YouTube viewers are pivoting to TV screens as their method of choice for watching content, a trend that experienced significant growth before and during the height of the pandemic.
According to analyst firm eMarketer, 113.1 million US YouTube viewers, 52.8% of total viewers, watched the platform's content on connected TV (CTV) devices in 2020. It predicts that those numbers will increase to 130.8 million and 57.7% by 2022.
The pandemic boosted viewership in 2020 as lockdowns led to people having more time to watch video. YouTube CTV viewers grew almost 63% last year and surpassed the 50% threshold for the share of viewers who watched YouTube content on CTVs.
YouTube viewership overall is also still growing: eMarketer says it expects a 4.4% increase in 2021, reaching a total of 223.5 million viewers.
YouTube is the No. 1 OTT platform in the US when it comes to penetration among OTT video service users, with market share of 95.5%, eMarketer estimates. Additionally, YouTube was found to be the No. 2 streaming service when it came to total hours spent watching content on CTVs in the US, according to Comscore OTT Intelligence.
Looking ahead, eMarketer predicts that over 60% of US YouTube viewers (140.1 million viewers) will watch the platform's content on CTVs by 2024.