YouTube Surpasses Netflix as Top Video Choice Among Teens

A New Trend Emerges

In a significant shift in digital consumption habits, YouTube has edged out Netflix as the preferred video platform for American teenagers. This revelation comes from a recent survey conducted by the renowned investment bank, Piper Sandler.

Key Takeaways:

  • YouTube’s Rise: YouTube has overtaken Netflix as the preferred video platform for American teenagers, with 29.1% of their daily video consumption time dedicated to YouTube, compared to Netflix’s 28.7%.
  • Streaming Landscape Shifts: The streaming industry is witnessing dynamic changes, with YouTube strengthening its position as a primary free online video provider, especially among the younger demographic.
  • Social Media Insights: While TikTok is a favorite for 38% of teens, Instagram leads in terms of monthly usage, with teenagers spending an average of four and a half hours daily on social media platforms.

Diving into the Numbers

The survey paints a clear picture of teens’ viewing preferences. Teens reported dedicating 29.1% of their daily video watching time to YouTube, slightly overtaking Netflix, which captured 28.7% of their attention. This change is noteworthy, with YouTube’s share seeing a near one-percentage point uptick, while Netflix experienced a decline of over two percentage points.

The Competitive Streaming Arena

These findings underscore the evolving landscape of the streaming industry. YouTube’s ascent highlights its robust position as a primary free online video provider, especially resonating with the younger audience. Analysts from Piper Sandler shed light on this trend, pointing to the improved quality of content on YouTube and the intensifying competition in the streaming domain.

A Glimpse into Teen Preferences

Piper Sandler’s biannual survey, a trusted source tracking the preferences of American teenagers since 2001, offers a comprehensive view of their inclinations. The latest survey, which encompassed the views of over 9,000 teens, revealed other intriguing insights. While YouTube and Netflix dominate the video consumption space, platforms like Hulu, Prime Video, and Disney+ are also in the mix, witnessing shifts in their time shares. Additionally, the survey highlighted the diminishing allure of traditional cable TV, HBO Max, and Hulu among teens.

On the social media front, TikTok emerged as a favorite for 38% of the surveyed teens. However, in terms of consistent monthly usage, Instagram remains the frontrunner. The data also indicated that teens are spending an average of four and a half hours daily on social media platforms, marking an increase from previous surveys.


As the digital realm continues to evolve, platforms are vying for the attention of the younger demographic. With YouTube’s recent surge in popularity among teens, it’s evident that the battle for digital dominance is far from over.

Stay tuned to Digital Chew for more updates on the ever-changing digital landscape.