Online video usage in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Online video consumption is one of the most popular internet activities worldwide. Improvements in mobile technology and broadband networks have helped make watching videos become a significant part of users’ online experience. Video sharing and streaming websites are used for educational, informative and entertainment purposes. These sites are also social spaces where people can like, comment on, and share online videos with others.

In 2018, the number of digital video viewers in the United States amounted to 228.8 million viewers and is projected to reach 248.9 million video viewers in 2022. Improvements in broadband and mobile connectivity have also set the stage for better viewing experiences, heightening the appeal of online and mobile video content. A 2018 survey found that 85 percent of internet users in the United States watched online video content on any device, with 62 percent of respondents consuming online video via mobile. Among U.S. audiences, the most popular video-related apps are YouTube, Netflix, and IMDB.

Online video has become increasingly integrated in the daily lives of online users and has overlap with areas normally reserved for traditional television viewing. As of 2018, Netflix is the leading video subscription service in the United States, boasting 60.2 million subscribers, followed by Hulu with 26.8 million. Popular Netflix Originals include critically acclaimed drama series such as House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, and The Crown, and several award-winning movies, the most prominent being Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma. In total, 62 percent of adults in the United States currently subscribe to a streaming service.

The most popular online video property in the United States was Google Sites (which includes YouTube), with over 126 million unique viewers in June 2019, more than double the amount of second-ranked Facebook. In 2019, YouTube’s U.S. audience amounted to almost 200 million viewers. With its sheer endless amount of free content, YouTube’s appeal is almost universal among online users - 96 percent of U.S. internet users aged 18 to 24 years accessed YouTube and the video platform has an audience reach of upwards of 90 percent among online users up to the age of 45 and still an impressive 51 percent penetration rate among those aged 75 years and above.

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Online video in the United States

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Platforms and content

Mobile video

User behavior

Advertising and marketing

Video on demand

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