Video on YouTube is the most used video on the Internet, according to a new study.
The study by The Sports Bible, which measures video popularity, found that the number of videos watched on YouTube has grown by nearly 30 percent in the last five years, while the number watched on other streaming services, such as Netflix and YouTube, has remained stable.
The study’s authors, Kevin McInnis, of Boston College and Robert W. Loomis, of the University of Arizona, say that while the overall video-viewing market has been growing, there has been a sharp decline in YouTube’s role as a traditional content provider.
“The Internet is no longer an Internet video player,” McInnes said.
“It’s a video platform.”
The study found that while YouTube’s popularity has declined by about 20 percent, the number watching videos on other sites, such the Netflix or Hulu sites, has increased by nearly 50 percent.
“YouTube’s decline was due in part to the loss of its dominant position as the dominant video-streaming platform, but also due to a combination of a decline in the number and volume of video views for video content on YouTube, and the shift to streaming services,” the authors wrote.
McInnis said that despite the decline in its popularity, YouTube remains a major video player.
“We’re still in a relatively healthy state,” he said.
“There’s certainly a place for YouTube on the web,” said Loomys co-author, Andrew Klimas.
“But it’s not the place where you go to get the latest news, or the latest celebrity gossip.”
The two co-authors believe YouTube’s dominance is due to its ease of use.
“People don’t have to know how to download the right software or download a specific app, so it’s easy to get content from the web, without the cost and hassle of paying a subscription fee,” Klimes said.
According to McInns, the decline of YouTube may be due to increased competition from other video-player companies, such Netflix, which launched its own video-play service earlier this year.
“With Netflix, you can watch any video that you want, and you can get the same content in a much shorter amount of time,” McAsin said.
He also noted that the increased competition may be a result of increased investment by YouTube in new products, such an app that lets users stream and download video.
“What we’re seeing in terms of new product releases is people buying those apps in the hope that they’ll improve the quality of the content,” McInsns said.
McAsin also said that the rise of other video platforms such as Hulu may be another factor in YouTube declining.
“As the streaming services get better, we’re going to see that more and more people who have a lot of money and they want to watch some good content will use streaming services like Hulu, rather than YouTube,” he added.
McIngnis said there is no clear evidence that the decline is due in large part to increased content on Hulu, which has seen its audience decline.
“Hulu has more people watching it, and more viewers, but it’s also the same platform, and people watching YouTube, so that’s probably a contributing factor,” he explained.
McINNS and Loomies co-authored the study.
It was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.
Follow Dana Stevens on Twitter: @DanaStevens.