US: What marketers should know about TikTok and YouTube audiences
November 10th, 2021, Janice Fernandes, Hoang Nguyen

US: What marketers should know about TikTok and YouTube audiences

Two of the most popular social video platforms today are TikTok and YouTube. In our latest analysis, YouGov looks at just how frequently TikTok and YouTube users engage with the social platforms, how they use them, and the potential reach of these apps for brands and advertisers.

A majority of YouTube users (60%) and TikTok users (54%) engage with the social platforms multiple times a day

Most people who use TikTok or YouTube visit the apps at least daily (67% and 74%, respectively) and many of them a lot more. One in five users of TikTok (20%) and YouTube (21%) say they visit the platforms ten or more times a day.

How else are people engaging with YouTube and TikTok?

Examining people’s behaviors on the popular social networks reveals that daily users of TikTok (62%) are more likely to be posting something on the platform (e.g. uploading a photo, sharing a link, or commenting on something) than daily YouTube users are on YouTube (49%).

More than a quarter of daily TikTok users say they post a photo or comment on TikTok at least once a day or more often (27%). Daily YouTube users are less likely to be posting on a daily basis, with one in five indicating they do so (20%).

YouTube's daily users are significantly more likely to consume content but never post (51% of its users are ‘lurkers’ who watch but don’t contribute). TikTok users on the other hand are significantly less likely to lurk – just 38% say they never post any content. This is no surprise as TikTok’s main draw is user-generated content while YouTube acts as a search engine for a range of video content.

YouGov's new analysis reveals that live streams are one of the biggest draws for users of these online social networks and a majority of people who use TikTok and YouTube express a high propensity for tuning into this type of content.

73% of TikTok users and 63% of YouTube users consume live stream content

When asked about the types of live stream content they typically consume (not restricted to content on TikTok or YouTube), concerts and performances rank as the most popular category (33% of TikTok users watch this category; 20% of YouTube users).

How-to videos and tutorials (23% of TikTok users, 19% of YouTube users) along with interviews and Q&As (22% of TikTok users, 19% of YouTube users) are other popular live stream categories among these audiences.

Similar shares of TikTok users say they watch live streams relating to painting and drawing, video gaming and sporting events (19% for each category). Among YouTube users, though, only 9% watch painting and drawing, 18% watch video gaming and 13% watch sporting events.

51% of TikTok users say they find out about new TV shows via social media

Social media networks play a key role in content discovery, particularly for finding new TV shows. While recommendations from friends and family still rank as the top way users of TikTok (61%) and YouTube (51%) find out about new shows, social media also serves as an influential discovery aid for half of TikTok users (51%) and a third of YouTube users (34%).

Indeed, social media appears to be more effective at reaching TikTok and YouTube users than ads such as billboards and posters (16% and 13%, respectively) or review websites (15% vs. 12%).

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.