Analyst: YouTube close to UK saturation

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YouTube viewing is close to saturation in the UK, with more than 90 per cent of digital video viewers regularly visiting the platform, according to eMarketer’s first-ever YouTube forecast for the market, Worldwide YouTube and Digital Video.

YouTube’s ubiquity across the Google platform and easy integration on other content platforms have helped contribute to its dominance. In 2018, 40.4 million people, or six out of 10 people in the UK, will watch video via the YouTube app or website at least once per month, eMarketer estimates.

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and the rise of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, watching video over the Internet is now commonplace in the UK, notes eMarketer. In 2018, more than two-thirds of the UK’s population will be watching some form of digital video.

However, YouTube—which is video-only—is facing competition from these subscription streaming services. In addition, close to two-thirds (64.3 per cent) of digital video viewers in the UK are expected to view content via mobile phone. Equally, YouTube is competing for eyeballs from Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, who have all been investing heavily in video over the past few years.

“UK adults have been migrating their social media and video habits over to mobile for some time,” eMarketer senior analyst Bill Fisher said. “It’s no surprise, then, that the social media platforms have been making major plays in the video space. YouTube viewership isn’t going to drop away, of course—it’s too well-established. But it’s going to have to compete for video-viewing time from a multitude of other options like never before.”


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