The live streaming phenomenon has been fantastic, but it’s also created a number of headaches. If you’re planning on going live, you either have to choose which platform you’re going to use and stick to it, try to record to all of the platforms simultaneously with multiple devices, or awkwardly repeat your broadcast over and over among the different channels.

Such is the case when multiple powerhouse brands compete to build the best platform. While we wait to find out if there’s going to be a clear winner, we have to put up with some chaos.

For me, though, there’s certainly a clear market leader at this point. For review, here are the five main channels that allow you to broadcast live as of right now in 2017…

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Live.ly (reportedly now beating out periscope)
  • Periscope

Why is Facebook Even in the Discussion?

The only reason Facebook is even in the conversation is because their platform is more valuable in terms of user data, targeting, and attention.

I despise Facebook Live when it comes to the actual tech. It’s slow, clunky, ugly, buggy, and was pretty much a direct copy of Periscope, with the floating reactions (minus the solid tech). You can’t argue with the audience availability, though, which is why people suffer through it. This is especially true since Facebook is prioritizing live video in their algorithms, giving you free organic reach.

Since the tech sucks (I’m sure it’ll get better), Facebook is simply cashing in on their audience quality at this point. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re going to be able to match long-term what YouTube is capable of. The infrastructure just isn’t there…

3 Reasons Why YouTube is Better Than Facebook for Live Video

There’s no doubt in my mind that YouTube is the clear frontrunner at this point and has some unique advantages over Facebook as a platform, which is why I don’t see Facebook winning out over the long run.

Reason #1 – People are on YouTube to watch video!

This is huge. The ability to create content is meaningless if nobody watches it and the psyche of Facebook users is not geared toward sitting still and watching long-form content.

Yes, the stats show that they’re watching live video 3x longer on average than regular video on YouTube, but I attribute that mostly to the fact that it’s new and interesting. As more and more regular, boring people go live on Facebook, users are going to start to ignore the live notifications from all but their favorite influencers.

Why? Because there’s so much else they could be doing on Facebook. They could be chatting, looking at pictures of cats, playing games, ranting about politics, and so on.

When people are on YouTube, they’re specifically looking for video to consume. It’s a video-based platform. Live video on YouTube perfectly matches the psyche of YouTube users. All you have to do is make sure that you’re not boring. The only thing that’s going to distract a YouTuber is better content on YouTube.

Reason #2 – YouTube is a search engine in itself and is owned by the #1 search engine in the world.

When you end a Facebook live broadcast, your video stays in your feed. But, after a couple days it might as well have never existed.

YouTube, on the other hand, is the second largest search engine in the world. People go there to see things, yes, but they also go there to find things. When your live broadcast is finished, it goes into their search engine. Title it and tag it appropriately, and people can find it for a long time to come.

Keep in mind that this isn’t just true of searches on the YouTube platform. Since Google owns YouTube, your video can potentially come up in normal Google search results.

The value of the long-tail should not be underestimated. If you’re going to invest the time in creating live content, you might as well do it on a platform that allows it to live on after you finish broadcasting.

Reason #3 – YouTube notifies your audience by email when you go live.

If people are signed up for notifications on your channel, YouTube will email them whenever you go live. Your live broadcast will also stick to the top/front of their subscriptions page for the duration of your broadcast, which is the page that many YouTubers will check first when they log in.

This is huge for exposure. When you go live on Facebook, you basically have to hope that people are already on Facebook and in the mood for watching live content. When you go live on YouTube, people are going to get emails letting them know. As long as your audience actually likes you, they’re likely to tune in.

Your take?

What’s your take on all this? What’s your current strategy? Are you even dabbling in live video yet? Let me know in the comments below.

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