Facebook Live, YouTube Live Battle For Live Streaming Dominance

Live-streaming video continues to grow in importance, with nearly half of online viewers watching something live streamed once weekly, according to recent data.

Facebook Live dominates the space slightly with 45% market share, followed by YouTube Live with 44%, according to data from Magid Advisors. Instagram came in at No. 3 with 28% market share; Twitter, 19%; Snapchat, 17%; Twitch owned by Amazon, 12%; Livestream, 10%; Periscope, 9%; YouNow, 6%; and UStream, 4%, per the data.

The battle between Facebook Live and YouTube Live seemed clear at VidCon, with both companies schmoozing with "community members" and video creators in custom lounges. This year at VidCon, Facebook's oasis-inspired creators lounge at the Hyatt Regency hotel took on YouTube's lounge at the Anaheim Convention Center. 

Findings from Magid's study, The Annual State of Digital Video, simply exemplify the battle for live-streaming dominance. Magid's study focuses on media attitudes and behaviors of consumers as it relates to video MVPD, SVOD, devices, cord-cutting intentions, and more.

Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid, discussed the data at VidCon. Aggregate data was collected between May and early June 2017 from people ages eight to 64.

Breaking news is the leading form of content views, at 24%. Videos by friends or family at 23%; how-to videos, 21%; videos by YouTube personalities, 21%; and comedic video, 18%; round out the top five.

Some 25% of viewers participating in the survey said live streaming provides an opportunity for them to feel updated, and 20% said it makes them feel connected to events. Some 17% believe live streams feel more authentic.

Magid estimates that 46% of U.S. consumers age 5 to 64 stream content daily, up 14% from 2014 -- in addition to their daily usage of traditional TV at about five hours per day.

Digital devices lead television as the key entertainment source among younger generations. Viewers still look to television as the primary source, followed by laptops and PCs and then smartphones and video game consoles.

Among audiences ages 18 to 34, laptops and smartphones are the primary medium for streaming, with 33% using a laptop or PC and 19% a smartphone. Only 23% of this age group picked television as their go-to device for streaming content, suggesting a generational shift in behavior, but overall the total rises to 42%.

Traditional live television still dominates viewing times. About 40% have watched three or more hours on live cable or satellite TV in a typical day, compared with 20% stream to connected TV, 19% stream through a computer, and 18% stream the content through a console.

Netfix instant streaming dominates the paid subscription services with 53% market share in 2017, up from 50% in 2015. Amazon Prime Video comes in at No. 2 with 30% market share. Hulu follows with 21% market share; HBO Now, 12%; YouTube Red, 8%; and CBS All Access, 5%.

Interestingly, all but Netfix and newcomer YouTube Red, which did not exist in 2016, has seen a decline in 2017, compared with the prior year.

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