First of all, this isnt a rant but an observation. There has recently been a paradigm shift at least from what I have experienced over the last year. Not sure if anyone else has. Facebook has doubled down as a video sharing and monetization platform and has recently proven much more effective than Youtube. I have similar number of followers on youtube and facebook however the response is much better on facebook, both in terms of revenue and engagement. People on facebook seem to easily engage with the videos compared to youtube. Could facebook covertly pass youtube as a video platform?
There could be several reasons for this, but the ones that stand out the most are the age group engagement. Facebook engagements are mostly from users in the 30+ bracket and engagements from users on youtube mostly in the 13-30 bracket. Either the folks who used to use youtube a few years ago have grown older and moved on to facebook more or simply the fact that an entire generation is more likely to share things than the newer one.
Around 2018 Youtube turned a blind eye towards the smaller creators and started favoring the big commercial entertainment brands in hopes to become the next big entertainment platform. This is largely evident from their changes to video suggestion and subscriber notification algorithm.
Youtube searches have also gone down drastically and suggestions from the sidebar are the major drivers of youtube views which are dominated by much larger entertainment brands. Effectively killing the smaller creators over time. Before 2018 it was possible for a small creator to have a good influx of viral videos, now that rate is very controlled by youtube which effectively limits the exposure of viral content. More and more channels are shutting down every day and content creators making their goodbye videos. This change has impacted musicians more than the “how to” , “reviews” or tutorial creators.
As for me, I refused to be dinosaured by Youtube and geared my production towards facebook instead and getting results. In terms of monetized video views, engagement and album sales. Sales arent super high or anything from either sources, we are talking comparing low hundreds over a month.
Yes there was a time Youtube was a major revenue source. You could generate over 2500$ a month in its golden period, but that period is now over and most youtubers (including me) struggle to get a paycheck of a 100$ a month from youtube. Facebook could have jumped in at the right time and maybe lending a hand to the disgruntled youtubers ditching youtube.
Here is a screen shot of a recent response from Youtube vs Facebook with similar number of followers and similar timing of videos. You can see drastic differences in engagement from your subscribers / followers. It used to be quite the opposite in the 2010 - 2016 era. But now the numbers have reversed. I have over 100k views on facebook compared to low thousands on youtube recently.
Facebook however makes it very hard to publish and monetize content. The quality control and requirements are quite monumental. You need 15,000 engagements on your page on a 60 day cycle , thousands of likes (which is very hard to do for new creators starting off) and a gritty approval process but it is a start. In case someone is interested these are the benchmarks to be a paid content creator on facebook.
I decided to share this because like most Musicians, I am extremely concerned regarding the well being and future of the music creators in the online world. Some things to think about.