How Much Data Does YouTube Use on Mobile?

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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.


Youtube Usage Kenya


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 Quality 144p 240p 360p 480p 720p 1080p 1440p 4K 8K
Data Per Minute 1.3MB 3.3MB 5MB 8.3MB 25MB 50MB 90MB 233MB 900MB
Data Per Hour 80MB 200MB 300MB 500MB 1.5GB 3GB 5.5GB 14GB 54GB



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