TikTok has leapfrogged Netflix to become the second most popular service in the United States, with only YouTube retaining the crown for under 35s viewing, new research from Omdia showed. The service remains heavily skewed by age and occupies sixth place for above 35 years old.
In the UK and France, however, TikTok does not enjoy the same level of popularity, being the fifth most watched video services overall, falling below iPlayer, Netflix, and Amazon in the UK, and TF1 services, Netflix and 6Play in France. Overall, YouTube remains the most watched platform in these markets, while for the over 35s TikTok does not feature in the top ten.
“For broadcasters, commercial or otherwise keen to engage younger viewers, the increasing importance of TikTok to reach and grow new audiences should not be understated,” commented Maria Rua Aguete, Senior Director at Omdia, who presented the results of this consumer survey during Mipcom Cannes 2022 this week.
On social media platforms, the time spent viewing video content increased by 9 minutes in 2021 to an average of 60 minutes per-person per-day across nine markets analyzed by Omdia which included: UK, United States, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, and Australia.
The survey further highlighted that Facebook was the leading platform for social media video viewing time in 2021, with average viewing reaching 18.7 minutes across all nine combined countries. This was a drop on the previous year though as Facebook saw its monthly active users stall through most of the year. Its competitor TikTok, in contrast, recorded the fastest growth rate for a social media platform in 2021, increasing by 6.4 minutes to reach 18.1 minutes, and as such is almost certain to overtake Facebook for video viewing in 2022.
To counteract the threat from TikTok, Facebook launched its short video feature “Reels” globally in February 2022, catering to a demographic group – teenagers to young adults – that have drifted steadily away from the service since 2012, before leaving in far greater numbers following the launch of TikTok in 2017.
Video viewing has become an increasingly dominant feature on social media platforms. Facebook has confirmed that video now accounts for half of the time people spend on its platform and will, therefore, be a key source for revenue in the coming years. Meanwhile, TikTok has become the most popular social media platform for viewing in the United States: TikTok itself grew by 56.6% (+9 minutes) in 2021, an increase on the previous year’s growth of 43.2%, with the rapid rise in its monthly active users driving this.
The growth of TikTok has been a significant factor in Facebooks decline, with its monthly active users’ largely stalling over the year, partially because of the platform’s growth. To combat this, Meta has already announced a re-focus on younger users, partnering with several high-profile TikTok creators to put a more light-hearted, trending spin on their rebranding effort, while also adding games like “GTA: San Andreas” in VR to its service, tapping into the cultural trends and interests of many young people.
Omdia's research also indicated that TikTok’s viewing time continued to boom in 2021, with a 77.3% increase to reach 22.4 minutes per person, per day. TikTok thus overtook Facebook as the platform with the highest viewing time during the year. Instagram also registered steady growth in 2021 with a 3-minute increase on the previous year. Snapchat and Twitter, in contrast, remained relatively flat.