Both platforms have new high-quality original series are on their way.
Within the United States, digital advertising has overtaken more conventional forms of advertising, like TV. Now, Google and Facebook (the biggest digital ad businesses) are tackling the television industry’s revenue, worth $70 billion.
To do this, they’re both ordering television-quality videos: Facebook with its recently launched video tab in its flagship Facebook app and Google will distribute its new originals via YouTube.
YouTube’s goal is to win back advertisers’ good graces after issues arose around ads being shown within sight of objectable content. On the other hand, Facebook wants users to spend even more time in its app and work to develop more areas to place their ads.
YouTube’s third time at bat.
YouTube has tried its hand at producing original content a couple of times before.
Its first attempt came in in 2011, when it spent $100 million seeding celebrity channels. The endeavor failed; YouTube followed up by opening studio spaces for top content creators to produce new originals. Now, its third attempt entails going back to big-name celebrities like Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres.
YouTube’s business strategy might, however, be leading them astray, driven by the view that, only a few years ago, 85 percent of all original series were supported by ads. That number fell to about two thirds this year. This figure continues its decline yearly as ad-free streaming and high-end cable create original shows.
Despite the growing trends for premium content without advertising, television has seen no decrease in advertising opportunities. In fact, more new shows air than ever before. In order to remain competitive YouTube must attract advertisers away from a market that still has plenty of life left in it.
Facebook fights to be the first choice
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described two use cases for Facebook. The first is when users have a free moment, they’ll spend it perusing through their news feed. The second use case involves users searching for specific entertainment and seeking content from someone they follow, or a subject they’re interested in. The latter case is something Facebook remains focused on, despite it being currently being beaten out by YouTube and television.
To that end, Facebook is planning to produce two dozen original programs. Some will be longer, big-budget shows of TV-level quality (like the Netflix series House of Cards). Others will be shorter shows, up to 10 minutes long, updated daily.
The goal is to eventually develop a fully ad-supported ecosystem of quality content using mid-roll video ads, thus opening up further ad inventory for Facebook. Facebook certainly takes advantage of all its advertising to the fullest extent.
Potentially, television-quality programming in combination with Facebook’s superior ad targeting could help Facebook steal away some ad budgets from television networks and YouTube. On one condition: a new user behavior has to be instilled. It’s not an easy task, but if any company has the strength and savvy to mold people’s behavior toward its product, it’s Facebook.