Youtube Demographics Every Digital Marketer Should Leverage 2021

Antonella Saravia

3 years ago



This year, 95.4% of US OTT video viewers will watch YouTube at least monthly, surpassing even Netflix (74.9%). The pandemic lockdown led to a spike in engagement to the video platform, even migrating to TV screens.

YouTube is on its way to becoming a powerful alternative to TV advertisers. Insider Intelligence declared Youtube to be the most-used digital video platform in the US.

To stay competitive and reach audiences, it’s essential our readers know where the benefits lie.

We’ve gone through Insider Intelligence’s report and we’ve gathered a run-through of stats to consider when developing your digital marketing strategy next quarter. Read below for our summary.

YouTube Stats for 2021

How much will advertisers spend on YouTube this year?
YouTube US net ad revenue is expected to grow 17.8% year over year (YoY) to $4.04 billion and reach $6.87 billion by 2022.

ouTube ad revenue

How is YouTube advertising growing on connected TV (CTV) devices?
YouTube’s US CTV ad revenues will reach $2.89 billion, accounting for more than one-third (36%) of total US CTV ad spending.

How many people in the US watch YouTube?
This year, 214.9 million Americans will watch YouTube content, making up 74.2% of US internet users. That number will reach 228.1 million by 2024.

Who watches YouTube in the US?
YouTube’s US viewers skew young, 39.2% of which are ages 12 to 34. That share rises to 51.1% when we include children 11 and younger.

How much time is spent on the platform?
Viewers ages 18 and older will spend 41.9 minutes per day on YouTube, across all devices, including mobile, desktop or laptop, and CTV.

What will YouTube US net ad revenue will reach this year?
We expect YouTube US net ad revenues will total $4.04 billion this year, up 17.8% YoY. That growth rate will more than double to 37.6% in 2021. On a net basis, YouTube now contributes more than 50% of Google’s net display ad revenues for the first time.

Who spends the most on YouTube?
Since Q1, there’s been significant variance in which ad categories contributed the most to YouTube ad sales. In Q2, spending in the media category jumped to 23% share of total US YouTube advertising, up from 11% in Q1, per MediaRadar. By Q3, media replaced tech as the largest-share ad buyer on YouTube in the US, accounting for 20% of YouTube ad spending, as media companies increased marketing around streaming video services at higher rates amid increased market competition. While several category shares have fallen since Q1, MediaRadar also saw big increases in services advertising (e.g., insurance) on YouTube, as well as from food and pharma.

YouTube ad catagories

What is the average video ad length on YouTube?
The average is your 24 seconds. Krizelman claims that historical flux in ad length is tied to an inherent tension advertisers feel between their need to tell a compelling story with a video ad and awareness of shortening attention spans.

Advertisers must be wary of wasting money on video ads that are too long that viewers may never actually see but must also be enough to establish a connection that reinforces brand messaging or leads to purchase or the desired action.

YouTube ad length

What’s YouTube relation to US CTV advertising?
YouTube is the single biggest source of supply to US CTV advertising. We expect YouTube’s gross US CTV ad revenues to reach $2.89 billion this year, accounting for more than one-third (35.7%) of total US CTV ad spending. By 2022, YouTube’s US CTV ad revenues will reach $5.45 billion, and its share of US CTV ad spending will increase slightly to 38.7%.

Connected TV revenue

More than a third (34.4%) of YouTube’s total US gross ad revenues will come from CTV advertising on YouTube. We expect that share to increase to 38.4% by 2022.

Has YouTube watch time on CTV screens grown?
YouTube watch time on CTV screen rose and took share from mobile even before the pandemic. It rose to 34.4% in 2020

As of March 2020, watch time of YouTube content on TV screens in the US was up 80% YoY, according to YouTube internal data. Likewise, YouTube watch time on CTV screens grew to 22.8% share in 2019 from 16.5%—and 2019 was the first year that CTV was the second-most-watched device for YouTube content in the US, per Collab.

Do YouTube viewers use Connected TV?

YouTube devices

Connected TV is the second most used device used to watch YouTube globally. The shift to these devices is also a global trend. In Q2 2020, 27% of YouTube views go to CTV devices, up from a 16% share in the prior year, according to Conviva.

Social distancing has led to real changes in consumer behavior and accelerated the adoption of the CTV platform,” Collab’s Rosner said.

It is expected that these numbers snapback once social distancing ends, but the change in consumer behavior may have long term implications.

What is the average length of a YouTube session on CTV devices?
The average YouTube view time (i.e., session length) tends to be longer on CTV than on all other device types, per Collab.

As of Q3 2020, the average YouTube view time on CTV was 7.3 minutes, versus just 3.6 minutes on mobile and 5.7 minutes on desktop. This further suggests that the larger the screen, the more likely a user is to spend more time watching YouTube.

Average Youtube Session Length

How is YouTube TV doing with vMVPD in the US?
“Streaming TV” is the strongest indication that Google is looking to appeal more strongly to US TV advertisers because it integrates premium network programming with YouTube and only serves ads on CTV. However, because “Streaming TV” campaigns also serve ads on YouTube TV, those ads will only be viewed by subscribers on the service.

YouTube TV is now the second-largest vMVPD in the US, with about 3 million subscribers. It is estimated that YouTube TV will have 6.5 million viewers who watch content on the service at least once per month this year.

YouTube vs TV

What is the expected reach?
A YouTube viewer is defined as anyone who watches YouTube via the app or website at least once per month. Total YouTube viewers will reach 228.1 million by 2024.

YouTube vs internet viewers
YouTube viewer age

70.5% of millennials (ages 21 to 38) have used YouTube daily over the past 12 months

YouTube by generation

US YouTube viewers ages 18 and older will spend 41.9 minutes per day on YouTube, across all devices, including mobile, desktop/laptop, and CTV.

Average Time Spent per Day Youtube

YouTube is second only to Netflix in terms of share of time spent with OTT video in the US.

time watching video

YouTube rated the most popular among kids: 62% of parents said that their kids use YouTube to access video or entertainment content.

YouTube kids and teens


Clearly the stats paint a positive picture for YouTube and what its network can provide advertisers. Learning more about this powerful alternative to TV advertisers can help your digital strategy stay competitive and reach the audiences to meet 2021 objectives.

Do you manage your YouTube ads or are you looking for a white label PPC agency to do it? Contact one of our strategists to consult or hire our team and improve your YouTube campaigns today!