KEY POINTS: 

  • The engaging, easily digestible, and shareable nature of social video has helped the format catch on among users, spurring increased brand interest in the space. Business Insider Intelligence expects social video ad spend to reach $25.6 billion by 2023, up 128% from $11.2 billion in 2018.
  • Social video ad spend flows overwhelmingly to the dominant social platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat. Nearly three-quarters of YouTube ad revenue comes from video content, 60% for Snapchat, and 55% for Twitter, per eMarketer. Video is only 30% of Facebook’s total ad revenue, but the social giant accounts for the largest share of social video ad spend overall.
  • New social video formats — including ephemeral video like Stories; premium or longer-form video; communal video experiences; and social short-form video — have become more prevalent as platforms experiment beyond in-feed videos. Stories, in particular, has seen explosive growth of late: Instagram Stories hit 500 million daily active users (DAU) in Q1 2019, up from 150 million DAU in Q1 2017.
  • Key social players have all placed their bets on where the future of social video lies:
    • Facebook announced Watch in late 2017, a video-centric hub that offers original, premium, "TV-quality" fare. The platform has pivoted to a communal viewing focus with the launch of its “Watch Parties” feature in July 2018. Although Facebook Watch has struggled to scale its viewers — 50% of US adults said they'd never even heard of it — some shows have managed to gain loyal followings.
    • Instagram launched IGTV — a long-form, vertical, user-generated video platform — in mid-2018. IGTV hasn't yet monetized with ads, likely because it hasn't captured significant user attention. But if Instagram can figure out how to convert its 1 billion monthly active users to IGTV, the brand opportunity will be massive.
    • Instagram Stories launched in 2016, and are ephemeral, vertical, full-screen mobile-first posts made up of photos or short video clips. Instagram is the leading platform for Stories consumption and sharing — 54% of users say they use Instagram Stories the most, compared with other platforms, per Business Insider Intelligence exclusive data.
    • Snapchat continues to traffic heavily in ephemeral video, but the app is ramping up on premium video through Snapchat Originals. That push has helped drive a surge in [...]