CONTENT WARS 2!
The Young Gun Vs The Old Warhorse
Green Day once told us to ‘Wake me up when September ends’…well, it’s time to get out of bed because September is over and we have a brand new WING Perspective for your viewing pleasure.
This month we return to our ‘boxing ring of content’ (that sounds weird) in the second round of our CONTENT WARS double whammy. This time, we find out just how Facebook is going on the attack to grab YouTube’s creators and how YouTube is fighting back from the Facebook Watch right hook. But first, a little catch up on what us WINGers have been up to.
September saw the release of our brand new offering… WingMan24. This is the UK's first 24 hour branded film content service, responding to growing demand for high-quality film content produced at speed. We are incredibly excited about being able to provide a service that guarantees budgeted creative or bespoke high-quality film and stills within 24 hours of receiving a brief. Get in touch if you’d like to know more.
September also saw the release of our Ryder Cup TV commercials for Aberdeen Standard Investments starring captains Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjørn. And we’re also delighted to announce that we’ve won some awards too. Our documentary film RELENTLESS for Alex Thomson Racing and HUGO BOSS was given a Cannes Silver Dolphin Award for Leisure and Sport and we also won our latest Lovie Award, this time for our Jaguar #ShowYourEdge film featuring Andy Murray made in collaboration with our friends at CAA.
They're Coming To Get You
Last month we told you about Facebook going all out with their attempt at world domination over the content generation (yes, that rhymes and it was totally on purpose) as they try and poach YouTube’s star influencers with their expanded roll-out of Facebook Watch. Facebook’s Vice President of Video Fidji Simo recently said
In the last three years, we’ve really invested massively in creating products specifically for creators… it takes real dedication to cultivating a platform that is good for (them)."
A platform that is good for creators is exactly what they have made, having now gone the opposite way to YouTube by loosening the criteria within which to earn money from ad revenue.
Facebook Watch is a danger to Google and YouTube because it offers creators new ways to make money. On top of this, the platforms are not mutually exclusive. You can be a champion creator on both. It’s like Harry Kane joining Real Madrid whilst continuing to play for Spurs at the same time, earning double the money, taking double the adulation and winning double the um…. trophies? - Sorry Will! (Our obsessive Spurs fan Creative Director won’t be happy with that one!)
Look, the likes of Logan Paul and KSI (more on their own boxing match next time) have spent their formative years cultivating their videos and in turn, fan base with YouTube. Facebook Watch doesn’t even offer an improvement on YouTube’s famous 55% (creator) 45% (platform) split) but ultimately, Facebook has more users and that is a pretty big elephant in the social platform room. Facebook’s 2.2 billion active monthly users to YouTube’s 1.9 billion means creators can’t help but take note and Facebook Watch (like Twitch) is an enticing new potential cash cow for them. Even if YouTube stars are yet to flock to Facebook Watch, just its very presence alone, as an alternative source of revenue, takes away some of YouTube’s monopoly-esque powers already.
It’s also making YouTube sit up and think again, especially after the criticism they received from smaller channels in January, for tightening the ad revenue criteria (in a bid to clean up the presence of unsavoury and fake news videos). They have essentially made it harder for creators of smaller channels to earn as much money with their YouTube videos which is yet another incentive to flock to Facebook Watch.
The Fight Back
In response to recent criticisms and most likely Facebook’s aggressive industry power moves, YouTube has offered their creators the one thing that could hopefully keep their attention focused on their YouTube accounts… merchandise.
As of this summer, YouTube started offering incentives such as helping their stars sell merchandise whilst also adding new paid subscription options such as YouTube Premium. YouTube’s Chief Product Officer Neil Mohan says that, with these new measures,
The goal is not just maximising revenue but strengthening the community between the creators and their fans.”
You could easily add onto that what he’s really thinking. Something along the lines of “whilst ensuring we keep Facebook the hell away from our prized assets!” (for legal reasons we must make you aware that that was WING doing an impression of Neil and not a real quote... it would be funny if it was though).
Fundamentally YouTube increased its user count by 20% in the last year. Facebook’s was significantly lower at 13%. In the video space, YouTube has been around for a lot longer, its fan bases are fully intact and as we can see, it is still growing. Mr Mohan goes on to say that
Our creators tell us repeatedly that their most core, ardent and authentic fan base is on YouTube…we have creators with viewerships bigger than many or most cable channels, (and) have followings that are bigger than the populations of many countries”
It’s a fair point. But who wins?
Facebook Watch needs more time to prove itself. We’ve seen more and more shows like PBS’s Facebook Watch interview show ‘That Moment When’ or Vox’s ‘Consider it’ and one will come along that will no doubt turn into a massive hit, but it needs more time for viewers and ultimately creators to fully jump ship. Right now YouTube are holding strong, not only because it’s still the tried and tested platform of use for creators but also the stats speak for themselves. Facebook shares are at this time of writing, down by 0.6%. This might be because of a little/MAJOR security breach, you know the little one last week where 50 million accounts were hacked?
As much as Facebook is one of our favourite ways in which to share, connect and stalk our old-school crushes, security and data scandals like this, the Cambridge Analytica debacle and the perpetuation of Fake News only make it harder for new rollouts like Facebook Watch to succeed. More on Fake News in the world of content and social media in a forthcoming Perspective. Ultimately right now, experience is winning out over youth. The old warhorse YouTube ain't going anywhere but it does need to start adapting to the ever-changing landscape if it wants to keep the young gun of Facebook Watch in its place.
Top Three Pieces of Content
Nike - ‘Dream Crazy’
Genuine moral backing of an important movement? Or a cynical attempt to capitalise on it, either way, Nike’s latest Just Do It campaign is ballsy as hell and despite some backlash in the form of awkward self-tapes of people burning (or trying to burn) their Nike attire in protest, their sales went up by 31% in the days after this spot was released. Nothing that new in terms of visuals but definitely worth its place in this list due to its major impact.
Exide - #DrivenBySpeed
The pitch for this Exide Care piece must have been quick. 38 seconds of a dude (the Rubik’s Cube record holder) completing three Rubik’s Cubes in style, one of which is one-handed. Its simplicity is its beauty, tying into their #WhatDrivesYou campaign. Clearly what drives this guy is speed and you know, being a Rubikian genius.
Nike – Fastest Ever
Yep, September was a great month for Nike. They smashed it out of the park in terms of timing with this beautiful piece starring Eluid Kipchoge. This ad was released on 15th September, and on the 16th Eluid broke the marathon World Record in Berlin. Impeccable timing and pitched just right.