According to Tubular, the top 10 Facebook compilation pages got 7.1 billion views in July, while the top 10 Facebook creator (original content) pages got 2.6 billion views that month. If you drill a little deeper, the top 25 Facebook compilation pages got 13.2 billion views in July, which the top 25 Facebook creator pages got 3.7 billion views.
So, Facebook pages aggregating other people’s video content are getting between 2.7 – 3.6X more views – without having to spend a dime to create original content.
Facebook Compilations: More Views than Buzzfeed
In fact, the top seven Facebook compilation pages each got more views in July than the Buzzfeed Video page on Facebook, the top Facebook creator page that month. These compilation pages include:
- Funniest And Craziest Videos: “Crazy, funny and amazing videos for everyone”.
- Unilad TV: “trending videos that will make your day a bit less shitty”.
- Addiktion: “an independent Dance Music Record Label”.
- SofloComedy: “a community channel for all pranks”.
- Street FX: Motorsport & Graphix.
- Young Paperboyz: a Nigerian hip-hop, R&B, and pop group
- Corridos VIP: a Spanish language page which features “your favorite artists and groups.”
The Elephant in the Facebook Room: ContentID
Now, before we go any farther, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: I agree with Vlogbrothers’ Hank Green, who recently wrote a post entitled, “Theft, Lies, and Facebook Video”. All I can add is that Facebook’s lack of an equivalent to YouTube’s Content ID system is a lawsuit waiting to happen – although I’m not a lawyer. But, I’m not a potted plant, either. So, I think I’m in a position to say that Facebook better fix this problem sooner, rather than later.
Matt Pakes, a product manager at Facebook who is responsible for video products, posted a response to Green’s post, stating: “We take intellectual property rights very seriously, provide reporting tools for content owners to report possible copyright infringement. As video continues to grow rapidly on Facebook, we’re actively exploring further solutions to help IP owners identify and manage potential infringing content, tailored for our unique platform and ecosystem”. So, Facebook are aware of the issue and are actively seeking ways to address compilation accounts that upload content without the owner’s explicit permission.
What Video Marketers Can Learn From Aggregators
In the meantime, let’s take a look at what video marketing teams can learn from these compilation accounts. Original content creators should benefit when someone curates their videos on another video platform, but, some aggregators have gone beyond being a creator’s most engaged and most influential fans. They’ve built huge audiences themselves and that has a potential value to original content creators down the road – if they can work out a deal. Another interesting story is that there are YouTube stars who create original content on YouTube and curate non-original content on Facebook.
For an example, check out Disturb Reality, who upload original content to their 722K YouTube subscribers every Monday, but who post curated content to their 2.1 million Facebook followers on a more regular basis. Their Facebook page is as well organised as their YouTube channel, with a featured video, and well-though out playlists, like this one for videos that have generated over 100K shares:
So, what strategic insights or tactical advice can I share with you when the critical data is clear, but the trends in the digital video marketing business are unclear?
- Emulate the Aggregators: The most successful aggregator accounts have built up a huge, actively engaged audience and whether the content belongs to them or not (see above) they make it easy for their followers to share on their own feeds by picking the most viral content, and optimizing the titles to grab as much attention as possible.
- Work with the Aggregator Channels: Once Facebook implements a robust ContentID system, many compilation channels are going to find themselves in hot water, perhaps even facing a total ban from the site. But, there are many that are licensed and want to stay on the good side of Facebook, so now is the time to start negotiating deals with the top aggregators on Facebook, to use their influence to endorse and promote your branded content.
- If you’re a media company, then take a closer look at the top seven Facebook compilation channels. What lessons can you learn about the type of video content that they are aggregating to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience? And should your media company be creating or curating more of that type of video content, too?