Facebook Now Beats YouTube for Video Viewing

It’s time to shift those budgets from YouTube to Facebook, a report suggests. According to a study by Slidely, maker of the Promo video creation platform, 47 percent of viewers say they watch more videos on Facebook now while 41 percent watch more on YouTube (only 8 percent say they watch more on Instagram). It looks like Facebook’s efforts to become the leading video destination are a huge success.

But people don’t simply watch more videos on Facebook now; they also prefer the video ad experience there, as well. While YouTube is known for its easily skipped ads, 71 percent of those surveyed said they find the sponsored videos in their Facebook feed to be relevant or highly relevant to their interests.

“This is fantastic news for marketers because it confirms their paid social budgets are going to good use. Not only are consumers watching sponsored videos, but they’re also finding them relevant (which is, of course, critical to successful marketing),” the report says. “For marketers, this also points to the extreme importance of closely targeting the right users. Consumers have come to expect that sponsored social content be perfectly tailored to their lives and their interests.”

All that video ad viewing is turning into consumer action, as the report finds 70 percent say they sometimes or very often visit the company’s website after watching a video. Also, 60 percent say they sometimes or very often visit the company’s social page after watching a video.

The survey looks at the popular Stories format on Facebook and Instagram, and finds viewing high. While 68 percent say they watch Facebook or Instagram Stories either sometimes or all the time, that number zooms up to 81 percent for those under 34.

view the full report for free online (no registration required).

read more here: onlinevideo.net

Nielsen: Americans Now Spend Nearly 6 Hours Per Day With Video

Americans’ appetite for video just keeps rising. Measurement specialist Nielsen released its Q1 2018 Total Audience Report today, finding that U.S. adults now consume 5 hours 57 minutes of video per day. That’s an increase of 11 minutes per day just in the last quarter.

Of that 5 hours 57 minutes, 4 hours 46 minutes goes to live and time-shifted TV viewing, up 2 minutes this quarter. The biggest gain is with TV-connected devices (including internet-connected devices, game consoles, and DVDs) which average 46 minutes per day, up from 40 minutes last quarter.

Video on a computer gets 10 minutes, video on a phone (either through an app or browser) gets 10 minutes, and tablets get 5 minutes, all of which are fairly flat.

Looking at Americans’ total media diet, Nielsen finds we spend 11 hours 6 minutes each day connected to some kind of media. This figure includes all internet, phone, and radio use. That’s up from 10 hours 47 minutes in the previous quarter.

Two-thirds of U.S. homes own devices that let them stream video to the television set, and 2.7 percent subscribe to a skinny bundle (vMVPD) while 64 percent subscribe to a subscription service (SVOD). Even cord-cutters and cord-nevers find plenty to watch, as over 80 percent of non-TV homes still watch video.

For more, download the full Nielsen report (registration required).

Broadband Households Embrace Alternative Video Sources

According to the 360 Deep Dive: Alternative Content Consumption report, content such as livestreaming, user-generated content, short-form videos and web video series that are available via social networking, video-sharing or similar apps or sites is gaining traction.

For instance, nearly one-half of US broadband households watch user-generated content on a monthly basis, and more than 10% watch livestreamed content. Almost one-quarter of broadband households have posted videos to some type of content site or app within the last 30 days.

“Alternative video is an important part of the video landscape, and it competes with other video options for a share of consumer attention,” said Brett Sappington, senior director of research at Parks Associates. “Approximately one-half of households with a TV watch video from YouTube and similar sites on their TV set. In fact, more households watch online video from an app such as YouTube than watch video from a TV channel app.”

Parks Associates data about alternative content consumption shows that adoption of pay-TV declines as the frequency of user-generated content consumption increases. This correlation poses a future threat to pay-TV providers, the report found, as younger respondents are far more likely to watch user-generated content, which could potentially impact their future pay-TV habits and perspectives.

