The Truth Behind YouTube Data Usage

The era of 144p YouTube clips has come to an end. Now, YouTube offers different playback quality options to give viewers the satisfaction they deserve. Viewers can now watch high-quality music videos, blockbuster trailers, and viral videos in a 4k UHD (Ultra High Definition) playback.

But of course, excellent video quality comes with higher data usage – especially if you love watching YouTube videos during lunch break, daily commute, or if having a coffee outside. The question is – how much data does youtube use in Singapore?
The answer is, it depends. There are several factors to measure the data usage such as the frame-rate, bitrate, and the bandwidth requirement in each video. So, whether the clip appeared as a standard video, 360-degree, 3D, 4K UHD, and so on, all of them affect the data consumption.

How Much Data Does a One-Hour YouTube Video Consume?

Compared with other video streaming sites, such as Netflix, iFlix, etc. YouTube doesn’t have official guidelines when it comes to data consumption for a 60-minute video. But don’t worry, today’s article will explain to you how much data they consume.

For example, a standard YouTube video (480p) can produce up to 30fps (frame per second) which can consume up to 264mb data in an hour. For videos that are set to a higher quality like 720p HD can consume up to 870mb in an hour, while 1080p Full HD can eat up around 1.65GB.

To give you a detailed visualization of this, check the table below for a better understanding of data consumption per day, per week, and per month at different hours.

Note: Assume you’ve set the video in a standard 480p quality.

No. of HoursPer DayPer WeekPer Month
1hr264mb1.85gb7.4gb
2hr528mb3.7gb14.78gb
3hr792mb5.5gb22.18gb
4hr1.06gb7.42gb29.68gb

720p YouTube Video

No. of HoursPer DayPer WeekPer Month
1hr870mb6.1gb24.4gb
2hr1.74gb12.18gb48.7gb
3hr2.61gb18.27gb73.08gb
4hr3.48gb24.36gb97.44gb

Based on the data listed above, data consumption for YouTube videos is enormous. So, if you have a limited data plan, you wouldn’t want to use your data for nonsense videos. Data plan is quite expensive especially here in Singapore if you want to save money, control yourself from watching too many YouTube videos, especially in your mobile phones. But if you’re connected to a WIFI that has an unlimited data plan, then you don’t need to worry about your data consumption.

If you have no other options, you can watch YouTube videos in a lower resolution which can save more data compared to 480p videos. See the data below:

360p YouTube Videos

No. of HoursPer DayPer WeekPer Month
1hr180mb1.3gb5.2gb
2hr360mb2.5gb10gb
3hr540mb3.8gb15.2gb
4hr720mb5.04gb20.16gb

Smart TV and Its YouTube Consumption

If you have kids or even you, who love watching YouTube videos on a Smart TV that is linked with home broadband, below are the following data consumption in different YouTube resolutions.

1080p YouTube Video

No. of HoursPer DayPer WeekPer Month
1hr1.2gb8.4gb33.6gb
2hr2.4gb16.8gb67.2gb
3hr3.6gb25.2gb100.8gb
4hr4.8gb33.6gb134.4gb

1440p (QHD) YouTube Videos

No. of HoursPer DayPer WeekPer Month
1hr2gb14gb56gb
2hr4gb28gb112gb
3hr6gb42gb168gb
4hr8gb56gb224gb

2160p (4k) (UHD) YouTube Videos

No. of HoursPer DayPer WeekPer Month
1hr3.5gb24.5gb98gb
2hr7gb49gb196gb
3hr10.5gb73.5gb294gb
4hr14gb98gb392gb

If you have limited home broadband, you shouldn’t watch on a 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p YouTube video resolution. It can consume large data consumption which can add up to your monthly expenses. Consider lowering the resolution up to 720p (refer to table 2) which is the standard HD resolution for Smart TVs.

YouTube Data Consumption versus Other Streaming Sites

Unlike other big streaming sites companies such as Netflix, Amazon Video, and iFlix, YouTube has a large appetite when it comes to data consumption. With the data usage listed above, YouTube consumes larger data usage compared to watching a movie on Netflix which can consume approximately 2-3 GB per film.

Step to Reduce Your Data Consumption

Before jumping into another YouTube video session, consider these tips to help you control data consumption.

Adjust Video Quality

Set your video quality in a lower resolution to save more data. On your YouTube app, look for the three vertical dots on the video screen. Then, choose the “quality” menu and set your desired video resolution. For a smartphone, it is recommended to set your resolution for a 360p up to 480p to control your data usage (refer to table 1 and 3).

YouTube app remembers your preferred resolution, and it will automatically load future videos by following this setting as your default resolution. However, this setting is only applicable for Android users. For iOS users, you’ll have to change the resolution in between videos manually.

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