Facebook Carving Niche vs. Dominant YouTube (Infographic)

YouTube’s one big advantage in its fight with Facebook for video dominance appears to be fading.

YouTube’s one big advantage in its fight with Facebook for video dominance appears to be fading.

Media research and analytics service Ampere Analysis found in its most recent report that Facebook’s push to attract content owners may blunt YouTube’s advantage when it comes to delivering revenue to those creators.

The study also found that:

  • While YouTube still leads in video views, Facebook is catching up, and Ampere Analysis projected that it will top 2 trillion video views in 2015, or some two-thirds of YouTube’s total.
  • Facebook and YouTube are neck-in-neck in terms of monthly active users.
  • Nearly 15 percent of Internet users in the U.S. and Western Europe have viewed videos on Facebook during the past month, and one-sixth of those have not viewed videos on YouTube during the same period.
  • Facebook’s trial revenue-sharing collaborations with the National Football League and Fox Sports could help the social network challenge the Google-owned video site’s dominance in the sector.
  • Ampere Analysis believes Facebook will add pre-roll ads to videos in order to boost revenue opportunities for key content partners.

Ampere Analysis research director Richard Broughton said in an email to SocialTimes:

As Facebook moves from testing its advertising models to more actively soliciting content creators to join the platform, it will come under increased pressure to match the opportunities and per-view returns generated by other platforms–notably YouTube. Ultimately, despite Facebook’s current reticence around offering pre-rolls, it may have to bite the bullet and add them to its repertoire. If the social network’s own video ambitions are to be realized and if it is to convince content owners that it is a viable alternative to YouTube, it must deliver comparable returns.

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. From a consumer perspective, exposure to increased volumes of advertising is almost a certainty, but improved returns for their favorite channels will mean more content to watch. Any losers are most likely to be smaller video services or broadcasters caught in the crossfire, unable to keep up. For such companies, the old adage, “If you can’t beat them, join them,” may well prove to be the wisest course of action.

Readers: Do you think Facebook can close the gap versus YouTube?

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david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.