“Younger consumers are far more likely to create their own content as well as watch user-generated content,” Sappington said. “For these viewers, the creation of content is as much a part of the entertainment experience as is watching video. Increasingly, traditional content producers and service providers are leveraging alternative content, in order to connect with audiences and draw viewers. Some are partnering with individual web celebrities and influencers who often have a disproportionately large influence on the user-generated side of the alternative content space.”

The research also found that, at present, only 7% of US broadband households watch sporting events via livestream. And, consumers who view user-generated content are much more likely than those who never watch it to have an OTT service.

read more here: rapidtvnews.com

Majority of Digital Ad Budgets Earmarked for Video

Almost 60% of the digital ad budgets of marketers are allocated to video, and more than half of buyers plan to increase digital and mobile video spending over the next year, according to a new study from the Interactive Ad Bureau.

Per the “Digital Content New Fronts: 2018 Video Ad Spend Study”, advertisers are poised to raise spending on digital video and mobile by 53% compared to two years ago, to an average of more than $10 million annually.

Of that spend, there’s a growing emphasis on original digital video programming, with the vast majority (more than 8 in 10) agreeing that the category is an essential part of their media buy. The biggest drivers there are quality of programming (45%), attractive costs/CPMs (40%), and effective audience reach and quality of environment (38% each).

About half of buyers plan to spend more on social video advertising in the next 12 months.

The study’s findings are based on an online survey of 353 marketer and agency execs conducted from March 6-16. To qualify, those execs had to be involved in digital video ad decision-making at a company responsible for $1 million-plus total ad spend in 2017.

“Marketers’ commitment to digital video—especially original digital video—has been skyrocketing over the past few years,” Anna Bager, executive vice president, industry initiatives, IAB, said in a statement. “These findings reflect consumers’ enthusiasm for the dynamic storytelling which original video programming delivers in spades, and the power of the medium to deliver strong ROI. There is no question that we will see buyers out in full force throughout this week’s NewFronts presentations, as they look to invest more and more of their budgets in the latest original digital video programming opportunities.”

read more here: multichannel.com

Is Facebook’s Latest Algo Change A Paid-Media Apocalypse?

When Facebook said it would change its news feed algorithm to prioritize users’ families’ and friends’ posts, advertisers worried it would also affect how paid placements are bought and sold.

Would this reduce the amount of available inventory? Would it drive up costs?

Facebook’s VP of global marketing solutions, Carolyn Everson, sought to assuage the marketers and publishers attending AdExchanger’s Industry Preview conference Wednesday.

“The ad game isn’t going to change,” she said. “If you take a real step back, on the ad side of the business, the [ad-ranking] algorithm has always tried to optimize in terms of the value to people.”

As always, she said, the more relevant the creative is to its target audience, the lower the price an advertiser will pay.

“Mark [Zuckerberg] foreshadowed this news feed algorithm change a couple of times over the last few months,” Everson said. “The news feed algorithm change is meant to drive what we call meaningful interactions.”

Facebook defines meaningful interactions as content that elicits a positive reaction from people, and while that typically entails content from friends and family, it could also include brand messaging.

“A meaningful interaction could be and often is a new product or service you want to buy,” Everson said.

So, brands must do a better job figuring out how to create content that resonates.

The initiative is part and parcel with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s public 2018 resolution to “fix” Facebook.

The company’s mission used to be connecting people, Everson noted – but that’s not good enough in today’s divided society: “Connecting people to what?”

Cross-Platform Measurement And Other initiatives

Everson also outlined Facebook’s focus on other issues heading into 2018. She anticipated that cross-platform measurement will be a top advertiser request.

“Last year was about getting the third-party verification and getting [accreditation from] the MRC,” she said. With much of that infrastructure work completed, Facebook can focus on building cross-platform measurement and attribution.

The problem is that there isn’t a common system of measurement running across platforms, and that’s an issue Facebook hopes to further address in 2018.

As for other KPIs, such as viewability, Everson noted that traditional companies tend to focus on it more than digital natives.

