YouTube User Statistics by Generation

YouTube is the OG of the video content world. Launched back in 2005 (on Valentine’s Day), YouTube now has over 1 billion unique users every month. To put that in perspective, half the people on the entire internet are using YouTube. That is A LOT of people.

Eighty percent of YouTubers are outside the U.S. So, it’s no big surprise that YouTube is the second most visited website in existence AND the second largest search engine in the world after parent company Google.

Side note: Baidu search numbers were unverified, so we’re excluding China’s biggest search engine from our little rankings pool. But just know that YouTube receives more search queries per month than Yahoo, Bing, Ask, and AOL combined.

Using YouTube as a Mid-Funnel Sales Tool

The range of content across YouTube is phenomenal, namely because it’s all user-generated content. About 400 hours of content are uploaded every single minute, so you can find videos teaching on a crazy range of topics from…

…. Learning how to boil an egg,

…. To getting a behind-the-scenes look at your favorite movie

… Or listening to someone whisper softly into a microphone (it’s called ASMR, you’ll either love it or hate it, but you have to watch some, trust me).

Basically, there’s something for everyone on YouTube, and that’s what makes it such a powerful resource to leverage in your marketing campaigns.

Despite its accessibility, ease of use, and super-sophisticated targeting tools, just nine percent of small businesses are using YouTube for business. And, before you start screaming at me that your audience isn’t even on YouTube - think again.

A whopping eight in ten people 18-49 years old use the platform, as well as about half of all internet users over the age of 75. This is important because people are three times more likely to pay attention to online video ads over television ads. They are twice as likely to give their attention to a YouTube video ad, even over Instagram and Facebook video ads. No doubt that has a lot to do with the platform’s targeting capabilities.

Ninety percent of YouTubers say they discover new brands or products on YouTube, and 40 percent of the shoppers around the globe say they have purchased something they discovered on YouTube.

Still think your audience isn’t on YouTube?

YouTube can add a touch of mid-funnel magic for the sales cycles of marketers and brands. The platform allows for creative, high-impact storytelling that your team can personalize (YouTube has a video ad sequencing tool) AND scale.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has fallen into a “suggested video”-fueled rabbit hole and lost (or invested depending on how you look at it) HOURS to a random, yet interesting, parade of YouTube videos. People are watching more than one billion hours of YouTube videos every day. That’s more than Netflix and Facebook combined.

And, we’re not just watching it on our computers anymore.

People are watching YouTube on their TVs twice as much as they used to, and we’re spending more than 40 minutes each session watching content on our mobile devices, too. The platform is steadily spreading throughout our lives to become one of our main sources of video content.

Video Content & Social Media Marketing

I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve seen a marketer acting like video is the only strategy out there. Still, many companies - especially smaller businesses - are slow to roll out full-on video marketing campaigns. I get it, it can be super scary to record yourself talking straight to a camera, or directing a promotional video - but my gosh is it worth it.

The first time I did a live video on Instagram, I was, in a word, terrified. It’s scary to put yourself out there like that. But, I did it. A grand total of six people tuned in, I talked, they listened, and then it was over. From those six people, two reached out to me to say how much they enjoyed it and to discuss what I’d talked about more in-depth. In that one video, I was able to give something of value, and transform my audience (of six) into my very own brand advocates. All in just three minutes of live video. So, just think what your brand could do if you harnessed the power of video content for your next big campaign.

Of course, YouTube is probably what comes to mind when video marketing is mentioned, but it isn’t the only video platform out there by any stretch of the imagination. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn are all embracing video content more, and it may be that your brand and audience are better-suited to one of those platforms. That’s why we’re going to use the next post to cover video content and social media marketing as a whole. Today, we handle YouTube user stats.

The YouTube Habits of Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z

I already mentioned just how many users are tuning into YouTube videos day after day, but that’s just one platform. Add to that the number of people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok, and anywhere else you can find videos online, and you’ve got one heck of an audience.

Let’s break this down into easy-to-understand demographics, generation by generation.

Baby Boomers: 55 - 73 years old

Many marketers seem sort of bent on getting young Millennial eyes on their products, but brands can reap huge rewards by targeting the mega-spending generation known as Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers should be a BIG DEAL to brands and marketers. They spend more time online than Millennials, and they have greater spending power.

Be honest. Boomers are probably the folks you expect would spend the LEAST amount of time watching YouTube videos. But in reality, the cool kids who make up the 55 and up crowd account for 24 percent of YouTube viewers - that’s like 31 million people.

How Boomers consume YouTube content

With an estimated 10,000 Boomers retiring every day, you would think this generation had oodles of time on their hands. But, according to a survey run by Google, one of the big reasons Boomers love YouTube is because it helps them save time. YouTube is a GREAT place for Boomers (and every non-tech person) to go to get a better understanding of tech, gadgets, new software… that sort of thing. It’s sort of a mid-funnel buying guide they can easily use without having to go to a store, spend hours on with tech support, or call in a younger (know-it-all) relative.

That said… Baby Boomers are far more likely to respond positively to data-driven product reviews (think “here is the product, here are the specs”) than opinion-based product reviews of another YouTuber’s experience with a brand or product. Boomers often skipp programmed TV in favor of bite-sized chunks of short-form video content. Like the rest of us.

Video content serves as a vehicle by which Boomers can learn new skills - something a lot of Boomers are really into post- empty nest. So, whether they want to learn how to play guitar, pick up a new language, or even become a social media influencer themselves, they’re turning to video to learn how to do it.

