Facebook vs. YouTube: Who’s Winning the Video Advertising Battle?

Megan O'Neill


In August of 2014, Facebook surpassed YouTube in total number of videos viewed on desktop in the U.S., according to a comScore survey. This week, a new report about the state of video advertising from Mixpo reveals that Facebook isn’t only winning in terms of viewers, but it’s on the verge of winning the video advertising battle as well.

Mixpo’s report reiterated the growth in Facebook video viewership, showing a “91% increase in video views per person on Facebook, compared to a 9.9% decrease for YouTube” between January 2014 and January 2015. But their survey of 125 agencies, brands, and publishers revealed that advertisers and agencies are taking this flip-flop as a cue to take the Facebook plunge when it comes to video advertising.

When asked about what platforms they ran video campaigns on last year and what platforms they plan to run video campaigns on in the next year, more respondents reported plans to run video ads on Facebook than any other networks, including YouTube.

Facebook vs. YouTube: Who’s Winning the Video Advertising Battle?

Respondents also showed a jump in interest in running video ads on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. So why the sudden jump to social? Engagement.

YouTube is inherently good for search engine optimization and driving views. However, driving tons of views has become less important to marketers and advertisers in recent years. The Mixpo study revealed that, in a ranking of the most important metrics when running video ads on social, views placed fifth. What was more important? Engagement, shares, conversions, and total time spent watching. Facebook offers a larger opportunity for engagement and shares, which is why more and more advertisers are turning to the social network for their video campaigns.

Facebook vs. YouTube: Who’s Winning the Video Advertising Battle?

Facebook’s ability to target ads is also highly attractive to marketers. Mixpo quotes Jonathan Nelson, CEO of Omnicom Digital, as saying, “When you have that much known information, tied to analytics and an ad server, you can start doing messaging in a way no one’s ever done before. That’s marketing nirvana.”

Are you using Facebook for your video marketing campaigns? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

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