• Research: YouTube and Facebook Are In A Dead Heat For Advertisers' Interest

    Facebook’s push into video appears to be paying off as a new survey of 300 advertisers and agencies released by Trusted Media Brands this morning shows that social platforms and video platforms are virtually tied as the most important partners for video ad campaigns. Overall, YouTube and other video platforms are viewed as most important by 59% of respondents, with Facebook and other social platforms viewed as most important by 56%.

    However, among advertisers, 65% favored social, with 55% favoring video platforms. The numbers were reversed for agencies, where 62% favored video platforms and 51% favored social platforms. It’s also worth noting that distinctions can be murky as YouTube itself could be considered a social platform given the level of sharing, commenting and following that occurs there.

    As seen in the graphic below, video DSPs followed, with full episode players, ad networks and publishers following, with the order depending on agencies vs. advertisers. MCNs were the least preferred of the options. That full episode players fall well behind both social and video platforms should be a red flag for TV networks vying to hold on to ad dollars. The platform vs. content provider debate was the focus of 2 sessions at our June Video Ad Summit (see session videos here and here).

    Live-streaming has been Facebook’s primary video initiative and there appears to be strong interest in investing in it by advertisers and agencies, with 19% of the former saying they’ll definitely invest in it in the next 6 months and 17% of the later saying so. Another 60% of advertisers and 71% of agencies said they might invest. To date, Facebook Live hasn’t offered content providers advertising opportunities, creating challenges, as I wrote last week. But just yesterday AdAge confirmed that Facebook is now testing mid-rolls in live streams with select content providers, which is a huge step forward.

    But auto-play, sound-off video ads in News Feeds have been Facebook’s main model to date, and respondents were split about its acceptance. 46% of respondents said it’s becoming more accepted for video content, but only 34% said it should be the standard going forward. Over a third of respondents didn’t have an opinion. Meanwhile Trusted Brands said 60% of its own audience doesn’t like auto-play ads, primarily due to a diminished user experience.

    In good news for everyone, the survey found that 65% of agency respondents said that their budgets for online video ads will increase over the next 12 months, with 42% of advertisers saying so. Approximately one-quarter of overall ad budgets are currently allocated to online video.

    In addition, programmatic is poised to take a larger share of online video advertising, with 51% of agency respondents planning to increase over the next 12 months, and 32% of advertisers planning to. Respondents said that just under a third of online video ad spending is currently transacted programmatically.

    The full survey results can be downloaded here. The survey was conducted by Advertiser Perceptions.