YouTube Finds Its Place in the ‘Big 5’ Streaming Services





As consumers become less and less tied to cable subscriptions, the ways in which the rise of streaming services on connected devices. 

But a question is quickly rising around a service that has been around longer, has more users, and has a much larger library than any other streaming service, but is rarely mentioned among the others: YouTube. 

Media measurement company Comscore recently released their “State of OTT” webinar in which they took a look at recent changes in the streaming industry. But what’s interesting about this year’s webinar is that it takes a look at how YouTube fits into the “Big 4” family of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Disney+, effectively making it the ‘Big 5.’

Taking a look at the newest numbers, the streaming world is extremely top-heavy with these five services alone accounting for 82.5% of total streaming hours in April of 2020. 

From January 2020 to April 2020, all of the “Big 5” saw a combined increase in reach, with Hulu leading the way at 17%. Disney+ was right behind at 14%, YouTube found third place with a 13% gain, and Amazon Video rose 10%. Netflix actually increased the least in this data set, only seeing a 6% gain. Given their already super-heavy saturation though, that makes sense. 

So what we find is that YouTube’s overall growth was on par with the biggest streaming services. Maybe more importantly though is the fact that YouTube saw their total reach into connected homes grow 34% from the prior year. Taking some internal data from YouTube, this means there are more than 100 million people each month watching either YouTube or YouTube TV on a television. 

In addition, total time spent on YouTube increased, with a bump of 22% on connected devices from March 2019 to March 2020. If you break that down into categories of viewer, “heavy” streamers watched YouTube 6% more while moderate and light increased 44% and 58% respectively. 

What’s easy to see from this information is that YouTube’s use and reach is skyrocketing on connected televisions (interestingly enough, the “home workout,” “cooking” and “meditation” categories saw the biggest jumps lately.)  

Viewers clearly love YouTube. So to the question of whether or not it belongs in the same category as all the other services, it seems obvious that it should, especially with its recent emergence on connected TVs. 

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