YouTube and Instagram outpace Netflix in some countries

According to Omdia, short formats have won over consumers, who are turning to platforms that favor such content. — AFP Relaxnews

When it comes to streaming, YouTube is still tops. The video platform is the global leader, ahead of Instagram and Netflix. Whether on dedicated streaming platforms or social networks, one thing's for sure: short-form video is popular and can generate the big bucks, according to a study by Omdia.

YouTube continues to reign supreme in the world of video streaming. “With over 2.7 billion active users in 2024, YouTube remains the top choice for video content, offering a diverse range of videos that cater to all interests and age groups,” said Maria Rua Aguete, Senior Research Director at Omdia, at a conference in Toledo, Spain, according to Variety.

Free vs paid models

“YouTube is always the winner everywhere in the world, even in the Middle East,” she said. “I was there a month ago. Saudi Arabia is the country that consumes more YouTube videos per capita.”

Following YouTube, Instagram is now the second most popular video platform in the US, overtaking TikTok. Globally, not taking China into account, Instagram has also overtaken TikTok, with 1.5 billion users in 2022, while TikTok reached one billion users, again without counting China, which accounts for an additional 1.3 billion users.

According to Omdia data, Instagram Video is ahead of Netflix in Mexico, Brazil, Spain, South Korea, Japan and the US. The Meta platform's short format also comes out ahead of TikTok in the UK, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Germany, Brazil and the US.

Consumers have a clear appetite for short formats and a diverse choice of content: “We are witnessing a transformative period in how people consume video content," outlined 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 (Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV) channel viewership underscores a major shift towards ad-supported content in a linear format, providing viewers with a greater variety of options."

A lucrative but competitive market

While free-to-air platforms seem to be the most popular choice with users, Omdia forecasts that the trend will continue. Fast (Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV) platforms, which offer programs free of charge thanks to advertising funding, are expected to generate US$12bil (RM56.60bil) in revenues by 2028, including US$10bil (RM47.13bil) in the United States.

With 60% of viewers watching Fast channels every month, Rua Aguete points out that "there are other players making a lot of money in that connected TV world." Despite the 2,000 Fast channels in the US, over 600 in the UK and almost 400 in Spain, not all of them will withstand the competition, according to the expert. – AFP Relaxnews

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