Discovery is getting 60 million Facebook video views per month
Facebook video publishers have a proven formula that works on the platform: focus on short, silent and text-heavy videos that open on a striking visual to capture a viewer’s attention before they scroll past. But that’s not the only way to drive views on the platform.
Take, for instance, a recent video titled “People Try Heroin For The First Time,” which was made for Discovery Digital Networks’ Nuclear Family sketch comedy YouTube channel. On YouTube, the nearly four-minute video has done more than 720,000 views since Jan. 6. On Facebook, the same exact video has done nearly 16.7 million views. While it has seen some “spikes” month to month, Discovery Digital Networks is averaging 60 million views per month on Facebook, the company said. That’s still not at YouTube level (200 million a month).
“If I was to put up a video that is even remotely divisive or controversial — which is going to happen a lot with news and comedy — on YouTube, what often happens is people dislike it or flag it. That affects the algorithm in a way that’s out of your control and the video will be dragged down,” said Jeremy Azevedo, head of Discovery Digital Networks LA. “For good or for hell, on Facebook people are going to share. The algorithm doesn’t differentiate between someone who thought it was funny and someone who disliked it.”
Azevedo oversees a family of six news and comedy video channels for Discovery Digital Networks, including YouTube star Phil DeFranco’s channel, SourceFed, SourceFed Nerd, Nuclear Family, Super Panic Frenzy and People Be Like. The broader Discovery Digital Networks portfolio also includes streaming networks Animalist, DNews, Seeker and TestTube. Azevedo’s office of 30 people is churning out content daily for all social platforms.
“There is no single right way to program to the Facebook platform as of yet. And to assume that there was one would be pretty myopic and would also bore the audience to death because everyone else would be doing that too,” said Azevedo.
Azevedo said Discovery has seen a range of its news and comedy videos succeed on Facebook. A SourceFed YouTube clip about a teenager who lifted a truck to save her dad’s life has received 6 million views since Jan. 12. In this case, it’s an uplifting news story, which the Facebook audience has always gravitated toward.
Discovery is also creating videos specifically for Facebook. Two recent examples include a text-heavy SourceFed clip about Mexican authorities capturing the drug lord “El Chapo” and an animated explainer about the Oregon militia men.
While YouTube remains Discovery’s biggest social video platform, Azevedo admits that he’s been devoting a lot more resources to Facebook than he thought he would a year ago.
“Facebook has an early YouTube feel to it. There’s room for experimentation,” he said. “Right now, it’s an audience-development platform. Depending on how Facebook monetizes and the audience grows, it could become a viable competitor.”
Member ExclusiveMedia Buying Briefing: DE&I measurement ‘is a bullshit fix,’ and other takeaways from Digiday’s Media Buying Summit
Feedback from those who do the hard work at media agencies revealed a lot of issues boiling under the surface of their day-to-day jobs, from DE&I shortfalls to massive confusion in the CTV space.
Kill Your Algorithm: Listen to the new podcast featuring tales from a more fearsome FTC
Kill Your Algorithm, a Digiday podcast special exploring the implications of a more aggressive Federal Trade Commission, delves into the agency's settlement with period tracking app Flo and why some think it wasn't tough enough.
Future PLC CRO on how its proprietary ‘secret weapon’ can help shoppers amid upcoming chaotic holiday season
Webby is "confident" the company will bring in more e-commerce revenue for its affiliate partners this year than the nearly $1 billion in sales in 2020.
SponsoredHow advertisers are navigating advanced TV and premium video convergence
Nicole Schumacher, vice president of product marketing, Xandr Advertisers have a number of priorities and considerations as premium video content for viewers evolves. Media types are converging as audience behaviors diverge, adding nuance and complexity to each phase of campaign workflows. It’s the age of innovation for all types of video advertising, including convergence — […]
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: How sportsbooks are placing bigger bets on sports media outlets
In this week's Media Briefing, media editor Kayleigh Barber looks at how sports betting companies are pushing more money to publishers.
As the FTC takes aim at tech giants, the regulator just lost key tech and data privacy leaders
The FTC has just nine technologists, and three recent departures could stymie its hiring goals.