Facebook Watch now Boasts over 140 Million Daily Viewers. Is it a Bad News for YouTube?

Facebook launched its video-on-demand service “Watch” in 2017. Due to the Social Media Giant having over 1.56 billion daily active users, it was expected that Watch would have no trouble giving competition to YouTube. However, that didn’t happen. Still, recent data shows that the service is improving on an impressive rate, in terms of revenue and viewership.

Facebook claims that Watch now boasts over 720 million monthly users (nearly double than last year’s numbers i.e. 400 million). Additionally, the number of daily viewers has risen to 140 million, who spend around 26 minutes viewing videos in Watch on average.

Moreover, there has been a 3x rise in the number of Show Pages using ad breaks actively over the last several months, a 3x rise in the Pages earning over $10,000 monthly and a whopping 8x rise in Pages earning over $1,000.

The reason behind these improvements is Watch’s careful approach towards impressing TV advertisers. Recently, Showcase was announced by Facebook. This video ad program would enable ad buyers to select fixed rates and guaranteed ad impressions for its premium content.

Facebook Watch now Boasts over 140 Million Daily Viewers - infographic

Facebook’s head of U.S. agency sales Erik Geisler also brought up content safety on Showcase as he mentioned that all programs in it will be thoroughly reviewed before being given a pass for getting monetized.

This extra-careful approach might give Watch an edge over YouTube, which is at the verge of another Ad-pocalypse after Vox journalist Carlos Maza ranted on how the video sharing platform didn’t take any considerable steps in dealing with the whole situation regarding commentator Steven Crowder taking shots at him.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki brought up how Crowder’s channel was demonetized. However, she continued by saying that YouTube would stand by its policies of evaluating videos.

The latest string of controversies on YouTube, regarding the type of content that gets to stay on the platform despite being highly questionable has led to many top-tier advertisers giving up on the service.

However, this doesn’t mean at all that YouTube would be dethroned by Watch anytime soon. Facebook is involved in a ton of controversies of its own. In addition to that, various Watch Creators claimed to have been struggling with declining revenue and views (in an interview conducted by Mashable). Moreover, due to Facebook’s main focus on Watch content, creators with pages unassociated with Watch are having a hard time monetizing their video content. There are a few other issues as well.

When it comes to original content however, Watch has nearly got YouTube beat. Steph Curry and Jada Pinkett Smith’s respective shows are scoring big numbers, in addition to getting critical acclaim. There are a certain shows which are not garnering a lot of views but receiving favorable reviews.

YouTube originals, on the other hand, mostly need to be paid for and that’s something many internet users are not willing to do.

Long story short, Watch isn’t a threat to Netflix and YouTube and won’t be one for years to come. However, the potential shown during the last year is highly impressive and it will be interesting to see where things go from here.

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