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Facebook gains on YouTube

News, 05 February 2015

BOSTON: YouTube's position as the default option for viewing online video is coming under ever greater threat from Facebook, as new data show the social network accounted for a quarter of all Super Bowl ad views compared to 1% last year.

Visible Measures, the content advertising company, reported that Facebook accounted for 27% of all viewership of the top ten campaigns, where eight of the top ten ran content on Facebook, as measured by its TrueReach analytics tool which covers not only the most visited video sites but also copies, shares and embeds.

For some ads the figure was twice that: Budweiser's Lost Dog claimed 54% of its viewership from the ads placed on Facebook.

"Video does not live just in one place and its impact cannot be measured by just one placement," said Brian Shin, Visible Measures CEO, pointing to the growing number of platforms offering video.

"Facebook is a place where if your friends are discussing something, they're sharing something or commenting on something, a video can dramatically outperform YouTube, and that's never really happened before," he added.

Shin observed that Budweiser, the beer brand, had improved its campaign effectiveness by posting the ad to both Facebook and YouTube.

Automaker Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, opted to post its Fable commercial – the eighth most seen online – only to YouTube and may have consequently lost millions of additional views. "That's an opportunity they missed out on," said Shin.

He argued that brands have to move beyond simply looking at the YouTube view counter to measure their videos' success.

"It's a new day," Shin said. "Our position is that if you're a marketer you really do need to be taking advantage of all these channels and not just focusing on YouTube."

The shift seen here simply confirms the remarks made by one executive last month, when Fidji Simo, director of product in charge of video, said Facebook was no longer a social network but a video platform.

Data sourced from Business Wire, Business Insider; additional content by Warc staff