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2015 is coming to a close, and Google has begun their end-of-the-year celebrations by highlighting the most popular videos of the year. The past year has been an especially big one for YouTube, which has been celebrating its 10th birthday all year long.

It has also been the first year that YouTube has seen true competition. Facebook’s video platform has given the service a run for its money, by giving videos a wider platform and more prominent place in news feeds.

Despite this challenge, YouTube continues to be one of the largest platforms in the world, and is still synonymous with internet video. The past year, the service has helped drive a dance craze that swept the nation, become the new home of Super Bowl ads, and helped promote equality with these videos:

Google’s Top Trending Videos of 2015

1. Silento- Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) #WatchMeDanceOn by Tianne King

2. Clash of Clans: Revenge (Official Super Bowl TV Commercial) by Clash of Clans

3. Crazy Plastic Ball PRANK!! by RomanAtwood

4. Love Has No Labels | Diversity & Inclusion | Ad Council by Ad Council

5. Lip Sync Battle with Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart and Jimmy Fallon by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvRypx1lbR4

6. Justin Bieber Carpool Karaoke by The Late Late Show with James Corden

7. 6ft Man in 6ft Giant Water Balloon – 4K – The Slow Mo Guys by The Slow Mo Guys

8. Golden boy Calum Scott hits the right note | Audition Week 1 | Britain’s Got Talent 2015 by Britain’s Got Talent

9. Dover Police DashCam Confessional (Shake it Off) by Dover Police

10. Mean Tweets – President Obama Edition by Jimmy Kimmel Live

To help reminisce about 2015, YouTube also gathered over 150 YouTube creators for the latest installation of YouTube’s annual Rewind video, showcasing everything from dance prodigies, TV personalities, and even an insane plastic ball fight.

YouTube is certain to be a huge part of all of our lives for the years to come and these videos show the wide variety of videos you can find across the site. If you have a video you want seen in 2016, especially business related videos, YouTube is the place to look.

YouTubeRed

YouTube has long been a favorite platform for online video advertisers, thanks to its full-featured and highly effective ad service. However, that might be changing in the near future.

YouTube has announced it will be launching an ad-free subscription service starting on October 28th, in order to meet the demands of users.

The new service, YouTube Red, claims to give users “exactly what they want” by providing ad-free and offline viewing capabilities.

If you absolutely can’t stand ads, you can get rid of them entirely by subscribing for the cost of $9.99 a month.

Thankfully, you aren’t just paying that much for removing ads from your cat videos. YouTube Red will also contain original content from some of YouTube’s biggest names such as PewDiePie and College Humor, launching in 2016.

Starting October 28th, anyone in the US can sign up for a free one-month trial of the service, which will be available for mobile and desktop. The company says it will be expanding to other companies before long.

It is unclear exactly how this will affect advertising earnings and YouTube has not said if there will be revenue sharing amongst publishers. However, if YouTube Red catches on it be the final push to make some video advertisers finally turn to Facebook’s video platform.

 facebook-vs-youtube

Facebook’s video platform is quickly rising as one of the most popular online video services available due to statistics showing marvelously high video view counts, but experts argue Facebook’s numbers may be misleading. While Facebook claims massive view counts, it is entirely possible YouTube may have a larger lead than it appears at first glance.

What even is a video view?

A video view is the count of how many people watch a video. It can’t be all that complicated, right? Wrong. Online, there is a surprising amount of contention over what exactly constitutes a video view.

For Facebook, a video view is counted every time any video plays for only 3 seconds. On the other hand, YouTube does not consider a video to be “viewed” until it has played for at least 30 seconds.

These contrasting metrics raise numerous questions about the accuracy of view statistics and the efficiency of online videos. Making issues more complicated is autoplay. On YouTube, you have to at least click one video before you are shown an endless feed of autoplaying videos, but you can view a video on Facebook by simply not paying attention when you are scrolling.

View statistics have long been an important metric for display ads, but these factors suggest the advertising industry may need to agree upon a set viewing metric, or turn to other types of data entirely, to accurately gauge the impact of video ads.

Are a few seconds enough?

Think about the last commercial you saw. How long did it take before you knew what the commercial was for? One of the biggest benefits of video advertising is the ability to tell a story with your ad, but this also means it is often not immediately clear what the product being advertised is.

Problematically, both The Media Rating Council and IAB side closer with Facebook’s metric. These organizations define a video ad as viewable “when at least 50 percent of the ad’s pixels are visible on a screen for at least two consecutive seconds.”

Now consider the average length of the Top 10 Best Video Ads of 2014 compiled by AdWeek is 2 minutes and 17 seconds.

It’s time for a new video view standard that reflects the actual impact videos are having. Facebook’s numbers sound amazing on paper, especially in light of how new this incarnation of the video platform is. But, they are less impressive when you consider many of those “views” can occur just because you got distracted with Facebook open.

Videos can be an immensely powerful online advertising tool, but don’t be fooled by misleading numbers. Use analytics to make sure views are turning into clicks and conversions, or consider using a video platform with slightly more strict view counts.

