Are you planning to leverage video to promote your brand and build an audience? It’s a wise move.

Stats show that time spent watching video content has increased by 249% in the last 5 years, and 86% of businesses utilize video marketing.

If you want to invest time and resources into creating videos, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is which platforms to target your efforts at.

Currently, TikTok and YouTube are the world’s reigning video platforms. There are a number of key differences between TikTok vs YouTube.

You can repurpose video content from one platform to another, but it usually pays to pick one as your main focus.

If you’re not sure which platform is better suited to your needs, we’re here to help. Keep reading for a detailed comparison of YouTube vs TikTok.

Earning Potential of TikTok vs YouTube

If your primary aim is to use video to promote your brand or business, you might not be all that interested in the earning potential of TikTok vs YouTube. But, it’s still worthwhile understanding how the earnings of the two platforms compare.

Earning on YouTube

youtube monetization
YouTube offers its creators two sources of revenue. With YouTube, you can earn Adsense revenue once you’ve signed up for the YouTube Partner program. To become eligible you will need to gain 1,000 subscribers and accrue 4,000 hours of watch time.

Once you’ve signed up, you will have the option to place ads at certain intervals in your videos. Ad revenue can vary widely between niches. Niches like finance, marketing, and investing tend to attract far higher CPM rates than lifestyle niches and cooking.

For instance, the average CPM for ads on finance and investing videos tends to hover above $12, while the average CPM for ads on cooking and recipe videos is generally around $2.50.

With the advent of YouTube Shorts, creators can now also earn a share of the YouTube Shorts fund if their Shorts perform well. By 2023, YouTube is set to offer creators the ability to earn ad revenue off of Shorts.

Related: How to Drive Traffic and Sales From TikTok

Earning on TikTok

Unlike YouTube, TikTok does not allow creators to earn ad revenue. However, it does have a creator fund, which is distributed to creators based on the number of views they receive.

Even though TikTok doesn’t offer creators direct ad revenue, this doesn’t mean that the platform doesn’t support ads. However, TikTok ads work a little differently from regular paid ads.

Are you looking to market your offerings via paid ads on TikTok? We specialize in helping businesses run successful TikTok ad campaigns.

Who Wins?

monetizing on youtube vs tiktok
According to CNBC, a new social media earnings calculator estimates that TikTok creators need more than 10,000 followers and 270 million views per year to earn $100,000.

On YouTube, creators would need roughly 24 million views to generate the same amount.

Keep in mind, these figures are just estimates, and earnings can vary widely.


Another thing to think about when comparing TikTok vs YouTube is the level of saturation and how quickly you can gain traction on the platform.

In this category, TikTok has the advantage. Not only is TikTok a newer platform with less competition, but its algorithm seems to promote videos from new accounts as well as old ones with higher follower accounts.

The YouTube algorithm does this as well but to a seemingly lesser extent. This could be one of the reasons why many people think it’s easier to go viral and gain followers on TikTok than on YouTube

Related: How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work?


youtube and tiktok demographics
Do you have a specific demographic you’re targeting? Overall, the audience on TikTok skews young. However, this doesn’t mean that Gen Z doesn’t watch YouTube.

According to Pew Research, 95% of teens use YouTube, making it their top app choice, followed by TikTok.

However, YouTube is also a go-to platform for older demographics. Many millennials partially grew up with the platform, and it serves audiences of almost all ages.

Further research from PEW shows that 81% of adults have an active presence on the platform. In contrast, only about 21% of adults used TikTok last year.

If your audience is primarily younger, or Gen Z, then TikTok is an obvious place to reach them. However, YouTube offers a wider demographic, while still being the number one most-used platform among teens.

Longform vs Shortform

long form video vs short form video
Before you pick between YouTube vs TikTok, think about what type of content you want to make.

Is it in-depth tutorials, guides, or behind-the-scenes content? If so, you’ll be better off with YouTube, simply because the platform allows you to post long-form videos.

On the other hand, if you want to stick to a fast, snappy format, both TikTok and YouTube can work. TikTok is renowned for being short-format, but it has recently announced that users can now upload videos up to 10 minutes in length.

YouTube allows users to upload any length of video they like, but it also caters specifically to short-form content via its Shorts page. The Shorts page on YouTube is structured very much like TikTok but only allows for up to 60-second videos.

Because YouTube offers both a Shorts feature and the ability to upload long-format videos, this can be especially useful if you want to try out both formats.

Short-form video is great for increasing your reach and gaining new audiences. Long-form videos can help provide newfound audiences with extra value by giving them a deep dive into topics.

Findings from Google reveal that 59% of Gen Z audiences say they watch longer versions of videos they have discovered in short format.

Ease of Editing

Both YouTube and TikTok have in-app functionalities for editing videos, but TikTok’s are far more robust. If you create a TikTok video within the app, you have the option to add voice effects, AR filters, and more.

YouTube Shorts offer some of the same editing features as TikTok, such as the green screen option, but these are restricted.

Evergreen Content

Another thing you might want to think about when choosing between marketing on YouTube or TikTok is the evergreen nature of your uploads.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, evergreen content is content that can attract views for an extended period of time. For instance, a breaking news article might get a lot of traffic in the short term, but it’s not evergreen. After a few days, it will no longer be relevant.

An amazing recipe for chocolate chip cookies, on the other hand, could bring in traffic for years to come.

By nature, TikTok videos don’t have a very long lifespan. Yes, it is possible for videos to “blow up” and gain traction a few weeks or even months after posting, but this is rare. Most TikTok videos get promoted by the algorithm for a short period, usually a few days, and then experience a decline in views.

The same is true for YouTube Shorts.

Once a Short or a TikTok is no longer being promoted by the algorithm, they won’t typically garner many more views.

As you can imagine, the short lifespan and non-searchable nature of TikToks and Shorts isn’t a recipe for evergreen content.

In contrast, long-form YouTube videos can lend themselves very well to evergreen content. For one, the YouTube algorithm promotes long-form videos for longer after they’ve been uploaded, both on users’ home feeds and in search.

Older videos that perform well also get prioritized in search.


youtube seo
If you’re looking to leverage video in your social media marketing it can pay to also think about the SEO value of your videos.

Video uploaded to social media sites won’t trigger SEO for your website, but, it’s still an important point to think about.

To put it simply, Shorts and TikTok videos have just about zero SEO valuable outside of the apps. Have you ever seen a TikTok video in a Google search result? No, probably not.

Long-form YouTube videos, on the other hand, are a different story. If you type a search query into Google, there’s a good chance it will display a few YouTube videos on the topic at the start of the search results.


If you want to be seen as an authority, YouTube is your friend.

According to survey results, YouTubers are the most trusted public figures for Gen Z and millennials, above authors, podcast hosts, TV hosts, and more.

But that’s not to say you shouldn’t try out TikTok in fear that it will make you seem “untrustworthy.” Many creators have gained trust on the platform, especially when coming from unexpected niches.

For instance, respected dentists, doctors, and plastic surgeons have had great success posting informative and entertaining content to TikTok.

You Don’t Have to Choose Between TikTok vs YouTube

If you’re trying to figure out whether TikTok or YouTube marketing is better for your business, it can be helpful to isolate one platform as your main priority. However, you don’t have to choose between marketing on YouTube or on TikTok.

When comparing TikTok vs YouTube, you might find that one platform is better suited to your needs and target audience. However, you can still repurpose your content and maximize your reach by posting it on other platforms.

Of course, all of this takes time.

Is your online marketing making you feel overwhelmed? We’re here to help.

Contact us today to discuss your online marketing needs.

Originally published . Last updated .


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