Video, Video, Video. They’re everywhere, and it looks like we’ll be scrolling past moving images for some time! Video is all the rage on social media, brands and news outlets, and all will continue to invest in the medium in 2017 – all the while learning more about the ways this type of content is best created, shared, and watched.

Let’s have a look at what 2017 holds for us. We’ll be reviewing the most recent stats for this year about general trends concerning online video and TV. We’ll also have a closer look at the digital strategies from the likes of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

The TL;DR version of this article is: video has amazing views and engagement rates on social media, and live video is the booming segment, all the more that platforms are pushing this content to raise awareness and build new consumptions habits.

Context on Social Media Video vs. TV

If uncertainties remain as to how budgets will be spent between TV Ads vs. Digital Video Ads in the years to come (see AVC & Accenture Strategy study), one thing is for sure: Youtube, Facebook and Instagram will be looking for an increase in Video Ads budgets from brands. We can get a clear picture as to which channels are targeted by leading brands (ranked by intent, not budget) through this eMarketer U.S. 2016 study (See graph below).

Digital Video Advertising

Social networks will get more aggressive in order to win Brand budgets’ shares traditionally allocated to TV channels. The type of VOD and “premium” programs available on these platforms will determine this positioning and its success. Facebook and YouTube have stated they will remain focused on their respective content creators’ production, instead of going the Netflix or Amazon way (licensing or producing content).

From Zenith agency 2016 study, a few great previsions emerge about ad spend:

  • By 2017-2018, the internet will become the dominant advertising medium (36% of global ad spend) and overtake television (35%). As a reminder Internet was 6% of global ad spend in 2005.
  • Online video ad spend growth rate for 2017 should be 20%

Global Ad Spend Tv Vs Social online Video - Zenith Study

Facebook video strategy hints for 2017

Video is the next big thing to trigger growth at Facebook

As of now, Facebook users tend to post less and less about themselves (“context collapse” phenomenon), and instead re-share other content. This explains why content creation is at stake if the platform wants to keep its usage and engagement levels.

Most interviews from C-levels at Facebook have clearly indicated that video it a central part of the plan:

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg:
    • “I see video as a mega trend, same order as mobile”, (2017)
    • “We see a world that is video first, with video at the heart of all of our apps and services” (2016)
    • “The big decision we made was to shift a lot of our video efforts to focus on Live, because it is this emerging new format; not the kind of videos that have been online for the past five or ten years” (Buzzfeed, 2016)
    • “I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video” (Buzzfeed, 2016)
  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg:
    • “Consumer video is exploding on our platform as Mark was talking about, and that really creates ad opportunities” (2017)
    • “Our primary focus is on shortform content, not longform content”, in response to a question about video, indicating that Facebook doesn’t plan to make its platform a place to only watch video from to creators (Buzzfeed, 2016)
  • Facebook Head of Sports Dan Reed:
    • “Sports are inherently social, with the power to build and connect communities around the world […] This aligns closely with our mission, and we feel Facebook is a natural home for sports content, including live games.” (Facebook Statement, 2017)

Facebook Live Video Ads Campaign

Live video to boost user-generated content

By launching Live video for all (originally only rolled-out for selected professionals and influencers), Facebook gave its users a new tool to express themselves. The format is raw, non-edited and gives users an immediate peek into their friends lives (like Meerkat, Periscope, Beme… but at Facebook’s scale) – all to serve “immediacy of interaction” (Forrester Research, 2016).

“People look at live video and they think this is a lot of pressure because it’s live; it takes a lot of courage to go live and put yourself out there. But what we’re finding is the opposite […] Because it’s live, there is no way it can be curated […] And because of that it frees people up to be themselves. It’s live; it can’t possibly be perfectly planned out ahead of time. Somewhat counterintuitively, it’s a great medium for sharing raw and visceral content.” Zuckerberg (Buzzfeed, 2016).

