And yet, there’s YouTube, and pretty clearly, whatever else happens with online video, YouTube is a big work-around. The new eMarketer study estimates that online video ad revenue will get to $7.7 billion this year, up the typical online-ridiculous 30.4%. (But eMarketer’s data points out that’s actually a severe cooling from 2014’s incredible 56% rise. And from here on out, it looks like online video annual ad increases will start drifting back to earth, and for example, and YOY increases will be “only” 13.9% by 2018. Man that’s a bad business.)
I digress a bit. The point eMarketer is trying to put out there is that 2015 is shaping up to be a year of turmoil for social media video platforms. But it still thinks YouTube will take $2 out of each $10 spent. (That was the point I was headed for before I digressed.)
Deborah Aho Williamson, eMarketer’s principal analyst, says Facebook isn’t likely to change that anytime soon, but more likely, Facebook’s new aggressive video stance will just grow the whole business. Social media’s interest in video advertising, she says, has another wrinkle. It messes up the already considerably-messy viewability controversy.
“Advertisers may have the final say in this debate,” she writes “if they gain good results from video ads that play for a few seconds, then they will effectively back that standard by buying more ads on Facebook. However, if the ads do not perform as expected, YouTube and Twitter may be the beneficiaries of more spending.”
The tough luck crowd continues to be video streamers that aren’t YouTube and Netflix and aren’t social sites, either. The eMarketer study cites earlier Google/TNS research that says 73% use video sites most, and in the U.S., social sites rank second with 29%. Other video platforms, like news and sports sites with videos, apparently, are kind of lost in space.
Twitter is testing promoted videos; Tumblr and Snapchat are in the game, too, and Instagram, which increasingly seems to be the go-to site for millennials, is working in video ads, too.
There’s a career to be made predicting the demise, or even the good soiling, of YouTube (and Facebook, actually, and certainly Twitter). But all of those social site competitors shouldn’t really bother YouTube, argues Greg Jarboe, who wrote a kind of Calm Down Already takedown for RealSEO, arguing that marketers “need to stick with a YouTube-first strategy." (Actually, that’s the headline of his commentary.)
He reasons, “With [YouTube’s] TrueView video ads you pay only when someone chooses to watch your ad, so you don't waste money advertising to people who aren’t interested in your business. By comparison, Premium Video Ads on Facebook start playing without sound as people scroll past. If people tap the 15-second Facebook video ad, it will expand into a full-screen view and sound will start. But Premium Video Ads on Facebook are bought based on Targeted Gross Rating Points, not taps. So, you are charged even when someone scrolls past your ad but doesn’t choose to watch it.”