“When I talk to Netflix, Airbnb and Amazon, they know exactly what happens when they put a dollar into our system,” she said. “The more traditional companies who don’t have a closed loop, who don’t have the end retail data, need to use proxy measures. Viewability verification never comes up with the disruptors, but often with the more traditional companies.”

And if there’s one thing advertisers want from Facebook, it’s access to more data. Everson drew a line: Facebook has no intention of selling data and will protect PII data, a “core foundation of the company.”

She used a football analogy: PII is at the 1-yard line, and that’s where data sharing stops. But, she said, there are “99 other yards of opportunities to work together.”

Those opportunities, she said, include providing enough data so advertisers can measure reach and frequency across campaigns and assess what they are getting for their ad spend on Facebook versus on other platforms or television.

read more here: adexchanger.com

2018 Will Be a Pivotal Year for Facebook’s Video Ambitions

Last February, during an earnings call with investors, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined why his company was making significant investments in video: “I see video as a megatrend,” Zuckerberg said. “That’s why I’m going to keep putting video first across our family of apps.”

Heeding his word, Facebook ramped up the investment it was making in video throughout the year. Even more so than it did in 2016, when Facebook first started paying publishers and other video makers to create content, Facebook poured a lot of money into becoming a video destination that could rival existing giants such as YouTube and Netflix. In a wave that was reminiscent of how Verizon started cutting checks for its Go90 streaming service, Facebook bought a lot of original content to populate its new YouTube-esque video-viewing section Watch.

But as Verizon has learned with Go90 and Facebook itself learned with its failed efforts to make Facebook Live happen, just because you build something, it doesn’t mean viewers will come in droves. Plenty of Watch shows have the high view counts that the industry has become accustomed to thanks to Facebook’s three-second view metric, but a significant majority of these views are still happening within the news feed, according to multiple publishing sources. As much as Facebook wants users to go to Watch, users haven’t obliged — which has prompted Facebook to push for even bigger projects with bigger budgets for Watch.

But while Facebook has the money to spend — and reportedly plans to spend a billion dollars through 2018 to make its video dreams a reality — the checkbook alone doesn’t build a video-streaming platform. Zuckerberg might envision Facebook as a video-first company in the future, but how Facebook’s video efforts fare in 2018 will do a lot to decide what type of video company Facebook becomes.

Is Facebook trying to be YouTube? Or Netflix?

When Facebook first started licensing shows for Watch, it was primarily seeking short-form series — something Zuckerberg himself acknowledged during the same February earnings call. Facebook declined to specify how many shows it has funded, but it’s safe to say Facebook has commissioned well over a hundred shows from partners that include Attn, BuzzFeed, Group Nine Media, Mashable and Vox Media. A large majority of these shows broadly fit within the unscripted and lifestyle genres — formats that are cheap to produce and appear all over YouTube.

That approach hasn’t panned out for Facebook, which is now telling video sellers it wants bigger shows with bigger budgets in 2018.

“It was very clear that the goal was to kind of build a YouTube-esque video network off the back of the news feed — and that failed,” said a publishing executive at a Watch partner. “They confessed that they were working with a lot of people who did not know how to produce quality video. So now, it’s ‘we don’t want to build YouTube on the back of Facebook, we want to build Netflix on the back of Facebook’ — that’s a far more difficult proposition to be successful at, and it’s a hell of a lot more costly.”

More so than getting users to regularly go to the Watch section on their computers or smartphones, Facebook’s success in this area hinges on convincing people to fire up the Facebook app for connected TV devices. People still want to watch TV shows on TV-sized screens, and that is something they simply do not expect from Facebook right now.

read more here: digiday.com

50% of Brands see Video as Key Driver of Further Programmatic Investment

The ability to connect with audiences via programmatic video advertising is seen as a key driver of further investment in programmatic advertising by 49 percent of advertisers, compared to 19 percent last year. The data was release today in IAB Europe’s ‘Attitudes to Programmatic Advertising’ report which highlighted several other changing attitudes, showing that advertisers and agencies are becoming more aware of programmatic trading’s benefits beyond targeting efficiency, programmatic stakeholders are increasingly keen to take programmatic in-house, and most players are quickly adopting new metrics to measure their programmatic campaigns.