Here’s a rundown of how the biggest video services count views, compiled by Marketing Land:

  • YouTube: The Google-owned video network counts a view after a user has watched a video for “around” 30 seconds.
  • Facebook: Facebook videos automatically play without audio on users’ News Feeds. Views, which are displayed publicly, are triggered when someone watches for at least 3 seconds.
  • Instagram: Facebook’s photo and video sharing network doesn’t display video view counts publicly, but the company uses the same 3-second standard to count them. Instagram video also loops automatically while a video post remains on users’ screens, so instead of total video views, the stat Instagram sends to advertisers is views by “unique users.”
  • Twitter: Unlike Facebook and YouTube, Twitter doesn’t currently serve autoplay video (although it is testing the feature for some iOS users), so a view is counted when a user clicks on a video within a tweet. Video view counts are not publicly displayed. Advertisers can view stats within the Twitter ad platform, or for organic tweets from within the analytics dashboard.
  • Vine: The Twitter-owned video network autoplays looping video with a maximum length of 6 seconds. Views on the Vine network are called loops, which are publicly displayed and triggered after a user watches the entire video. Vine doesn’t sell ads.

YouTube has long been the number one platform for video advertisers despite some recent challenges from Facebook. The top YouTube ads for last month give a good indication why so many advertisers trust the platform to help them build their brands.

The top 10 YouTube ads in March generated more than 102 million views, led by the Ad Council’s anti-discrimination spot “Love Has No Labels.” The ad shot to the top of YouTube’s most popular ads after being posted on March 3. Since then, it has garnered over 50 million views on its own.

While it can be difficult to climb to the top of YouTube’s ad charts, anyone can see a surprising amount of success by sharing their content on the platform. Let these top ads from March 2015 inspire you, and maybe you’ll be at the top of the list in the not too distant future.

Top Ten YouTube Video Ads for March 2015

1. Ad Council: Love Has No Labels

2. Durex: #Connect

3. Samsung: Galaxy 6 Official Introduction

https://youtu.be/CnYtWWDor2s

4. Samsung: Galaxy 6 Design Story

https://youtu.be/raAoYFrIm0I

5. YouTube: Music Awards 2015

6. GEICO: Family – Unskippable

https://youtu.be/pvcj9xptNOQ

7. YouTube Spotlight: #DearMe – What Advice Would You Give Yourself?

8. GoPro: Didga the Skateboarding Cat

 9. Valspar Paint: Color for the Colorblind

 10. Clean & Clear: See the Real Me

https://youtu.be/vyNZXQ136oI

FBVidVsYouTube

YouTube has been the prime place to be for video advertising for years, but Facebook is making a strong effort to take the throne. It also seems to be working. A new survey from video advertising company Mixpo suggests Facebook video may overtake YouTube as the number one video advertising platform as early as this year.

Facebook Video vs YouTube

The survey polled 125 agencies, brands and publishers on their plans for video advertising this year. According to their results, 87 percent said they plan to run video ad campaigns on Facebook, compared to 81.5 percent on YouTube.

Facebook video’s rise has been incredibly quick, following a revamp of the service early last year. Since then, the platform has claimed incredible viewing and sharing stats for videos which are attracting many advertisers.

The findings of the survey also show more businesses and advertisers are seeing the value in video advertising, as more marketers report planning video advertising campaigns across all platforms in 2015. Similarly, the number of advertisers without plans for video advertising this year has fallen to nearly non-existent.

facebook-stop-autoplay-664x374

Expect to see a lot more videos in your Facebook feed. According to the social media platform, people around the world are posting 75% more videos to Facebook compared to this time last year, and that growth is even greater in the U.S. where video uploads on the social network have risen 94%.

Unsurprisingly, this surplus of video content has also led to a much greater amount of videos being featured in users’ news feeds. Facebook says the number of videos featured in news feeds has risen 360% over the past year.

“With people creating, posting and interacting with more videos on Facebook, the composition of News Feed is changing,” said Facebook in the announcement. “Globally, the amount of video from people and brands in News Feed has increased 3.6x year-over-year.”

“Since June 2014, Facebook has averaged more than 1 billion video views every day. On average, more than 50% of people who come back to Facebook every day in the US watch at least one video daily and 76% of people in the US who use Facebook say they tend to discover the videos they watch on Facebook.”

With the fast growth, Facebook is poised to overtake YouTube as the primary place for marketers to post videos, especially as previous studies have found that on desktop Facebook has already surpassed YouTube in monthly video views.

Facebook also included suggestions for video creators to ensure you get the most reach possible for videos on the platform:

As a creator, you should be conscious that people will discover your video in News Feed next to a photo from a friend or a status update from a relative. Your video needs to fit in, and it needs to be something that your audience will want to watch and share.

With the launch of auto-play and the surge in mobile use, it’s also important to focus on posting videos that grab people from the first frame of video. Shorter, timely video content tends to do well in News Feed. Keep in mind that auto-play videos play silently in News Feed until someone taps to hear sound, so videos that catch people’s attention even without sound often find success.