Almost exactly two years ago, the YouTube app crossed 5 billion downloads on the Play Store. Earlier this year, we also saw a much smaller 50 million milestone hit by the Android TV version of the YouTube app. Both apps have the advantage of coming pre-installed on most suitable devices, which means these accomplishments are owed partially to the success of the OS. However, the latest streaming app to hit a new threshold is YouTube Kids for Android TV, which now boasts 10 million downloads, and none of them were pre-installed.
As a refresher, the install count isn’t actually representative of how many times an app has been installed, but instead counts the number of Google accounts that have been linked to an app, which happens the first time an account is active when an app is installed or updated from the Play Store. Sometimes this is useful for guessing how many devices have been sold and set up by users, but it’s far from reliable because of the various scenarios where a single account may be set up on many devices, or several accounts may have been used on a single device.
Perhaps the most interesting takeaway is the relative number of installs between the two Android TV apps. The version designed for children is at roughly 20% of the install count of the pre-installed version, and again, these are all intentional installs. This would seem to imply a fairly substantial portion of households with Android TV devices are setting up at least one screen to be used by young kids.
The install count still isn’t particularly astonishing, even compared to the 100+ million installs of the standard YouTube Kids app for phones; but it’s solid progress on a platform that has substantially more competition from set-top boxes like Apple TV and Roku, manufacturers own smart platforms like Samsung and LG, and even the practical reality that many people are still happy with their older TVs and haven’t upgraded yet. And of course, the YouTube TV app is also available on other platforms like Apple TV, and that number obviously isn’t part of the Play Store count.