Facebook vs YouTube: these two game-changing platforms have become a contested rivalry in online music video streaming. With massive emphasis now behind native video players, is Facebook today’s place to start an artist’s video campaign? Or with its creator-friendly programs, advanced Content ID and monetisation options, is YouTube the way to go? In this post, we’ll compare the two to help you make the best decision for your artist.
Why choose Facebook?
Traditionally, musical artists have used YouTube to premiere their music videos and build audiences on the platform, but many now turn to Facebook for the same thing. Facebook differs to YouTube in that it has the all powerful ‘News Feed’ feature, which enables users to scroll through content almost indefinitely. Have a look at your Facebook feed — have you noticed how many videos are in there? That’s because of the way Facebook prioritises natively uploaded video content. As a social platform, Facebook lets you interact with your friends and share music, which is visible to anyone with whom you’re connected. Facebook has the ability to introduce content to people’s lives even when they weren’t planning on discovering a particular music video or clip. This is one of the ways Facebook varies from YouTube.
Users enter the Facebook realm open to the idea of discovering new things, their minds ready to absorb any type of media they are faced with. This is a very powerful mindset for marketing teams to exploit. Conversely, users normally enter YouTube with the intent of discovering and watching a specific artist’s music. Hence using the Facebook video native player to appear in public news feeds is so crucial. In this respect, fan groups online can be divided into engaged and non-engaged. Some fans may love the music of a particular artist, but won’t take the time to actively seek their music, while others will take the time to search and discover specific content from their favourite artists.
Why choose YouTube?
YouTube is a very different animal to Facebook, and one where the Content ID and monetisation system is far more advanced. Yes, Facebook can make use of non-engaged fans through social shares and the feed, but YouTube is a hub of engaged users who, if subscribed, can build into a following which is arguably more useful than any video following on Facebook.
Something YouTube does very well is the suggested video feature, almost always the highest form of traffic to new content. When videos are tagged correctly, suggestions should show up against similar videos. YouTube also offers far more collaborative opportunities for labels by linking in videos to similar artists; the crossover of artist fan groups on YouTube is massive. Furthermore, UGC (user-generated content) capabilities are extensive and exclusive to YouTube potentially pooling thousands of user videos into something that is genuinely useful for pushing towards a new video.
So which one should you choose?
Deciding which platform to start your artist’s video campaign on depends on a number of factors and your goals:
1. Are you starting out the video presence from scratch? If so, maybe Facebook is where to start as that platform is great for utilising non-engaged and engaged viewers. It has powerful paid promotion capabilities, too.
2. Are you starting a new campaign from an established artist? If so, maybe YouTube is the way. The artist will have loyal fans already who will actively seek out their content on YouTube.
3. Is your goal to gain as many views as quickly as possible or to slowly build up a loyal fanbase? While the Facebook player will gain lots of views quickly, many may be unengaged auto-play views. YouTube will garner engaged, loyal views, but may take some time to build a following up.
4. Do you need to gain an audience or are you looking to generate revenue? Considering Facebook’s monetization implementation is in it’s most primitive form, going forward with ad-supported videos on YouTube may be more a viable choice for clients wishing to generate revenue along with their videos.
In summary, picking the platform that best suits your case really depends on what you aim to achieve from your campaign. Both YouTube and Facebook interact differently with fans and lead to different outcomes and generate revenue differently. Compare short-term gains with long-term loyalty and consider how to harvest the outcomes in different directions based on your goals.