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Last year marked the 10-year anniversary of YouTube’s first video. Given that roughly 2 in 5 people on the Internet visit YouTube each day, it can be a challenge to remember a time before YouTube. How did we watch video online? The answer, of course, is that we didn’t watch much. YouTube ushered in a new era by making it easy for anyone to post and view video, and creating a destination to attract audiences on desktop and mobile devices. And where audiences are, marketers tend to follow.

The first step toward reaching audiences on YouTube is understanding what types of videos they watch across devices. Looking at the graph below, it should be no surprise that Music is the highest category of videos viewed across both desktop and mobile (YouTube has been called the MTV of this generation, after all). But it is worth noting just how much larger it is than the other categories. Audiences view twice as many videos in the Music category than the next highest one – Entertainment. That is so much music!

Share of youtube categories - desktop and mobile

When we break this up by age group, we see some interesting trends. Looking at desktop specifically, there are no big differences in the amount of Music videos that each age group consumes. Even with children’s channels like Kids Learning Songs bringing in over 1M views!

Youtube categories watched on desktop

However, nearly half of the videos 18-24 year olds watch on mobile devices (46%) are Music videos, while music videos make up 35% of videos 25-34 year olds watch and 29% of those that 35-44 year olds watch. That’s a substantial difference between age groups and between devices.

mobile categories on youtube

It’s also interesting to note that each category represents roughly the same share of videos viewed for each age group on desktop devices, but there are obvious differences in mobile share. 18-24 year olds view more How-to & Style videos than the other age groups, 25-34 year olds are watching more People & Blogs and Gaming, while 35-44 year olds are watching more Education, Sports, and Animal videos.

If you are looking to target your audience on YouTube, it’s critical to identify where they spend their time. Looking at just overall video consumption doesn’t tell the full picture. Instead, marketers need to analyze how their specific segment uses YouTube.

Learn more about video consumption in our study, AdReaction: Video Creative in a Digital World.

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