Does Facebook Have Enough Balls to Challenge Youtube?

Social media giant Facebook appears to be slowly and sneakily inching its way as the top video streaming site with its latest move of hosting exclusive programming rights to various video content provided by publishers such as  Buzzfeed and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. A slot currently held by Youtube.

This coming April 30, Popsugar, an online media network of websites that caters to the female audience on topics related to media, commerce, and technology, will announce that it will be producing a daily show Popsugar Rush. This program will be using Facebook as the social media platform to broadcast the show and will exclusively run for 24 hours. Popsugar president David Grant said that the show will be produced with Facebook as the broadcast medium of choice rather than in Popsugar’s Youtube channel.

Anna Fieler, Executive Vice President for Marketing for Popsugar, has stated that Facebook has been the natural extension of Popsugar, helping Popsugar achieve 18.5 million views from just 20,000 with its videos in September 2014 to February 2015.

Facebook doesn’t mar its videos with preroll ads, unlike Youtube wherein ads abound and a common thing affecting user experience. On a condition of anonymity, one publisher said that his videos’ views had increased to millions when directly posted to Facebook rather than posting a Youtube link on Facebook. Most companies are aware that posting a direct link of a video in Facebook does not generate the same response from users as that directly posted in Facebook said Paul Kontonis, Executive Director for Global Online Video Association.

Publishers are saying that Facebook has been aggressive in securing exclusive rights in broadcasting content and rightly so as there has been a strong clamor for the social media giant for exclusive broadcast. However, Facebook has denied such moves, saying that it has been in partnership with publishers to make sure that media content broadcasted are experienced by users without considering whether this content will appear somewhere else.

Facebook appears to be putting icing on top of a cake to entice producers. The social media giant is offering to help promote content through premium placements on community pages and blogs managed by Facebook as was the case with Jimmy Kimmel Live. Doug DeLuca, Jimmy Kimmel Live co-executive producer, said that he does not know whether people will discover the series they created about local bands that played at South by Southwest Festival this year had they posted the video content in Youtube.

Various sources has stated that Facebook, at a meeting on April 22 with various brands, publishers and agencies, has announced the extension of brand content advertising program Facebook Anthology wherein advertisers network with publishers to create Facebook-native content for advertising.  Marketers are paying attention since Facebook’s demographics targeting proves to be up to 94% accurate while its video metrics are providing details on how users react to posted video content that are better than other competitors. But Kevin Cronin stated that Youtube still is the leading platform for raising overall views and marketers may be turned off if Facebook is asking for exclusive content.

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