Type of video content Baby Boomers prefer:

  • How-to videos for learning new skills

  • Entertainment roundups to keep up to date

  • Online tutorials that can save them time

Feb 19h YouTube User Stats by Generation_2.png

Generation X: 39 - 54 years old

Born into a world that drastically changed around them as they grew up, Gen X is probably the most adaptable generation. When the older Gen Xers were the youngest people in the world, having a TV in the home was juuuuust becoming the norm. Now, programmed TV is becoming obsolete as people spend more time consuming content online than watching live TV (and TV manufacturers were smart to make televisions essentially 50-inch computer screens for watching YouTube and Netflix - that definitely kept electronics companies in the game).

How Gen Xers consume YouTube content

Gen Xers spend A LOT of time watching video, and especially old school content - stuff from their teen and adolescent years. In fact, 75 percent of Gen Xers use YouTube to get access to nostalgic videos. While this generation is all about the nostalgia effect, they’re still spending more time watching video content on their computers and smartphones than they are on traditional TV. Gen Xers account for over 1.5 billion views on YouTube every day, so the incentive to engage with them is definitely there.

Gen Xers aren’t just spending time on YouTube though. While it is an important platform, Gen Xers share content - especially video - more readily to Facebook than any other site. This is closely followed by YouTube and Twitter, showing that in order to reach this generation (well, any generation really), you’ll need to develop an omnichannel approach.

Type of video content Gen Xers prefer:

  • Nostalgia-driven video to take them back to their childhood

  • DIY videos they can follow along

  • Current news and trending events

Feb 19h YouTube User Stats by Generation_3.png

Millennials: 22 - 38 years old

YouTube’s mobile viewers reach more 18 to 34 year-olds than any other TV network. That’s mobile! Browser views aren’t included in that number. Millennials are constantly checking in on social media (for many of us it’s every hour), short-form content wins hands down as we don’t really have the time to watch lengthy content throughout the day, and we prefer to watch a video over reading an article.

AND Despite Instagram and Facebook Live being thrown in the mix, YouTube is still the video platform of choice for most Millennials. We marketing folks often look at YouTube as another social network because it’s SO socially-driven and people enjoy consuming YouTube content together. Technically, YouTube isn’t a social media network, but if it were, YouTube would be the third most popular social platform out there.

How Millennials consume YouTube content

Millennials are avid YouTubers. Fifty-four percent of Millennials check YouTube daily. Cool, right? Well, this is even cooler: While about 1 in 10 Millennials use ad blockers, and more than half only watch YouTube ads to the Skip Ad point, 29 percent of Millennials actually watch YouTube ads all the way through. And don’t forget our earlier stat about the 90 percent of people are using YouTube for product discovery. YouTube’s video ads are very well-targeted these days.

Contrary to popular beliefs about how Millennials relate to brands, many Millennials (especially Millennial women and moms) want and expect to see sponsored content (we talked about that a bit in the What Makes They Buy post), AS LONG AS it’s the right ad targeting the right person on the right platform at the right time. And many Millennials are actually kinda sweet on well-targeted video ads.

Thirty-seven percent of Millennials admit to binge-watching a block of something every day, and upwards of 65 percent of Millennials binge-watch at least once a week. So, it’s definitely good news to marketers that 62 percent of Millennials actually take action after seeing an ad.

Type of video content Millennials prefer:

  • News and human interest stories to keep us up to date

  • Unboxing and product review videos to influence our spending

  • Quick and fun entertainment content

Feb 19h YouTube User Stats by Generation_4.png

Generation Z: 4 - 21 years old

Enter Gen Z, the largest and most diverse generation in history. These social media natives are growing up in a world of selfies, influencers, and hashtags. They know how to navigate the online world better than anyone else, and their video consumption habits reflect this.

Their most used platform is YouTube closely followed by Instagram - so video is clearly a priority for them. How they’re consuming this video content is even more important for marketers.

How Gen Zers consume YouTube content

Fifty-nine percent of Gen Z video consumption is through social media, where they spend twice as much time as they do on streaming services, and five times as much as on traditional media. What are they watching, though? Here’s a hint: It’s not music videos.

That’s right 80s and 90s babies! While it may seem like MTV just sold its platform to YouTube, unlike teenagers back in the day, kids today aren’t using the world’s largest video platform to watch music videos. In fact, only four percent of Gen Zers name YouTube as their preferred music platform. Spotify and Apple Music are the top music streaming services, with 60 percent and 26 percent (respectively) of teens using those platforms as their go-to.

As a brand, YouTube has more influence over this generation than big names like Oreo, McDonalds, and even Lego. So, it’s safe to say that if you’re targeting Gen Z, you need to be targeting them through video.

Type of video content Gen Zers prefer:

  • Humor - They love videos that make them laugh

  • Short and snappy content to compete with their busy lives and busy minds

  • Unboxing and product reviews to keep on top of trends

Feb 19h YouTube User Stats by Generation_5.png


When you’re talking about online video, you should always begin with the powerhouse - YouTube. YouTube has blazed a trail that other platforms have tried to follow. The major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn notoriously give preference to video, eventually introducing well-trafficked video platforms of their own like Facebook Watch and IGTV. Still, no other platform comes close to the reach and impact of YouTube or its AMAZING search capabilities and predictive algorithms. #Facts