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AppAnnie US User Engagement TikTok v YouTube Sept2021With more than half of US internet users saying they have access to more than 3 streaming services, it’s no surprise streaming apps are outpacing those that offer chat or photos and video when it comes to the number of downloads, according to the latest report [download page] from App Annie.

By Q2 of this year, 74.1 billion social apps had been downloaded worldwide – 11.4 billion of those were downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play in North America. Overall, those apps have commanded a total of 737.4 billion hours of consumer attention.

A closer look shows that streaming apps downloaded on Android alone are expected to reach 548.7 billion worldwide (excluding China) this year. This is a dramatic change from 2018’s 281 billion – a 3-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25%.

By contrast, downloads of photo and video apps like TikTok and Instagram have seen slower growth between 2018 (297.3 billion) and the forecast 456.4 billion downloads in 2021 (15% CAGR).

While chat app downloads are still growing, their progress looks to be leveling off. These apps saw a significant increase in downloads between 2019 (297.8 billion) and 2020 (383.1 billion); however, only 391.6 billion chat apps are expected to be downloaded this year (a 3-year CAGR of 15%).

Sensor Tower found that global consumer spending on the App Store and Android Google Play reached $64.9 billion in H1 2021. Per App Annie’s report, $22.2 billion has been spent on social apps. The report also reveals that social apps that offer live streaming accounted for 76.2% of spending on the top 25 social apps during that time, while chat apps accounted for 18.8% and photo and video apps accounted for only 5%.

TikTok Leads YouTube

During the pandemic, TikTok saw momentous growth, including among adults. Earlier data from Comscore revealed that, in the first weeks of the pandemic (March to April 2020), TikTok saw a 36% increase in unique adult users in the US. Between March of 2020 and March of 2021, the app’s adult users nearly doubled from 28.8 million to 54.6 million.

In terms of engagement, TikTok has surpassed YouTube among Android users. In December 2019, the app only accounted for an average of 16:20:42 (HH:MM:SS) per user per month, compared to YouTube’s 22:09:29.

By August 2020, the average monthly use of TikTok had soared to 24:21:17 per user. Since then, engagement has remained relatively consistent and, as of June 2021, sits at 24:28:57.

On the other hand, while YouTube remains popular in the US, it currently has taken a backseat to TikTok. Despite a spike in usage early in the pandemic, the platform saw a decline in engagement among Android users between July and November 2020. By June 2021, Android users were spending 22:40:52 per month with YouTube.

It’s worth pointing out that, despite TikTok’s predominance with Android users in the US, only 28% of marketers plan to increase their use of the platform, while 7 in 10 plan to increase their use of YouTube.

Get the full report here.

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