Video views on Facebook are growing exponentially. Some 4 billion videos are watched on the platform every day, up from 3 billion in January, the company revealed in its Q1 earnings. Video ads on Facebook are growing ridiculously fast too (although Facebook stayed mum on how many of those 4 billion videos are ads, or have video ads served against them.)
Many people might think that those numbers serve only to worry rival video streaming platforms like YouTube. But TV executives should be looking over their shoulders too.
There was one line in particular in Facebook’s Q1 earnings call that TV executives should be paying attention to.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook chief operating officer, said:
I think all marketers have the opportunity to do video, and that’s pretty exciting,including SMBs [small-to-medium businesses] who would never be able to hire a film crew and buy a TV ad. We’re seeing those put video in. Over 1 million SMBs have posted videos and done really small ad buys around them. And that’s pretty cool because I don’t think there are probably 1 million advertisers who have bought TV ads in that same period of time.
Pretty cool, huh? Advertisers that can’t afford TV can create TV-like ads to sell videos online, for a fraction of the price, and still reach a huge TV-like audience. Or a smaller, more-targeted one if they choose. Perhaps, when they grow into large businesses, they might leapfrog TV advertising altogether.
Facebook also spoke about the other tools it is offering SMB marketers. Sandberg mentioned that last quarter Facebook began a small test to allow some SMBs in the US to affix a “buy” button to their Pages. That’s a direct link TV doesn’t offer.
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