Live video to boost quality professional content for users to reshare

At the same time, and in order to keep quality content flowing to the platform, the company is said to offer selected content creators (celebrities and media companies) around $250,000 for 20 posts/month over a three-month period (Re/code, 2016).

Facebook also aims at becoming the go-to platform for live video content like Sport. They have already signed with Major Soccer League, the World Surf League, NBA minor league…

Some fresh stats worth reading about Facebook

  • Facebook is the world’s third largest website (after Google and YouTube) (Alexa, 2017)
  • Facebook will hit 2 billion monthly active users by the middle of 2017 (The Verge, 2017)
  • Users spend on average 14min per day on Facebook (Alexa, 2017)
  • Users’ sharing of original, personal information declined by 16% in 2016, vs 21% in 2015 (The Information, 2016). Facebook official data states that “the overall level of sharing has remained not only strong, but similar to levels in prior years”; which means that users are using the service to share non-personal content on a large scale – a great sign for brand content marketing campaigns.
  • “We’ve seen that people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos.” (Facebook Newsroom, 2016)

YouTube video strategy hints for 2017

YouTube is all on Creators content… and Live

We’ve gathered a few of the most representative quotes from YouTubes representants:

  • YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki:
    • “Our goal is to be the next-generation platform for media companies. And to do that in an ad-supported and subscription way. […] And so if you have something and you want to have that content become famous, you want that content to have impact, YouTube is a great place to go. […] For the user side, if you actually want to go and learn about anything, see the most amount of content, YouTube is going to be the place to go.” (WSJ, 2016)
    • “It doesn’t make sense for us to do it in the same way Netflix and Amazon are doing. But we started YouTube Red, a full music-subscription service. […] In addition to that we have the YouTube stars that develop content. […] I think we’re focused on the YouTube experience and the YouTube audience that we have there. And making sure that we are working with the YouTube stars to take that content to the next level.” (WSJ, 2016)
    • We’re going to provide metrics that are going to show that [ROI]. Or brand lift. Or increased awareness.” (WSJ, 2016)
    • “We created an entirely new “Community” tab that will give creators new ways to connect with their fans. The feature is still in beta, but eventually all creators will be able to post gifs, text, live videos and more to their tab, giving them quick and easy ways to engage with fans in between uploads.” (YouTube Blog, 2017)
  • Think With Google
    • “By 2025, half of viewers under the age of 32 will not subscribe to a paid TV service” (Think with Google, 2016)
    • “87% of people feel they should be able to communicate, share opinions, and interact with brands in real time” (Think With Google & Branshare, 2014)

To keep up with the other social media live streaming platforms, YouTube launched in February 2017 mobile live-streaming. If streaming from a desktop computer is available since 2011, mobile live streaming is a new way for YouTube to offer its users new creative ways to engage their audiences, and make them stay longer on the platform. While the feature is only available to creators with more than 10’000 followers, it’s likely to be rolled-out to more users in the near future.

YouTube superchat Live Streaming

An interesting feature differentiates Youtube from other platforms: Superchat. For “(super) fans”, YouTube also launches “Superchat” to help creators earn revenue from live streaming.

“Super Chat is like paying for that front-row seat in the digital age: it lets any fan watching a live stream stand out from the crowd and get a creator’s attention by purchasing chat messages that are highlighted in bright colors and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours. Super Chat gives viewers a chance to add a little visual flair to their chats and enables creators a new way to keep connected to their fans while earning a little money on the side” Barbara Macdonald, Product Manager, 2017

YouTube is getting closer to TV

In February 2017, YouTube launched “Live TV”. The pitch: “Stream ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC & more. Never run out of DVR storage space. 6 accounts, 1 price. $35/month. Cancel anytime.” This new feature blurs the line between YouTube and TV, as the platform now natively supports Live TV.

