Report: YouTube Remains King of Video Content Despite Facebook’s Impressive Video Viewership Performance
Facebook has proven itself time and again to be the emerging leader in video marketing for brands. By adding new features to its platform, and by changing the way it controls the volume of promotional content in News Feed, the social network has been quite successful in dominating the amount of traffic for videos uploaded on the Web.
In light of these developments, much speculation has surfaced about Facebook becoming the new YouTube, and Facebook hasn’t denied that its video platform is getting stronger and stronger. In January, the company announced that “the number of video posts per person has increased 75% globally and 94% in the U.S.” In addition, Facebook boasts an average of over one billion views daily, and a 3.6x YoY increase in the number of videos coming from both users and brands.
But amid these significant breakthroughs, the truth remains unclear for some users. Which platform is better when it comes to marketing branded videos—Facebook or YouTube? Has Facebook totally outpaced YouTube in terms of video viewership?
A recent report from Visible Measures (@visiblemeasures) suggests that although Facebook gathers velocity and performs really well during launches, YouTube emerges as the winner over the long term. (Visible Measures defines velocity as the rate at which the site reaches its total viewership.) To come to this conclusion, Visible Measures examined 82 randomly selected video campaigns by brands in March and found that while Facebook has improved, it still trailed behind YouTube in total March viewership (65% for YouTube, 35% for Facebook).
“In March 2015, brands released 82 new video campaigns that generated a True Reach® of 437.5 million, and 53 of those campaigns used Facebook as a distribution platform,” Visible Measures explained. “Views generated from videos posted on Facebook represented 35 percent of that total March viewership, while YouTube represented 65 percent, a sizeable increase from the single digit percentage that represented Facebook at the end of 2014.”
It’s important to note that Facebook performed well during the first week of launch, eventually hitting 85% of views, while YouTube garnered only 63% of the total within the first seven days of the launch. These numbers reflect how videos uploaded on Facebook tend to achieve early velocity, which eventually fades away as the videos get more and more out of date.
On the other hand, while YouTube’s performance started a bit slow at the launch, it continued to accumulate velocity during the next few weeks and beyond. In general, YouTube accounted for 65% of the total viewership in March.
Visible Measures further compared both platforms over the long term for the Super Bowl campaigns. The company noted that days after the game, Facebook received 25% of the total ad viewership, but that number plummeted to 18.5% two months later. YouTube’s share of viewership soared to 81% from just 75% after the Super Bowl.
Brian Shin, CEO of Visible Measures, said that these numbers interpret how different the nature of the two platforms are, and emphasized the difficulty of finding older videos on Facebook.
“If something is hot and of the moment, such as a newly released campaign, the Super Bowl, or even a cultural phenomenon like Fifty Shades of Grey, Facebook and similar social media sites are incredibly effective for driving the spread of timely content due to the trending nature of the newsfeed,” said Shin. “But the strength of Facebook to promote trending content also highlights how powerful YouTube remains as a platform for continued viewership.”
What are your thoughts on these findings? Do you see Facebook as the next leading video platform for users and marketers alike?
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