YouTube video ads, with 51% having run campaigns at some point. In addition to the fact that more than half of marketers have run YouTube Ads, you can tell that they’re a good investment because 62% of marketers have also said that they planned to increase YouTube ad spend over the following twelve month period.

18. YouTube accounts for 27.1% of digital ad spending by U.S. senior marketers. With all the platforms available out there, YouTube is still racking up more than a quarter of ad spend from senior marketers. “Senior” is a key word here; they’re experienced, know what they’re doing, and still investing in YouTube ads.

19. One third of YouTube’s biggest advertising customers use bumper ads in some capacity. Six seconds doesn’t seem like a lot, but you’d be amazed at what you can accomplish in a short time frame. Bumper ads are only 6 seconds long and have been proven to have the ability to increase brand message lift and ad recall lift even in those few short seconds.

20. A study from Ipsos Reid utilizing eye-tracking data discovered that 62% of ad time viewed actually retained a viewer’s attention. This indicates that YouTube viewers are more engaged during YouTube advertising time than conventional TV commercials, which capture a user’s attention 45% of the time.

21. YouTube’s research has indicated that viewers of TrueView are 10x more likely to engage with the brand on platform. Engagement may include subscribing to their channel, sharing their videos, or watching additional videos. These ads are not only effective at driving brand awareness but long-term on-platform action, too.

22. Brands using TrueView ads can see views of other existing content increase b y up to 500% after posting new videos. Again, think long-term benefits here and overall increased reach for your content.

23. The top 10 highest-performing ads on YouTube generated 539 million views, 3.6 million likes, and 14 hours of combined viewing time. There’s so much potential just waiting for businesses who are excited about YouTube Ads; your ad could be next.


YouTube marketing will be most effective when you’re using it correctly. These statistics can give you insight into how the platform is being used and the kind of impact that your campaigns can potentially have, whether you’re running organic or paid ad campaigns.

Want to scale up your video marketing? Learn more about how Shakr can help here.

What do you think? Which of these YouTube statistics surprised you most? Which will be most impactful for how you shape your marketing strategy? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!