Facebook Catching YouTube In Video Viewer Race

According to a recent survey and market research by Ampere Analysis, Facebook is on track to deliver two thirds as many video views in 2015 as YouTube does: two trillion versus YouTube’s three trillion. Both services have a comparable number of monthly users overall. Ampere surveyed 10,000 consumers in Europe and North America and found that 15% have watched videos on Facebook in the past month. Worse news for YouTube: Among people who watch video on Facebook, 6.67% of them have not watched anything YouTube in the past month.

Facebook still has a long way to go before it catches up to YouTube on volume, says the report. But it has a growing audience and a small but significant ability to take audience away from YouTube. Facebook’s video viewers are all logged in, registered users, which means the company potentially has far more data on them that advertisers can use to target specific demographics.

And Facebook has a massive ability to reach people on mobile, and to turn those mobile users into revenue, says the report.

But, Facebook still doesn’t offer pre-roll ads (commercials that run before the video); its ads appear after the content. And Facebook charges advertisers for a video view if just three seconds of the ad are shown, which is less than YouTube requires.

Despite those disadvantages, Ampere found that advertising rates were comparable between the two platforms, which suggests advertisers really value Facebook’s audience.

Richard Broughton, research director for Ampere, notes that “… there is likely to be no speedy victory for one side or the other… exposure to increased volumes of advertising is almost a certainty… improved returns for favorite channels… mean(s) more content to watch… ”

Of interest, says the report, the original idea for the term Facebook came from Phillips Exeter Academy as a physical paper book for students to get to know their classmates for the following year.

Facebook, now, is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.39 billion monthly active users, founded in February 2004, as an exclusive network for Harvard students. Within two weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. And within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks.

Facebook vs. YouTube Online Comparison




Worldwide monthly active users in billions




Quarterly video views (billions)

   Q3, 2014



   Q4, 2014



   Q1, 2015



Monthly average revenue per user, 2014




Facebook Advantages

Taking advantage of higher CPMs associated with video. Diversifying its business to minimize churn risks from purely social element of its business


YouTube Disadvantages


No longer the only major online video platform. Competition for advertising dollars and viewers risks damaging growth prospects

Source: AmpereAnalysis, June 2015

For more information from the Ampere study, please visit here.



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