Youtube millennials

Millennials on Youtube: Why, When, What, How?

Millennials are the largest demographic on Youtube, and roughly 40% of millennials watch Youtube videos on a daily basis. Did you ever wonder what, when and how young people watch videos on Youtube? But most shocking – why they find Youtube more entertaining than traditional television? 

When do millennials watch Youtube videos?

Frequency of binge-watching behavior among millennials (aged 18-34)

Youtube views frequency millennials
Source: comScore – Study – June 2016

65% of millennials tend to binge-watch video content at least once a week according to a study by comScore. On top of that, young millennials (aged 18-24) now watch more video content through Youtube than any traditional TV channel.

This report by DEFY Media estimates that as much as 88% of young millennials use free video platforms, like Youtube or Twitch, where they spend on average 6.2 hours per week. They like to watch Youtube throughout the day, from the moment they wake up until they go to sleep, with about 40% admitting they would watch online videos while at work or school.

What do millennials watch on Youtube?

As a report by OpenSlate points out, most popular categories on Youtube are beauty and gaming. You might be surprised that movies and regular TV shows, like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, also do very well on Youtube. Let’s break down the numbers.

Most viewed content by women aged 18-34

Preferred Youtube content millennials
Source: OpenSlate – Industry Report – May 2016

Female millennials are spending most of their watch time on ‘beauty and style’ videos (although, it should be noted that fashion only covers 6% of the preferred topics in this category). With 62% of the views, the ‘beauty’ category far exceeds its runner-up, ‘health and fitness’. Music remains a significant interest, and so are movies and TV shows.

Surprisingly, gaming videos only get 3% of women’s views, even though this is a very popular category on Youtube overall. Let’s see how this compares to men’s preferences.

Most viewed content by men aged 18-34

Preferred Youtube content male millennials
Source: OpenSlate – Industry Report – May 2016

Gaming is the preferred category among more than 50% of male millennials, and they make up 59% of the audience composition for this category. Next up are music, movies, television shows and sports.

Interestingly, young men seem more interested in education and technology than their female counterparts. Young men make up 62% and 51% of technology’s and education’s audience composition respectively, while young women only account for 28% of education’s audience.

Do you have any idea how these gender differences came about? Let me know in the comments or tweet @trendsnthoughts

The lines between Youtube and traditional TV are blurring. Youtube is increasingly becoming the preferred destination to watch TV shows or movies, which are initially broadcasted on traditional television. As you can see in this report by comScore, 14% of millennials prefer watching movies on Youtube over any other video destination, and 1 in 4 (!) millennials prefers watching previous or current TV shows on Youtube.

How do millennials watch Youtube videos?

The majority of views on Youtube come from mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets. Interestingly, people spend more and more time watching Youtube videos on their television screens according to Google. This again is an example of the blurring lines between Youtube and television.

Out of those people watching Youtube on television, about a quarter of them do so to share a Youtube video with family or friends. Moreover, 48% of moms watching Youtube on their TV screens do this in the company of their children. This shows that switching from TV broadcasting to online video in the living room does not alter the social aspects of watching videos on screen.

Why do millennials watch Youtube videos?

The question remains why millennials tend to prefer Youtube video content over traditional TV broadcasting. According to the Acuman report by DEFY Media,

Video is educational, stress-relieving, and—most importantly—keeps youth connected and included among their peers.

Youtube differs significantly from traditional TV in its social media features and consequent sense of community. In my opinion, there is a real ‘do-it-yourself’ feeling and culture on Youtube, which is hard to find on traditional TV channels.

On Youtube, there is much appreciation for creators who are ‘not perfect’, who expose their ‘real’ feelings and lives, and who built a Youtube channel on their own terms and merit. This makes Youtube ‘stars’ a lot more relatable than traditional TV or Hollywood celebrities. It also excites people to be able to share a comment, create their own videos or find new friends through Youtube. Still, content that is professionally produced will get more clicks by millennials than those shot by webcams in bedrooms, which flourished in Youtube’s early days.

I personally really enjoy the accessibility and endless supply of videos on Youtube. It often makes my commute a lot more entertaining and informative. Moreover, I never have to schedule in my favorite video show, but rather watch it on-the-go and whenever I can. It also helps that most Youtube videos are rather short, meaning I do not have a huge time commitment for viewing my favorite show or channel.

In a nutshell, here are some of the frequently-cited reasons why millennials prefer Youtube over traditional TV:

  • Portable, accessible, cheap
  • Entertaining, time-filling
  • Informative, educational
  • Sharable, relatable
  • Do-it-yourself

If you now understand the demographics and interests in Youtube a lot better, feel free to share this article with your friends or colleagues! In case you would like to share your views, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or tweet @trendsnthoughts. I will be happy to have a chat! 


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