MediaVideoFacebook Video Views Gaining on YouTube [Study]

Facebook Video Views Gaining on YouTube [Study]

Though YouTube remains the dominant video-sharing platform, Facebook keeps catching up; the social media powerhouse is on track to soon deliver nearly as many views as YouTube.

YouTube is still the clear leader in video sharing, on track to deliver 3 trillion video views this year. However, with a projected 2 trillion views in 2015, Facebook is catching up, according to a recent study.

Facebook reached a daily 4 billion video views by the end of Q1, making the social media giant YouTube’s most formidable competitor, according to an April earnings call. Surveying 10,000 consumers across Europe and North America, London research and analytics firm Ampere Analysis found that 15 percent of respondents watched videos on Facebook in the last month. Of that 15 percent, one-sixth haven’t watched anything on YouTube in the last month.

As Facebook video views continue to rise, many industry insiders are predicting a long battle for top video platform. “The scale of the two players is such that there is likely to be no speedy victory for one side or the other. Years of competition are on the horizon,” says Richard Broughton, research director at Ampere Analytics. “From a consumer perspective, exposure to increased volumes of advertising is almost a certainty.”

facebook-vs-youtube-views

The two platforms have comparable advertising rates, though Facebook has the data advantage and, as a result, more sophisticated targeting, given that users are all registered and logged in. In YouTube’s favor, Facebook runs its ads after the content, rather than before, and also charges advertisers for a video view after just three seconds. NFL and Fox Sports were two early partners testing the efficacy of post-roll videos, something many advertisers prefer to stay away from.

“Ultimately, despite Facebook’s current reticence around offering pre-rolls, it may have to bite the bullet and add them to its repertoire,” Broughton says “If the social network’s own video ambitions are to be realized, and if it is to convince content owners it is a viable alternative to YouTube, it must deliver comparable returns.”

Over the last year, Facebook has introduced YouTube-like features, such as view counts and the ranking prioritization of videos uploaded directly to the platform rather than those embedded from third-parties. However, YouTube remains one step ahead; last month, the video giant introduced shoppable TrueView Ads, which links to products alongside or within video ads.

Video is not the only area in which Facebook is staying competitive. According to the April earnings call, mobile accounted for 73 percent of the company’s advertising revenue.

With that in mind, Facebook is currently building new mobile ad formats and opportunities. An early version demonstrates full-screen video along with product information and other branded content, according to The Wall Street Journal. The ads will leverage interactive carousels in order to keep users on the platform rather than directing them to third-party sites.

Chris Cox, the social media giant’s chief product officer, will share more details tomorrow at the Cannes Lions festival in France.

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