Youtube Tv Available Channels

Some 2017 updated YouTube stats worth reading

This is a recap of the latest stats about Youtube usage

  • YouTube’s first video was uploaded in 2005, Google bought YouTube in 2006, and the first ads appeared in 2007.
  • Live streaming from desktop was launched in 2011
  • YouTube is the world’s 2nd largest website (Alexa, 2017)
  • Users spend on average more than 9min per day on YouTube (Alexa, 2017)
  • 50% of 18-34-year-old YouTube subscribers would drop what they’re doing to watch a new video by their favorite creator (Think With Google, 2017)
  • Teens watch 64% less TV than adults 35+ (Think With Google, 2017)
  • YouTube has over a billion users; it’s almost 1/3 of all people on the Internet (YouTube, 2017)
  • More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices (Youtube, 2017), mobile watch time on YouTube already surpassed desktop in 2015 (Think With Google, 2015)
  • YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S. (Youtube, 2017)
  • In an average month in the U.S., 80% of 18-49-year-olds watch YouTube (Think with Google, 2016)

A few interesting resources about YouTube

There’s no better way to understand YouTube’s DNA than watching what’s hot and trending on the social network. Here is a selection… and so far, PewDiePiew still rules YouTube’s world with more than half a billion followers.

Twitter video strategy hints for 2017

Live Video, a new business model for Twitter

For years, Twitter users have been posting 140-characters texts while watching TV. Now live events become a part of Twitter as the company aims at becoming the “hub for live video”.

Twitter plans to leverage video – as a path to profitability – and in particular live video on its platform. It’s no surprise that with its Q4 2016 restructuration, Periscope’s CEO Kayvon Beykpour is now also overseeing Twitter’s video activities. As part of this new structure, partnerships are now organized under four key areas: sport, entertainment, news and creators.

Twitter Live Streaming Football

In 2016 the company signed dozens of live-streaming video partnerships, from NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” ($10 million for 10 games over the 2016-17 season, AFR) to the Hillary Clinton – Donald Trump debate. Twitter’s CFO said, commenting on these live events, that 70% of the audience was under 35 – the same lucrative demographic that all advertisers are after these days, and users don’t even need to be registered to watch. In 2017,  ESL and Dreamhack from the pro-gaming industry are getting on-board.

The company’s live-streaming video strategy is now designed to “offer daily tune-in events”, giving users a reason to regularly check-in and spend some time on the platform. With the new “Explore” tab launched in January 2017, Twitter gave more space to live video (on top), trending news, and (at last) “moments” (curated by editors our outside publishers).


Quotes selection from Twitter’s big guns

With the company still needing to prove its potential for growth and profitability, it seems that the new plan is named “OLV”. Read: “OnLine Video“, a “$9 billion – $10 billion” opportunity according to Twitter’s COO Adam Bain. Here’s a proof that twitter wants to be a hub for live video:

  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey:
    • “We’re focused on building the most useful, open, and comprehensive news network on the planet” (Variety, 2016)
    • “Twitter is what’s happening, and what everyone is talking about (literally!). News and talk. We’re the people’s news network.” (Reuters, 2016)
  • Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour
    • about the possibility of paying content creators “Maybe it’s something that we experiment as Periscope specifically later on, […] It’s really important for us to make sure we’re building a product that people want to use without being monetarily incentivized.” (Buzzfeed, 2016)
  • Twitter CFO Anthony Noto: there’s “a significant opportunity for us to leverage the live streaming deal to capture new budgets” (Buzzfeed, 2016)
  • Twitter Australia MD Suzy Nicoletti: “It’s really about creating the best experience, because that’s going to drive the users. For us, and in this market, we think that live is the focus to drive a new audience, audience engagement and then revenue opportunities” (AFR, 2016)

Let’s see how this video strategy will drive user and engagement growth for the platform.

Online video is on the rise, and live video is at the core of this new trend for all major platforms. Have you spotted other interesting online video trends for 2017 from the social media giants? Share your opinion and remarks in the comments section.