After announcing its recent deal with the National Football League, Facebook seems more than ready to take on YouTube when it comes to video supremacy in 2015. However, there still may be a few strategies in play when it comes to improving the site’s format and outreach to its user base.
“Facebook is already a place where you consume content, and now they are dialing up video,” said Ezra Cooperstein, president of Fullscreen, which is a partner of YouTube video producers co-owned by AT&T and The Chemin Group. “This is a year where YouTube is still the dominant platform for emerging talent. It’s going to be challenged (in 2015), and Facebook has to crack (ads). It could be pretty dangerous for YouTube if Facebook does crack that.”
The advertising plan is still being put in place, according to the Wall Street Journal, and the NFL/Verizon Wireless deal is just part of that, a way to test out “post-roll” video ads on the service. The final plan hasn’t been ironed out just yet, as the team still needs to figure out a way to produce video ads that don’t get in the way of the site’s experience when it comes to the consumer.
Jesse Redniss, co-founder of the digital media consultant team Brave Ventures, stated that he’s not confident in “post roll” ads having that much appeal in the way of gathering new advertiser. He believes that, instead, Facebook will work more on working directly with marketers to integrate brands into content or perhaps produce videos that are more specific with company advertising, allowing their content to be seen more by the consumer as a result. “Facebook is poised to become the next big MCN,” he explained.
Jordan Bitterman, chief strategy officer of Mindshare North America, had something to say as well. “If you are a purveyor of video you pay like brands and everyone else on Facebook pays to get their content seen,” said Bitterman. “It becomes a distribution cost.”
Facebook could easily shape how online video advertising could change, with a shorter video standard. Said Ran Harnevo, AOL’s head of video, “The main advantage of the online video space in the last few years was the fact that it basically had the same ad product the TV industry had.
“But the next evolution of this space has to include a better ad experience,” he continued. “30-second ads were created for a different medium and are not a good service for digital consumers. Video pre-rolls would be super effective if they would last five to seven seconds. If Facebook, with over a billion users under their belt, would stick to that format, I have no doubt everyone would play along.”
A standalone video section would also be a considerable idea for the time. “I wouldn’t put that past them,” added Bitterman.
Meanwhile, Vik Kathuria, global chief media officer for Razorfish, had his own say on the matter, with an interesting theory. “The first thing that pops into my mind is Instagram,” he explained. “I think the video opportunity for Facebook is with this inherently visual sharing platform. If they could figure out in-stream ad delivery, they may have a solution that could rival YouTube.”