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How Much Data Does YouTube Use on Mobile?

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YouTube Mobile

When it comes to mobile entertainment, YouTube is one of the most popular platforms – whether it’s catching up on some comedy, rewatching old vines, getting educated through documentaries or enjoying some animal videos, chances are, you access YouTube at least once a day.

Actually, according to statistics, there are 30 Million daily YouTuber users across the world, who collectively watch 5 billion videos with 500 million of those views being on mobile. This shows that as much as YouTube desktop is popular, a good number of people still use YouTube on their phones.

Closer to Africa, Kenya in particular, a small sample of YouTube users show that Kenyans spend between 6 hours and only 20 minutes on the platform. Although this random data doesn’t show whether these views are on mobile or desktop, we can assume that around 10 percent of this time is spent consuming YouTube on their phones.

As we enjoy YouTube, there’s the implication of data consumed and this would explain why only 10% of YouTube views are on mobile. Streaming YouTube costs money, which users pay for in the form of mobile data. Even though mobile data prices have reduced over time, they are still pretty high especially in emerging markets (apart from India).

On average, a 480p (Standard Definition) YouTube video consumes around 240MB per hour, but note that the higher the video quality, the more data you consume getting entertained. YouTube knows that higher quality videos take up more data and thus there’s a setting to restrict high quality viewing to Wi-Fi only and mobile data viewing will be locked at a maximum of 480p (Settings – General – Limit mobile data usage).

Here are estimates of how much data is consumed when enjoying YouTube based on the video quality setting:

Video Quality144p240p360p480p720p1080p1440p4K8K
Data Per Minute1.3MB3.3MB5MB8.3MB25MB50MB90MB233MB900MB
Data Per Hour80MB200MB300MB500MB1.5GB3GB5.5GB14GB54GB
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