8 YouTube Stats That Every Creator Should Know

Discover how to grow your audience on the largest streaming platform in the world.

Stella
Stella
Sep 27 · 5 min read
Laptop screen showing YouTube recommendations.
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

YouTube is the second most visited website around the globe and, with nearly 2.3 billion active users on the platform, it is a valuable distribution channel for creators and entrepreneurs. This is why YouTube has become the top video marketing channel among marketers. If you’re not quite convinced that you should be on YouTube or need some tips on how to grow an audience, check out these 8 stats and tips below.

YouTube Usage Stats

1. There were over 37 million channels by the end of 2020.

In 2020, the number of YouTube channels increased by 23% to a total of over 37 million. Of those 37+ million channels, 230,000 have more than 100,000 subscribers and 22,000 have more than 1 million. Only 700 YouTube channels have more than 10 million subscribers.

2. The most popular channel is a music channel based in India.

T-Series is currently the most popular channel with over 193 million subscribers. It is not surprising that the most channel is based outside of the US. YouTube is in over 100 countries around the world and shares content in 80 languages. Viewership in India, specifically, is rapidly growing with forecasts predicting that the number of viewers will reach 342 million this year.

3. The top paid creator earned $29.5 million in 2020.

Child YouTube star, Ryan Kaji from Ryan ToysReview was the highest paid creator in 2020, followed by Jimmy Donaldson aka Mr. Beast. Ryan earned $29.5 million while Mr. Beast made $24 million.

4. “How to” content is one of the fastest growing categories on YouTube.

Nearly 9 out of 10 viewers use YouTube to learn something new with 7 in 10 using the platform to solve problems related to their work, studies, or hobbies. Over 50% of learning-related content is uploaded outside of the US.

5. Most users watch videos that are recommended by YouTube.

Four in five users watch videos that YouTube recommends. Increase the chance that your video is recommended by optimizing your content and incorporating the right YouTube hashtags.

Demographic and Psychographic Stats

6. Baby boomers watch YouTube less than younger generations.

Infographic illustration of a woman named Barbara using a computer. Above the image, a message states “1 in 3 boomers use YouTube to learn about a product or service.”
Infographic illustration of a woman named Barbara using a computer. Above the image, a message states “1 in 3 boomers use YouTube to learn about a product or service.”
Source: Think with Google. Google/Ipsos, Human Stories Study, U.S., n=1,296 adults aged 53–71 who use YouTube at least monthly, June 2017.

Baby boomers turn to YouTube for entertainment but 1 in 3 also reported using the platform to learn about a product or service. In fact, YouTube is their most commonly cited platform for learning something new. Given that people over age 50 account for 51% of all consumer spending, older adults represent an important marketing segment for all businesses.

Gen X. Seven in 10 Gen X users enjoy watching DIY content on topics such as cooking and home repair, in addition to current news and pop culture. Gen Xers are especially drawn to nostalgic videos. This means that you can potentially grow your audience among this group by focusing on 80s and 90s throwbacks.

List of the top 5 “how-to” topics that are viewed by Gen Xers on YouTube: (1) Home improvement; (2) Cooking; (3) Technology use and repair; (4) Arts and crafts; and (5) Beauty and personal care.
List of the top 5 “how-to” topics that are viewed by Gen Xers on YouTube: (1) Home improvement; (2) Cooking; (3) Technology use and repair; (4) Arts and crafts; and (5) Beauty and personal care.
Source: Think with Google

Millennials. Seven in 10 millennials also watch YouTube to learn something new but this generation is more racially and ethnically diverse than older generations so their interests range across different issues. Matching broader trends in society, a growing number of younger users care about social issues related to race and sexual identity and climate change. For example, 60% of millennial women said they were more likely to remember a brand that’s LGBT-friendly. Hispanic and Latinx millennials are more likely to purchase from a brand that include aspects of their culture and take a stand on race-related issues.

Infographic stating that “70% of black millennials say they are more likely to buy from a brand that takes a stand on race-related issues.”
Infographic stating that “70% of black millennials say they are more likely to buy from a brand that takes a stand on race-related issues.”
Source: Think with Google
Infographic stating that “43% oc Hispanic millennials feel more favorably about brands that include aspects of Hispanic culture in their advertising when making digital purchases.”
Infographic stating that “43% oc Hispanic millennials feel more favorably about brands that include aspects of Hispanic culture in their advertising when making digital purchases.”
Source: Think with Google

Gen Z. More Gen Z viewers turn to YouTube for learning purposes than previous generations. They use the platform to improve their skills for the future and watch videos about managing stress and mental health. Videos are also a means for connecting with others. Seven in 10 reported that watching videos with others helped them feel more connected and 8 in 10 share YouTube videos with family members. Creators who aim to connect with this generation can do so by helping them escape the stresses of everyday life and prepare for the future. By addressing the needs of your Gen Z audience, you could grow your channel through network effects when they share your videos with friends and family.

Infographic stating “7 in 10 Gen Zers said watching videos helps them feel more connected.”
Infographic stating “7 in 10 Gen Zers said watching videos helps them feel more connected.”
Source: Think with Google

7. More and more children begin using YouTube at younger ages.

YouTube is a popular platform among parents in the United States. Four out of five parents with children 11 years and younger allow their children to watch videos on YouTube and 53% use the platform daily. By addressing the needs of parents and children, you could grow a loyal following and lifetime customer value.

8. A similar number of men and women watch YouTube videos but their interests are different.

While men and women are equally active on YouTube in the US, there are differences in viewership by gender depending on the topic. For example, science creators like Physics Girl and Crash Course reported that their audience skews male while the audience of culture-focused series like The Art Assignment and Say It Loud skews female.

Key Takeaways

YouTube is an important distribution channel for creators and entrepreneurs who want to grow their audience and reach. It’s the second-most visited website in the world and receives more search queries each month than Microsoft Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and Ask.com combined. While music and gaming-related searches remain the top categories on the site, DIY and educational content has become increasingly popular and is among the top reasons that all age groups visit the platform. This a relatively easier category to break into for beginners. It’s also a relatively safe category to aim for if you’re aiming to minimize the risk of offending certain groups. However, proudly expressing your positions may help form deeper connections, especially with younger audiences.

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Stella

Written by

Stella

Small business advocate and consultant + curious explorer. More about me at stellamin.com.

Small + Mighty

Dedicated support for indie creators and entrepreneurs who are courageously pursuing their lifelong passions and sharing their talents and solutions with us along the way.