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TikTok and YouTube are competing for attention – and ads


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Research firm eMarketer has made its latest prediction about the streaming video market, claiming that “US TikTok users will spend more time with the social media platform this year than YouTube users will spend on YouTube”.

While that’s by just “a fraction of a minute” the company thinks it “will expand in years to come”. It claimed that TikTok already overtook Facebook and Instagram by this metric in 2020.

Parents, look away now: “Over 40% of Gen Z spends more than 3 hours a day on TikTok,” claimed eMarketer. “Around the same proportion of Gen Z spends more than 3 hours with YouTube.”

There’s another bold forecast too: eMarketer reckons that TikTok will also overtake YouTube in the US for advertising revenues in 2024, predicting that the companies will respectively generate $11.01bn and $10.71bn from US ads that year.

As with all forecasts of this kind, plenty could happen between now and then to change the situation. It does spark one thought though.

Remember YouTube music boss Lyor Cohen’s confident prediction that “we will provide more revenue to the music industry by 2025 than anyone else”?

We can’t help wondering where TikTok might be in those partner-payout rankings by that time, if its ads business (not to mention in-app spending) business grows as eMarketer expects.


Written by: Stuart Dredge