Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Facebook says it’s now streaming more video than YouTube. To be able to make that claim, all they had to do was cheat, lie, and steal.
I’m a professional YouTube creator. Some people think that this is some kind of joke but I have 30 employees. All of them work in the online video industry, about half of them work directly on producing videos for our educational YouTube channels. We’re a small, profitable business.
Facebook is an interesting, emerging platform for us. Reaching an audience is valuable, even if there’s no way to turn that value into money. So I’m excited about the potential future of Facebook as a video platform.
But there are a few things that make me wary, not of their ability to grow my business, but of whether they give a shit about creators, which is actually pretty important to me. Let’s go through them one by one.
According to a recent report from Ogilvy and Tubular Labs, of the 1000 most popular Facebook videos of Q1 2015, 725 were stolen re-uploads. Just these 725 “freebooted” videos were responsible for around 17 BILLION views last quarter. This is not insignificant, it’s the vast majority of Facebook’s high volume traffic. And no wonder, when embedding a YouTube video on your company’s Facebook page is a sure way to see it die a sudden death, we shouldn’t be surprised when they rip it off YouTube and upload it natively. Facebook’s algorithms encourage this theft.
What is Facebook doing about it?
They’ll take the video down a couple days after you let them know. Y’know, once it’s received 99.9% of the views it will ever receive.
Creators have been yelling (apparently into a void) about this for over a year now.
Now, it's not as if Facebook is downloading videos from YouTube and placing the videos on their site, it's users of Facebook that are doing the downloading and uploading to gain attention, and it's Facebook that is profiting from it by selling advertising around the uploaded video. And as Kurzgesagt and Destin Sandlin have mentioned, they put a lot of work into the videos and have partnered with YouTube for a share of the advertising, something Facebook isn't doing.
What I suspect is going to happen only after enough content producers threaten legal action is Facebook will have to set aside a portion of their revenue for content creators and when the original creator of the video makes a claim, get paid that portion of the revenue. Then it won't matter necessarily where the video is shown, just that it is shown and the creator gets a cut of the advertising revenue.
Kind of how YouTube now works.