IAB Europe’s report surveyed over 700 participants from a mix of advertisers, agencies and publishers to gauge their views on programmatic advertising. Targeting efficiencies have always been reported to IAB as the dominant drivers of programmatic investment, and this remains the case this year with 71 percent of advertisers and 78 percent of agencies listing it as such. For publishers, client demand remains the highest motivator for investment, with 71 percent of publishers calling it a key driver. But this year’s results showed increasing awareness of other benefits of programmatic across the board. Brands are much more positive about programmatic video’s potential than last year, positivity that has followed a 155 percent increase in programmatic video investment in 2016. More brands and advertisers than last year listed campaign flexibility and reduced media wastage as key business impacts of programmatic trading, and more publishers than last year cite increased control of inventory and increased media value as key impacts.

While the report listed brand safety as a dominant barrier to investment, it is still not the primary concern despite its prominence in the news. Lack of talent, cost of technology and fee transparency were all listed as barrers by more brands than brand safety was. Meanwhile more agencies are worried about lack of talent, the difficulty of training people adequately, and quality of data than are worried about brand safety.

Whatever barriers do exist though, they’re not preventing high levels of investment as 88 percent of advertisers, 93 percent of agencies and 88 percent of publishers are planning to increase their investment in programmatic advertising over the next twelve months.

As investment increases, companies across the board are increasingly taking their programmatic trading in-house. This is most evident among advertisers where 23 percent now say they handle programmatic operations in-house, compared to 16 percent in 2016. This trend is set to continue too, as 56 percent of publishers and 46 percent of advertisers that don’t already have an in-house strategy state that they are planning to develop one in the next twelve months. The biggest barrier here remains a staffing one; both sectors list hiring people with the rights skill set and training people adequately as the top two challenges of an in-house strategy.

read more here: videoadnews.com

The pivot to reality for digital media

Forget the pivot to video; the pivot to reality is in full swing in digital media.

The culprits are well-known. Google and Facebook have an iron grip on digital ad revenue. Publishers are trying to save themselves by making wholesale shifts in their business models, but they can’t transition fast enough. Last week brought an avalanche of the results: BuzzFeed and Vice reportedly missed revenue goals for the year; Mashable was sold for a fifth of its one-time valuation; and Oath, the Verizon unit containing Yahoo, AOL and HuffPost, laid off more than 500. The list goes on.

There are a number of things going on. At a high level, digital publishing has failed to diversify, having put all its eggs in the advertising basket. Then, the platforms came for advertising. Most digital ad spending today is going to a handful of tech companies, leaving just a few scraps for publishers to fight over. Facebook has hurt in other ways, cutting back the referral traffic it sends publishers, and has only started to help publishers monetize their content there. Publishers that took a distributed approach, thinking the revenue would follow, have found otherwise.

But it’s too simplistic to say this is simply a story of the big, bad platforms. What’s happening now is more of a correction than an upheaval. Just a year ago, Mashable took a round of venture capital at a $250 million valuation. Selling for a fifth of that price a mere 12 months later says more about the expectations venture-funded digital media eagerly embraced when capital was cheap and plentiful.

“It’s a story about runaway valuations for content startups,” said Todd Sawicki, CEO of Zemanta, a programmatic native ad platform. “If a startup had been valued based on more traditional methods and multiples, many of these valuations would never have happened.”

When it came time to build a sustainable business, many of the publishers that were adroit at spinning rosy growth scenarios on paper were less successful. The now-lampooned pivot to video is a case in point. It’s easy to talk about audiences moving to mobile, expertise in “snackable” content and distributed media strategies built around millennials. It’s quite another to execute those strategies profitably.

