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The latest YouTube stats on when, where, and what people watch

When it comes to the latest trends on how people are watching YouTube videos—when, where, and even what—there are plenty of misconceptions. Here we break down the latest stats on YouTube watch behavior and bust some common myths.

Myth: When people watch YouTube on their mobile devices, it's during the day and "on the go"

Reality: The majority of watch time on YouTube is mobile, yet many marketers still believe mobile viewing translates to short, daytime, on-the-go sessions. In fact, when it comes to YouTube viewing behavior, mobile is a lot like TV: The world watches at home, during prime time, and on horizontally oriented screens.

On mobile alone, in an average week, YouTube reaches more adults 18+ during prime time than any cable network does.

adults report watching YouTube at home on their mobile devices.

Home mobile YouTube viewing occurs primarily during prime time.

people default to horizontal viewing when watching videos on their phones.

YouTube mobile users are 2X as likely to pay close attention while watching YouTube compared to TV users while watching TV.

Myth: YouTube is only for watching viral videos

Reality: People get lost spending time on YouTube for a lot of reasons. Whether they want to learn, laugh, catch up on pop culture, jam out to their favorite music, or lean back for a show, people can find whatever they're looking for on YouTube.

Almost 4X as many people prefer watching video on YouTube as on social platforms that are less video-centric.

The top two reasons viewers watch YouTube are "to relax" and "to feel entertained."

The top four content categories watched by YouTube users are comedy, music, entertainment/pop culture, and "how to."


of YouTube users watched YouTube to help make a purchase decision.