YouTube viewers are watching on TVs like never before

YouTube TV on a TV
(Image credit: Future)

YouTube is a streaming service that has historically been watched mainly on laptops, tablets, and phones. But that now appears to be changing.

It's now thought that 45% of all YouTuber viewership is now done on a TV, a change that will surely see YouTube and its ad partners change the way they think about the streaming service.

The new figure is a huge change, with less than 30% of YouTube watchers doing so on the big screen as recently as 2020. 

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This is all according to a new report by The Information which notes that this all coincides with advertisers choosing to pay more attention to YouTube than ever before.

"Those shifts explain why advertisers have stopped treating YouTube like a second-class citizen, which will become clearer this month at the start of the annual TV upfronts market, an event where advertisers and ad sellers begin negotiating their spending commitments for the next year," the report says. "Advertisers widely expect to allocate at least as many dollars to YouTube as on any individual TV company such as Disney and NBCUniversal, according to multiple senior ad-buying executives."

Once only available via a web browser on a computer, YouTube is now everywhere. There are apps for most smart TVs and then there are games consoles and streaming devices like the Apple TV 4K. There are tons of cheaper Apple TV alternatives out there that make getting YouTube onto a TV a cinch. And it's all being noticed by ad companies keen to put their money where the eyeballs are.

This all also comes at a time when YouTube is becoming more mainstream thanks to higher-quality content from top-notch creators. Gone are the days when YouTube was full of kids — it's now a huge business with MrBeast having spent millions of dollars on creating videos.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.