Take video. Too often, publishers create the video but don’t design their sites with it in mind, cramming pages with other ads that compete for attention and bandwidth, said Brian Rifkin, co-founder of digital video player company JW Player. Then, there are all the things to get right on the sales and ad operations side, such as matching the right video format to the right device and making sure the ad meets the advertisers’ specs for viewability. Success in digital media is about nailing the details, not getting the headlines.

“A lot of it is the grind-it-out execution,” Rifkin said. “We’ve been through a lot of advertising executions, and this one is the most difficult. How many times have you gone to a website and clicked ‘play’ and bailed out? The business is there. Publishers need to create good content, make sure there’s intent to watch, focus on the user experience.”

Many digital media companies with sky-high valuations based on a bad set of assumptions also hungrily eyed TV deals, where the real money supposedly is. This looks increasingly like a Hail Mary strategy. In most cases, the production costs for doing TV shows are pretty equal to licensing costs, and unless you have a syndication deal, the profit is fairly low, said Bernard Gershon, president of GershonMedia, a publishing consulting firm. There are also lots of studios already quite good at making TV programming. The only thing digital media companies would bring unique to the table is strong brands, but even there, much of digital media has outsourced its connection to its audience to platforms.

Rich Antoniello, CEO and founder of Complex Media, looks at the current pivots to video as rushed and reactive. The men’s lifestyle publisher took its time introducing video, starting in 2012 and getting to 65 percent video over five years and emphasizing long-form shows that are better at building a brand than short clips that blur by in people’s newsfeed. “You have to condition your audience and the advertising community,” he said. “You can’t just say, ‘Hey, we’re in video now.’”

read more here: digiday.com

Social Video: Its Hip to be Square

Video creation platform Wochit has published its Q3 social index providing insight from its analysis of over 10,000 Facebook videos, created by more than 200 publishers. These videos were published on 300+ Facebook pages between June 2017 and August 2017. One of the most notable trends found is that increasing the number of videos shared yields disproportionate gains in views and engagement, On average, publishers that increased their video production saw their video views triple.

The report includes comparisons with Q1 and Q2 findings of 2017, illustrating emerging trends in the industry. Some of the big findings of Q3 include:

Publishers already making video create nearly 50 per cent more in Q3

Pages with more video attract more followers
Engagement shifts to Reactions over Likes
Square videos prove massively more engaging than horizontal
Midroll, high engagement lift popularity of longer videos
The 1 per cent continues to get nearly half of all views, over half of all shares
Latin American audiences are by far the most engaged
Publishers Committed to Social Video Doubled Down in Q3
Publishers who created videos in both Q2 and Q3 had an average production increase of 48.5 per cent in Q3.

These publishers also saw significant increases in engagement, averaging a 52.3 per cent lift in views, 65 per cent growth in Likes and a 62.3 per cent rise in the number of Shares.

For publishers who increased production in Q3, Wochit found a disproportionate impact on view counts. These publishers doubled their video production, on average, yielding a 3x more video views.

More Videos Means More Followers

There is a strong connection between the number of videos posted to a publisher’s Facebook page and the number of followers for that page. In fact, eight out of the 10 most followed publisher’s Facebook pages in Q3 published at least five videos a day.

In Q3, publishers posted an average of 40.3 per cent more videos per page than during Q2. At the same time, the average number of followers increased by 33K to 870K (compared to 837K in Q2).

Reactions Rise while “Likes” Slide

In a previous study of viral videos, Wochit observed that 80.9 per cent of those reaching the one-million-view landmark elicit strong emotions. So, it’s not surprising to see that the number of Reactions on videos continue to increase, moving up 66.9 per cent in Q3. The traditional “Like”, however, is decreasing, down 21.2 per cent from Q2. Wochit sees this audience behaviour simply as an indication that the videos on which they are interacting are drawing out deeper feelings than a simple thumbs up reflects.

read more here:
http://advanced-television.com/2017/11/01/social-media-study-more-video-attracts-more-followers/