TikTok Outshines YouTube in Terms of Average Watch Time Across the U.S. and UK

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TikTok has overtaken YouTube in the ‘average watch time’ metric across the U.S. and UK according to an analysis by App Annie. As reported by the BBC (via Phone Arena), this means that the average time a user spends on TikTok is higher than on YouTube.

App Annie is an app monitoring firm that publishes insights on app usage. The firm goes on to claim that TikTok has managed to upend the “streaming and social landscape.”

YouTube still has a marginal edge in the ‘overall time spent’ metric

Despite TikTok’s advantage, YouTube still dominates the ‘overall time spent’ metric. This can be attributed to YouTube’s 2 billion-plus users compared to TikTok’s 700 million users.


It’s worth pointing out that App Annie’s report only accounts for Android devices. This leaves out iOS devices and China where TikTok (known as Douyin) is a popular streaming platform. Analyst Jamie MacEwan believes that although TikTok is spending a lot of money to get users on the app, user retention is a challenge compared to other platforms.

The report goes on to add that TikTok and YouTube were on level terms in the U.S. for the time spent metric since last year. But that changed in April 2021 when TikTok overtook the streaming platform.

The App Annie report highlights that live-streaming has opened up a new stream of revenue for creators. The company claims that apps that contain live streaming made up for three-quarters of the money spent by users on the top 25 social apps in the first half of 2021.


TikTok provides a revenue stream for creators in the form of “coins”. This is a virtual currency that users buy to tip their favorite creators. Apps like Twitch and even YouTube have a similar tipping feature to encourage content creation. The report also mentions Snapchat, which reportedly witnessed its downloads grow by 30% outside the U.S. since last year.

The developers of TikTok have added some new features earlier this year to keep up with the competition. Among the notable inclusions to the app was the ability to create longer videos, upto 3 minutes in length. It’s clear that although TikTok is on the way up, its competition is adjusting accordingly.