Is TikTok now more popular than YouTube?

Image Credit: Szabo Viktor

TikTok might be catching up to YouTube as the most popular video streaming service, according to research. How long before TikTok is the champion of online video?

YouTube has always dominated the world of online video streaming. But its position as king might be in doubt. The video platform has long been number one for music consumption, but another app has it in its sights – TikTok.

A new report might send a chill up YouTube’s spine. Research firm App Annie discovered that TikTok is quickly catching up with YouTube in terms of the average hours per month people in the UK and US are spending on the app.

Keeping in mind that YouTube has 2 billion monthly users and TikTok a comparatively minor 732 million, App Annie’s State of Mobile 2021 report revealed that on average Android users in the UK spend on average of 16 hours a month on YouTube – and 26 hours a month on TikTok. Meanwhile in the US, viewers spent 22 hours a month on TikTok and 24.5 hours a month on YouTube.

TikTok’s explosion in popularity has proved to be sustainable, and it’s beginning to look like YouTube’s position might be under threat. Though the two platforms have different video styles, they have been rivals since it became apparent that the TikTok trend wasn’t a fad.

The recently launched feature by TikTok which saw the platform extend the maximum length of videos to three minutes was viewed by some as a move to challenge YouTube. Given TikTok’s popularity arose from its addictive short-form video clips, the change seemed to go against its unique framework. YouTube meanwhile had already launched Shorts, essentially a TikTok clone.

Will TikTok soon catch up to YouTube? The key will be to watch if the two services retain their individuality in the race to evolve, stay relevant, and retain users, as TikTok continues to grow and YouTube watches on nervously.


TikTok has emerged as a great place to discover new music. If you’re an artist wishing you could take advantage of the trend, check out RouteNote’s free music distribution. As well as putting your music onto Spotify and other streaming services, we can get your songs onto the TikTok sound library so that people can use your tracks in their videos. Your song could be the soundtrack to the next viral trend. Find out more here, and get started for free.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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