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YouTube and Instagram redefine video service popularity in 2024

New Omdia research has found that YouTube continues to dominate as the most popular video service globally, while Instagram has surged ahead of Netflix and TikTok in the USA, establishing itself as the second most popular video service among American users.

According to the latest consumer research from Omdia, YouTube maintains its position at the pinnacle of video streaming services worldwide, extending its reach into markets such as the Middle East. Notably, Saudi Arabia leads the world in YouTube content consumption per capita. The platform’s user-friendly interface and robust recommendation algorithm significantly contribute to its unmatched global reach and engagement.

Unveiling the latest entertainment trends at Conecta Fiction in Spain this week, Maria Rua Aguete, Omdia Senior Director of Research noted the top three video services in Spain as YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and Instagram Reels. “Instagram Reels’ ascent to third place in Spain highlights its growing influence in the video content domain, driven by its popular features that offer quick, engaging, and shareable content.”

With over 2.7 billion active users in 2024, YouTube remains the top choice for video content, while Instagram follows with 1.5 billion users, and TikTok has 2.3 billion users globally, with 1.3 billion outside of China.

Instagram’s video features have resonated strongly with American audiences, particularly among younger demographics who favor short-form, visually appealing content.

Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television (FAST) channels are also rapidly gaining popularity, particularly in the USA and Brazil, where they have surpassed traditional pay TV services. FAST revenues are projected to reach $12 billion by 2028, with $10 billion coming from North America alone.

Platforms like Tubi and Roku are among the top choices, with 60% of users watching FAST channels monthly compared to 55% who use pay TV services.

The growing preference for FAST channels indicates a significant shift towards more flexible and cost-effective viewing options, reshaping the television industry in both markets.

“We are witnessing a transformative period in how people consume video content,” said Rua Aguete. “Instagram’s rise in popularity is a testament to the evolving nature of viewer engagement and the increasing demand for short-form, visually appealing content. The surge in FAST channel viewership underscores a major shift towards ad-supported content in a linear format, providing viewers with a greater variety of options.”

As the digital content landscape continues to evolve, platforms like YouTube and Instagram are at the forefront, shaping the future of entertainment and media consumption. The growing influence of FAST channels in the USA and Brazil further highlights the dynamic nature of viewer preferences and the ongoing transformation of the television industry. Omdia

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