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Video first: Facebook video uploads increased 28% in 2019, and nearly half of all videos contain music

In 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company’s strategy was “to become video first”. Zuckerberg predicted then that in five years time, most of what people would consume online would be video. Nearly five years later, Facebook has taken its live video broadcasting feature global, changed its algorithm to push live video broadcasts higher in users’ feeds, launched stories for Instagram and Facebook, and announced it will host licensed music videos on its platform. Video is of top importance for Facebook, but has its efforts paid off?

At Pex, we analyze social media sites and share unique insights about the content that’s uploaded. We’ve shared our data and insights on YouTube in the past, and now we’re unloading some interesting stats on the social giant, Facebook. Has video become more prominent on the platform after years of “video first”? Here’s the ultimate Facebook video data guide to date.

A quick note on Pex data

Pex indexes selected platforms, extracts audio and video content, fingerprints it and searches through it. In addition, we collect and actively update all surrounding metadata, which includes views, comments, likes, dislikes and other information. We have no direct relationship with Facebook or YouTube. We have no visibility into private and unlisted content, nor do we have any information about the consumers of the content. All the data in this article is based on performance of all publicly available videos as of Dec 31, 2019.

Facebook videos saw significant growth in 2019, up 28 percent

Facebook’s video-first strategy can be seen over the past two years. At the end of 2019, there were 1.29 billion videos on Facebook. Last year saw 279 million more videos uploaded than in 2018, a 28% increase. The average public video accrued 23,473 views and total views on the platform reached 30.25 trillion.

In just one year, total views on Facebook videos increased by 81%. Engagement increased as well: reactions (including likes) increased by 66%, and comments grew by 54%. Shares were also up, increasing by 38%.

Pex Facebook Analysis 2019: video growth - uploads and engagements

The top 2 percent of videos generated 86 percent of all views

Perhaps most noteworthy of all, the top 2% of videos generated 86% of all views on Facebook. When looking at videos based on their view tiers, we found that videos with 1 to 10 million views were the most important for the platform, accounting for 33.7% of total views.

We saw a similar distribution on YouTube, where just 0.77% of videos made up 82.83% of total views, and the 1 to 10 million views tier accounts for 31.6% percent of total views. 

Nearly half of all videos on Facebook contain music 

Throughout 2017 and 2018, Facebook signed deals with all three music majors to license their catalogs and allow users to include music in their uploads. The result? Not only is music prevalent in Facebook videos, but its presence coincides with higher view counts.

We found that 49% of all videos on Facebook contain at least 10 seconds of music and that those videos account for 77% of all views. In comparison to YouTube, we found that music was almost systematically present, with more than 84% of videos containing music. The numbers clearly illustrate how videos with music drive more views, and that licensing music was beneficial for Facebook and its users.

Pex Facebook Analysis 2019: Prevalence of music on Facebook

Pex works with platforms, rightsholders, and creators to manage the uses of copyrighted material in user-generated content (UGC). With our Attribution Engine, any platform containing UGC, like YouTube and Facebook, can license material from rightsholders in real time, as users are uploading their content online, resulting in proper attribution and compensation. Learn more about the Attribution Engine or reach out at ae@pex.com for more information.