If any band is synonymous with YouTube, it’s OK Go. The group has made a name for their elaborate music videos, shot in one-take and containing all kinds of absurdly convoluted real-time effects.
Their latest, Upside Down & Inside Out, is shot in an S7 aircraft east of Moscow with the whole group singing the song in zero gravity. The most surprising part? It was released exclusively on Facebook.
The social network has been gunning for YouTube’s streaming crown for some time, launching a dedicated part of its site for video, adding support for live-streams and other nifty features, as well as favouring native video uploads to posts featuring YouTube content. The result has seen viewing on Facebook skyrocket. 8 billion views are recorded on the social network very day, with the majority of them native Facebook uploads, with 100 million hours of video watched per day in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The decision to jump from YouTube Facebook by one of the most prominent video creators in the music industry, then, is a big blow in the ongoing battle for streaming supremacy.
OK Go’s video was published on Thursday 11th February on its Facebook page, receiving 24.5 million views within 24 hours. At the time of writing, that has leapt to 42 million views in total. Facebook’s video exclusives usually last for a period of 24 to 48 hours – OK Go has a 48-hour agreement with the site – which meant that fans of the band on the social network could see this:
Subscribers to the band on YouTube, meanwhile, saw this:
In a further blow to YouTube, the airline S7 tried to post the video to their own channel – only for it to be taken down for copyright reasons.
Variety notes that the band received no money from Facebook as part of the deal, which begs the question: why?
The group has commented before about the tiny size of YouTube’s revenue, arguing that it’s “like finding change on the street” back in 2012.
“This was about OK Go trying a new way to reach beyond our fans internationally and we felt Facebook / Instagram gave us that opportunity,” Andy Gershon, OK Go’s manager, told the publication in an email.
“Their team were incredible to work with.”
Indeed, Facebook has something more than money to offer groups: targeting. Facebook, with its profile-based information of users, is able to market content to specific demographics and locations in a way that YouTube can’t.
The band will soon release the video on Vevo in their pursuit to create as many new fans of the band as possible. In the meantime, how many other groups will follow suit?
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