Viewing behaviour across age and gender on more than 1,000 YouTube channels has been analysed by multi-channel network DIVIMOVE. According to DIVIMOVE data, published in its Brandboost Intelligence report, around 77 per cent of all viewers on YouTube are younger than 35, and YouTube claims to reach more adults between the ages of 18 and 34 than any cable network in the US.
Girls and young women under the age of 25 are most fond of beauty and fashion channels, with entertainment channels occupying a strong second place, DIVIMOVE concludes. Perhaps surprising for some, a large proportion of younger teenage girls use YouTube to access Minecraft (albeit far less than their male counterparts) though this is less evident in older age groups. The independent video game allows players to build constructions out of blocks in a landscape using simple graphics, without characters or a storyline. Music is the main draw to YouTube for women aged 25-34, though this disappears from the top three video categories in older generations of women. The most popular channels for women in the 35+ age groups are those focused on crafts and, unexpectedly, Minecraft again. DIVIMOVE seeks to explain this “fascination” with Minecraft: “ It is highly probable that young mothers use their own YouTube accounts for their underage children.”
Once women pass the age of 45, cooking becomes the main reason to visit YouTube DIVIMOVE claims. The report attempts to explain this by stating: “Instead of buying cookbooks or looking up written recipes, middle-aged women prefer to receive a more complete approach by watching YouTube personalities, who can more easily offer step-by-step approaches and visual support when cooking, much like regular TV.”
Gaming is by far the most popular YouTube platform among young male viewers. The favourite subcategories are Minecraft, VLOGs and other kinds of ‘Let’s-Plays’: a video documenting a playthrough of a videogame accompanied by commentary from the gamer. After 18 years of age men’s preferences gravitate more towards general entertainment channels, but gaming still remains a strong presence, occupying the second and third top spots.
All of this changes after the age of 25, and as with women, many make the switch to music channels. Cars and motors, as well as sports occupy the second and third places as the most popular for men aged 25-34. Middle-aged men over 35 turn to craft and cooking channels, not unlike their female counterparts. Perhaps surprising, however, is the populartiy of beauty and fashion videos within the 34-44 age group. Interestingly, rather than accepting it is the men viewing such channels, the report first seeks to explain this figure by suggesting, “It may be fathers lending their accounts to their daughters” before conceding, “or perhaps even be willing to learn make-up tips just to help them out.”
Younger generations grew up with YouTube and use it for a huge variety of activities, ranging from pure leisure and entertainment to make-up tips and gaming tutorials. The report suggests that older generations use the video site more for information gathering, tutorials and practical help. It describes older viewers as “cautious” of the web, though concludes that the popularity of step-by-step tutorials on YouTube may, for these older groups, “prove to be a stepping stone for their exploration of the world of online video.”