96% of Canadian Adults Use YouTube, Says Exec

Google’s head of YouTube for Canada, Andrew Peterson, revealed in a recent interview with The Toronto Star that the popular video platform counts a whopping 96% of Canadian adults among its billions of users worldwide.

Peterson said that because YouTube is highly personalized to each individual’s independent interests, the company sees niche content as the new mainstream.

“You might be the only person that lives in your town with a particular interest, but 96 per cent of Canadian adults use YouTube. We’ve got billions of users around the world,” said Peterson.

“At that scale, there are people just like you who are interested in that content. And so, in terms of content trends, we will just continue to evolve as each person’s interests do.

As part of the interview, Peterson went on to talk about what’s on his recommended list on YouTube, potential new regulations from the Canadian government, and how YouTube Shorts, the streaming giant’s short-form video format, is doing.

YouTube is currently averaging a massive 50 billion Shorts views per day. While that’s only a fraction of prime rival TikTok’s more than one billion daily views, Shorts is certainly growing.

When asked about Ottawa’s controversial Online Streaming Act (aka Bill C-11), Peterson said YouTube wants to make sure to preserve the viewing experience that Canadians like today.

Bill C-11 is designed to give the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulatory authority over online streaming platforms like YouTube and Netflix and compel them to support the creation and promotion of Canadian content. Unfortunately, there are concerns it might also bring user-generated content — cat videos on YouTube, for example — under the CRTC’s purview.

“YouTube’s mission is to give everyone a voice and show them the world. We are not opposed to regulation, but what we want to make sure is that we preserve the viewing experience that Canadians like today, and that we also protect thriving businesses that digital creators have made on the platform,” said Peterson.

“We’re really committed to working with government and industry [to] make sure that we do that.”

Bill C-11 is currently making its way through the Senate, after being passed by the House of Commons in June 2022.

Google has previously warned both the feds and users of the impact Bill C-11 could have, even running a new “Keep YouTube Yours” pop-up campaign on the platform in November to help raise awareness against Bill C-11.

In December, consumer interest group OpenMedia delivered more than 104,000 signatures from Canadians opposing Bill C-11 to the Senate.