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TikTok has well and truly been on an upwards climb in the past year or two, with millions of viewers downloading and spending various hours daily, weekly and monthly on the app. Known as the app that ‘sucks viewers in and keeps them scrolling’, TikTok is now competing with video giants such as YouTube. Let’s take a look at how TikTok is progressing, and whether YouTube should be worried!

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TikTok Overtakes YouTube For Average Watch Time: What’s The Story?

After being named the most downloaded app of 2020, TikTok has truly taken the world by storm. This week, it’s been announced in a report by app analytics firm App Annie that TikTok has actually overtaken giant YouTube for average watch time in the US and UK.

No need to panic if you’re a loyal YouTube creator, though – the infamous video platform still holds the top spot for overall time spent rather than per user. The ‘time spent’ metric only reports Android phone accounts – but it also doesn’t include China, in which TikTok is a major app.

YouTube Vs TikTok

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In the case of YouTube vs TikTok – it seems both platforms are holding their own, with TikTok progressing a little faster.

App Annie’s report shows that TikTok surpassed YouTube for average watch time in the UK back in June 2020 (26 hours of watch time per month compared to 16). It took a little longer for TikTok to dominate In the US, as the two platforms swapped multiple times in late 2020, before TikTok emerged triumphant in April 2021.

User-wise, YouTube still reigns supreme, with an estimated 2 billion monthly users compared to TikTok’s 700 million+. Due to this much larger amount of users, YouTube’s engagement or hours spent may be less per user, but collectively, the platform still more than holds its own.

What Is Behind TikTok’s Success?

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TikTok’s success is due to many factors, so let’s look at a couple!

Short Form Video Content

Short video content is proving to be more popular with users – so much so that YouTube are replicating TikTok’s format with their new ‘YouTube Shorts’. Quick, entertaining videos cater to social media user’s inclination to scroll quickly, with some users preferring short bursts of content compared to YouTube’s 10-minute videos, for example.


There are many areas of TikTok: whether you’re a doctor, bookworm, musician, photographer, comedian, dancer or just about any other thing you can think of! TikTok is known for its variety, authenticity and even educational value. While entertainment is the main draw of TikTok, there has been a huge increase in educational, motivational and business-oriented content.

Use Of Viral Music

One of the biggest draws of TikTok is the ability to create content using viral sounds – which is almost impossible to do on YouTube due to YouTube’s music policy and use of Content ID. Trends, dances, challenges and so on are set to popular tracks on TikTok – some older and some brand new, fresh chart tracks. Sounds are arguably the most important part of TikTok, creating a niche that only TikTok can fulfil, as well as creating a community that’s in on the same jokes, trends and so on.

Live Video

TikTok’s ability to go live really jumped on how much livestreaming has been trending in the past few years, allowing users to connect with their favorite creators and influencers in real-time. App Annie’s report also claimed that consumers will spend 548 billion hours live-streaming in top social apps in 2021, which is a huge amount of interest!

Final Thoughts

It will be interesting to see how TikTok continues to soar, and how YouTube will adapt in order to keep up. Both platforms are extremely popular with creators and audiences alike, so we’re excited to see how they develop and grow over the coming years.

If you’re a creator or small business owner, it might be time to consider factoring TikTok into your content strategy or video marketing plan if you haven’t already. And as always, we’re here to help content creators in any way that we can!

Are You A Creator That Needs Music?

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If you are looking for authentic, top-quality music for your projects, videos or creations, why not check out Audiosocket? Your content deserves the best, so sign up today and access over 85,000 songs, sound effects & sound design to bring your vision to life! You can access Audiosocket’s music catalog for just $15 a month as a Personal creator. Not only that, but this allows you to license an unlimited number of tracks at no additional cost. Talk about win-win!

Also, feel free to check out our helpful articles on how to use music on YouTube, smartphone accessories for video creatorsusing background songs for videos and best free video editing software in 2021!

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