YouTube continues to dominate as the most popular video service globally, but Instagram has surged ahead of Netflix and TikTok in the USA to establish 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. Omdia said the platform’s user-friendly interface and robust recommendation algorithm significantly contribute to its unmatched global reach and engagement.

1. Omdia.Top ten video services by monthly usage

Omdia: Top ten video services by monthly usage

Omdia reported that YouTube has over 2.7 billion active users in 2024, while Instagram follows with 2.5 billion users, and TikTok has 2.3 billion users globally, with 1.3 billion outside of China.

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

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Unveiling the research at Conecta Fiction in Spain this week, Maria Rua Aguete, Senior Director of Research, Omdia, 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.”

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 $12bn by 2028, with $10bn 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.

“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.”

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