It's been a good couple of weeks for brands and creators who upload video natively to Facebook. Not only is the social network giant updating its video insights feature, which will enable page admins to take a deeper dive in overall performance metrics, but the site has now confirmed it is willing to share video ad revenue with selected brands and creators for the first time.
According to Tubular, native videos uploaded to Facebook in June 2015 generated over 56.4 Billion views, compared to 34.8 Billion views on YouTube videos uploaded that month. But unlike uploads to Google's video portal, creators who are publishing to Facebook have been unable to financially benefit from any advertising run against their content. Although Facebook can certainly attract the views and engagement, particularly on viral content, monetization of that content hasn't been an option. Until now.
NEW - Revenue Sharing for Brands who Upload to Facebook
Alongside YouTube, Facebook has become the video destination site for big brands to publish and promote their latest content. Up until now, the benefits of doing so (mainly thanks to Facebook's video autoplay feature, and the ease in which users can share the videos they like) have been increased awareness for the brand, and the ability to create their own 'hub' on the network where fans can follow and engage with them. But now, Facebook has confirmed that it is offering brands like Fox Sports, Funny or Die, and the NBA - all serious video evangelists - the opportunity to earn from the ads run against their content in a new revenue split scheme.
This is huge news. Facebook have never offered this kind of monetary compensation for video uploads before, and it certainly offers an incentive for brands to keep doing so. Despite the stunning number of views an increasing number of videos can generate on Facebook, the site has lacked the one feature that YouTube could offer - the chance to earn from publishing video to the. Now, it has confirmed terms which offer the video creator 55% of revenue generated from ads run against their content, with the platform keeping the remaining 45%. The very same terms as YouTube in fact. Of course, this also generates a new income stream for the platform as they benefit from advertising dollars.
But Forget the News Feed; Only 'Suggested Videos' Will Benefit
But the vast majority of brands and creators will have to wait before they get a piece of the pie. Around 236K creators uploaded over 1.7 Million videos to Facebook last month - but going forward, not all video content will be considered equal. The revenue share model will filter out content via a new algorithm, and push these videos through a new 'Suggested Videos' feature. It's the videos that find themselves featured here that will benefit from ad share earnings.
And according to Re/code, video content creators who want to earn revenue from Facebook this way can only do so after they become an official partner with the company. How will it work? When a viewer has watched a video on the site, a new 'Suggested Videos' screen will pop-up and offer them further content to watch.
Facebook, Freebooting and Ad Revenue
Although Facebook has confirmed they will control the video content eligible for monetization, the new algorithm (we assume) can only do so much without a robust ContentID system behind it. Right now, big content aggregator accounts like UNILAD have enough followers to push any video viral, whether they created it, or even credited the video original creator. If a Facebook account has enough followers, it can potentially pick up millions of views, from its own followers, and from those it has been shared to. If Facebook will only pay out to creators who become a partner, does that mean that those partners will need to confirm to new TOS regarding content they upload that doesn't always belong to them?
There's no definite date set for the new scheme, but we know it will go live first on Facebook's iPhone app