Many artists and bands have been switching their music videos from YouTube to Facebook lately because of the increase in viewership, but it turns out the viewership numbers might be a big mirage. Facebook videos are said to be getting close to 8 billion views per day on its platform, but that number is in dispute.
First of all, the way a view is measured is very different between both platforms. On YouTube, a viewer has to watch for 31 seconds to be registered as a view. Facebook is way different in that a view is calculated after 3 seconds, but an even bigger factor is that the audio may be muted during the view time and will still be counted as a view.
It turns out that 85% of Facebook video views happen with the sound off, according to multiple publishers. Of course, this a major problem for an artist that’s using a video as the means to get their music heard. Advertisers can easily adapt by making sure that there’s text that you can read, and that the point comes across visually. Obviously, that’s not possible when it comes to music.
And, of course, there’s the payment factor, or actually, the non-payment factor is a better way to put it. You may not like what you get paid from YouTube, but at least you have the possibility to get paid something. Facebook is still working video monetization out, although it looks like that’s coming soon.
With that in mind, most artists are probably thinking, “Are Facebook videos even worth the effort?” given that the chances of people listening to a song are pretty minimal. If you’re looking to expand your audience by promoting a video or hoping to go viral, Facebook might not be the best place, given the latest figures. If you have a hungry audience already on Facebook that you want to reach, of course there’s no substitute. That said, don’t give up on YouTube just yet. You may not be getting a fair shake on the platform, but it’s still worth being there if you want your music heard.