How Facebook Live Will Impact the Near Future of Video Advertising

What does Facebook Live mean for the future of video advertising? It means YouTube and Hulu will be eating Facebook’s leftovers.

As Facebook–which has most of its traffic on mobile–increases the adoption of its Facebook Live platform, we’ll see the landscape of video advertising change dramatically and quickly. In a very short period of time, video buyers are considering Facebook as the most important video–not just social–advertising platform. Facebook Live and in-feed video are catalysts in that growth.


Pictured: Advertiser Perceptions talked with more than 300 agency and client executives who place video advertising. Study commissioned by Trusted Media Brands.

Recently, 65 percent of marketers said social platforms are their most important partners for digital video campaigns (and social equals Facebook like tissue equals Kleenex).

First, Facebook went to market with in-stream, in-browser-view video–an incredibly different direction from what consumers and agencies say they want. But wait a minute: What do agencies want? Four of 10 say the Facebook model will be the de facto standard.

Then, Facebook beat Google to the punch with Facebook Live–first to market, first in mindshare:


You could argue that 72 percent to 69 percent is a rounding error. Then look at agency sentiment, which is no doubt statistically significant. YouTube, the incumbent, has a problem. It’s called “Facebook Live,” but I digress.

Based on the aforementioned current marketplace shifts, marketers and agencies need to think about the near future of video. Here are three key trends driving this change:

  1. Social to surpass video platforms as key distribution: While video platforms are favored by 59 percent of all respondents, marketers rate social as the most important (65 percent). Programmatic will drive at least one-third of ad spend. It’s clear from the Advertiser Perceptions research that Facebook turned the tables on the video discussion 180 degrees toward its social platform by aggressively introducing Facebook Live. The research also points to auto-play and in-browser videos as to why Facebook is now seen as the video leader.
  2. Less will be more … impact: Short-form video is most popular among digital advertisers, and the use of micro video is likely to grow. Marketers surveyed believe shorter video content costs less to create and is better suited to attract consumers on social. Short form content is a better native fit and audiences are more receptive in this medium, agency respondents showed.
  3. In-stream auto-play is gaining acceptance: Why is Facebook Live important to the future of video on the social platform? It’s all about the great “auto-play debate.” The industry has a myriad of reactions when it comes to in-stream, auto-play and sound-off video. Opposition seems low, and some buyers are of the mindset that consumers are “too lazy” to click and it’s the best shot at exposure.

Yet consumers are not so keen. A majority (six in 10) don’t like auto-play videos, citing negative impacts on the user experience, like a lack of control or the sound being intrusive. The rest of the group, the other 40 percent, are an even split among those neutral to auto-play and those who like auto-play.


Facebook Live is the social media company smartly doubling down in the video space. Since YouTube’s launch in 2005, it had the video market covered. But Facebook exposes a tear in the seam of YouTube’s seemingly unstoppable video domination.

We’ve seen the future of video, and it’s Facebook Live.

Rich Sutton is chief revenue officer at global media and direct marketing company Trusted Media Brands.