Americans are spending less of their total listening time with YouTube in 2020, and YouTube as an audio-only source is reaching fewer Americans in 2020, according to two updated datasets from Edison Research.
Known as the birthplace of the eponymous YouTube star as well as many a viral challenge, YouTube also functionally serves as a music delivery source. The latest Share of Ear® data from Edison Research shows that Americans now spend 9% of their time spent listening to audio sources with YouTube, down from 11% in 2018. The decrease is driven primarily from younger demos, as those in the U.S. age 13-34 now spend 16% of their total audio time with YouTube, down from 20% in 2019.
Not only is time spent listening to YouTube as an audio source lower year over year, but YouTube as a source for music or music videos is reaching fewer Americans according to The Infinite Dial® from Edison Research and Triton Digital. 2019 was a bit of a milestone for the YouTube measure, as 50% of those in the U.S. age 12+ had listened to music on YouTube in the last week. In 2020, 44% of the total U.S. population reported having used YouTube for music in the last week.
This decrease in reach is also driven by younger demos, as was the case with time spent listening, as the number of 12-34-year-olds using YouTube for music in the last week fell 14% year over year, to 60% from 70%. Usage by 35-54-year-olds was down slightly to 53% from 56% year over year.
As both Share of Ear and Infinite Dial have catalogued enormous gains for YouTube for music listening over the last decade, it is of note that we see some diminishment for the first time corroborated in both surveys. (Note: data points from both surveys were captured prior to the onset of widespread COVID-19-related disruptions.)
For the latest on how Americans are discovering new music, join Edison Research VP Nicole Beniamini for New-Music Seekers: An Infinite Dial® Report, presented as a free webinar on Thursday, July 16th, at 1 PM EDT. Register for New-Music Seekers here.