Report: YouTube Still Trumps Facebook Video For Brands Over The Long Haul
Visible Measures data shows Facebook with 35% of video views from a sample of March campaigns, but over time the balance shifts in YouTube's favor.
YouTube or Facebook? Judging from recent headlines, marketers could be excused for thinking that they need to make that call when launching video campaigns.
But there’s really no need for an either either-or decision and new data this week from content advertising firm Visible Measures emphasizes that each of the platforms has strengths that fit nicely into brands’ strategies.
Namely that Facebook performs better at launch, taking advantage of the social network’s reach and high engagement on the News Feed to drive early velocity. And that YouTube takes longer to gather steam but dominates the long-tail.
Visible Measures came to those conclusions by studying 82 randomly selected video campaigns launched by brands in March, efforts that generated 437.5 million views in the company’s True Reach system. It found that YouTube led Facebook in views, 65%-35%, which is a giant leap for Facebook considering it had only a single digit share of brand video as recently as the end of 2014.
Not all brands are using Facebook for video distribution, 53 of the campaigns in the study posted natively to Facebook. In 33% of the campaigns, Facebook still leads YouTube in total views, including the one below from Always, which has 4.2 million views on Facebook and 478,000 on YouTube:
On the other hand, this Air France video has 49 million views on YouTube and 57,000 on Facebook.
Either way, Facebook’s share tends to diminish over time, Visible Measures found. With quick acceleration, Facebook videos reached 85 percent of their total views in the first week after launch. YouTube, on the other hand, got 63% of its total March viewership in the first seven days, but eventually started pulling away.
These results also play out in the long-haul. Two days after the Super Bowl, Visible Measures reported that Facebook had 25% of total viewership of Super Bowl ad campaigns. Two months later, Facebook’s overall share of viewership had dropped to 18.5% with YouTube’s share increasing to 81%.
That’s a function of the nature of each network, said Visible Measure’s founder and CEO Brian Shin, who noted that its very hard to find videos on Facebook after they no longer are flowing through the News Feed.
“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 News Feed,” Shin said in a release. “But the strength of Facebook to promote trending content also highlights how powerful YouTube remains as a platform for continued viewership.”