Facebook's food videos show declining viewership
- Viewership of cooking how-to videos on Facebook is flat or declining, according to data from tracking firm CrowdTangle cited by Digiday. Falling viewership has put pressure on ad rates for most “hands-in-pans” video producers, except for BuzzFeed’s Tasty brand that commands premium prices.
- Food-content videos on social media, which typically feature an aerial shot of a dish being prepared step by step, are becoming concentrated among hit videos, with those that have at least 100,000 views having boosted their viewership 43% from a year earlier, data from tracking firm Tubular show.
- Ad placements on four Tasty videos can cost $300,000, or twice as much as those for competitor Tasting Table, which packages three videos, three pieces of written sponsored content and supporting media, according to Digiday.
The news is the latest sign that U.S. marketers should proceed carefully when buying ads against food videos on Facebook. Last month, a study found that most viewers of cooking videos on Facebook reside outside the U.S., while food publishers direct the majority of their ad dollars to American audiences. The large overseas audience for these videos demonstrates its significant reach among Facebook's two billion users. Unfortunately, sponsors of these videos are reaching many people outside the U.S. that can’t buy their products, such as yogurt brand Chobani, which advertises on Buzzfeed Tasty and is only available for sale in the U.S. and Mexico. Ideally, ad technology will continue to develop and allow for better targeting for audiences in different countries interested in these food videos.
Facebook’s push into video has helped to spawn an industry of content producers that make bite-sized programs tailored specifically for a mobile format, which is where the social network earns 88% of its revenue. As Digiday reports, the cooking category is showing signs of reaching saturation as viewership declines for Tasty, Tastemade, Delish, Food Envy and the Food Network.
Making cooking content that stands out from the crowd is one challenge producers, especially as Facebook users quickly swipe through their news feed. The growing competition has pressured publishers to cut prices for the how-to video format on a cost per view and CPM basis, according to Digiday.
At the same time, the crowded market has pushed publishers to find new ways to separate themselves from other similar content producers with unique content or branded merchandise. Render Media, which produces Cooking Panda, is also producing shows and promoting sales of branded products, and it says it may start a subscription video service later in the year. Tastemade last month announced plans to expand into home and travel content, initiated by signing on Zillow as a flagship sponsor for its Home channel.