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Netflix loses leading video position to YouTube in survey of 9,500 teens

Aarthi Swaminathan
Finance Writer

Google-owned YouTube (GOOGGOOGL) is dominating American teens’ screens, stealing eyeballs away from Netflix (NFLX), according to a new study by Piper Jaffray.

The semi-annual national study — which looked at over 9,500 teens and how much of their “video consumption” time is spent on specific platforms like Netflix, YouTube, cable, and others — found that high school students were watching less Netflix than YouTube.

According to the analysts, 37% of teens said they spent most of their time on YouTube, and 35% on Netflix. Previously Netflix held that dominant 37% share, and YouTube only 32%.

Cable came in third place, with 12% of teens spending most of their time on that platform, followed by Hulu (7%) and Amazon (AMZN) Prime (3%).

(Source: Piper Jaffray)

The key reasons for Netflix losing ground came down to the fact that YouTube simply had so many different types of content, the researchers said.

“[W]e believe YouTube's more varied content library is a significant driver. Specifically … while YouTube does offer movies and other scripted content for a fee, the YouTube library includes music videos, video game streaming, DIY guides, social media influencer videos and other crowd sourced content,” they wrote.

The most subscribed-to user channel on YouTube is Bollywood channel T-Series, followed by PewDiePie, and CoCoMelon, according to social-media tracker Socialblade.com.

But it’s not all bad news for Netflix, they added: “We believe Netflix continues to maintain strong teen mind share and attribute the position switch with YouTube at least partially to core differences between the content.”

And with the rise of other subscription services like Disney+ (DIS) and Apple TV+ (AAPL), “there will be increasing competition… and unforeseen hurdles,” the analysts wrote. “But we believe the market will support multiple large players, with Netflix leading the way.”

Aarthi is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.

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