TikTok use soars in Western markets as locked-down teens turn to social media

Jun 17, 2020 | China, UK, USA

TikTok use soars in Western markets as locked-down teens turn to social media
TikTok usage has more than doubled its number of users since the COVID-19 outbreak, with one-third of 15-25-year-olds in western markets are using the social media newcomer.

The study, from Audience Project, looks into media consumption behaviour before and during COVID-19 across global markets.

At the same time, we see that online news sites and TV have consolidated their position as the main sources of news, while social media loses importance as a news source.

This development, coupled with the fact that more people are paying for online news during COVID-19, means that parts of the industry should come out stronger on the other side of the crisis.

In Sweden, Norway and Finland, more than half of the online population is now using online news sites as their main source of news, while one-third in the US and Denmark use TV as their primary news source. In comparison, less than 10% in all countries (except the US) prefer to stay updated on the latest news through social media.

In general, more people are watching online videos and especially the use of the (fairly) new video-sharing platform has exploded. In most countries, China-based TikTok has more than doubled its number of users since the COVID-19 outbreak, and when looking at the young people between 15 and 25 years old, it is obvious how TikTok is no longer just used by a small group of first-movers. Today, around one-third of this key demographic are using TikTok in the US, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Podcasts grow in popularity

While broadcast radio keeps declining, the consumption of music streaming and especially podcasts keeps growing. In other words, we see a continuation of the audio trends from before the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, more people in the US are streaming music than listening to the radio, and in the US, Sweden and Norway, one-third of the online population are listening to podcasts.

Download the full study and get further insights here

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