YouTube Ad Revenue Sharing Threatened by Facebook

youtube ad revenue sharing

Facebook has been increasing the priority of video sharing over the last year. And many of the videos shared come from YouTube.

But this creates a bit of a problem for the producers of those videos. Once a video is downloaded from YouTube and uploaded to Facebook, the video’s creators no longer receive a share of the revenue being generated through Google ads run on their videos.

This means, according to many YouTube stars, that Facebook is essentially taking money out of their pockets.

Now, first it’s necessary to back up a bit here. Certainly it’s possible to share videos on Facebook as a link to YouTube. And in this case, visitors are still clicking through to YouTube and still seeing ads on that site.

That means YouTube video producers are still reaping the benefits of shared revenue with YouTube from traffic generated through Facebook.

But increasingly, Facebook users are not sharing a link but uploading a video directly to Facebook instead. This means Google ads no longer appear. Facebook’s algorithm encourages this approach by giving greater visibility to uploaded videos than to shared links.

Ad revenue accounts for a big chunk of the money popular YouTubers like Jack Douglass, Pewdiepie, and more make from their videos. Today there are tens of thousands of people doing just that, creating a business by producing popular videos and sharing the ad revenue, claims YouTube.

For example, Douglass tells of how he uploaded a short video spoof of the viral blue/black or white/gold dress image recently popular on the Internet.

The video gained around 1 million views the first day on YouTube, but a popular Facebook group had already uploaded his video to their page and gained over 20 million views in 24 hours.

According to Douglass, those 20 million views would have translated roughly into $20,000 on YouTube. Instead, since the views were on Facebook’s platform, Douglass got nothing for them.

Douglas’s company, Fullscreen, quickly hopped in for damage control and had the video removed. However, as Douglass puts it in an interview with NPR, “by the time I uploaded it, it was done. Nobody was talking about the dress anymore. It came. It went. Boom! On to the next fad.”

Douglass isn’t the only YouTube creator that’s upset. According to Ogilvy and Tubular Labs, 725 of 1000 popular Facebook videos are re-uploads from other sources. The creators that actually make the content suffer, and it becomes harder for them to continue making high quality content.

For now, its up to content creators to keep an eye out for their videos on popular pages and report them when necessary. But YouTube producers discovering a new market, this new development may mean just another challenge.

YouTube Home Photo via Shutterstock


Aubrielle Billig Aubrielle Billig is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers business as it is impacted by pop culture, entrepreneurs in the arts, and other topics affecting creative businesses. She has a background as an illustrator and her design page can be found at AubrielleBillustrations.

4 Reactions
  1. Facebook will become a competitor in videos. I guess they made a good decision in letting people host videos in their site instead of just getting some stuff shared from Youtube.

  2. As a small creator on YouTube, I understand this perfectly clear, the fault lies with the people who steal and download copyrighted videos – but it could be helped by YouTube by making it harder for APIs to access the direct video link from YouTube’s servers, helping slow down the problem. (People will still find a way – but maybe not as many).

    • I agree with Dwayne. It is people who do not respect copyright and essentially are committing theft. The problem is lack of education and the fact that ‘everyone does it’ which leads people to think that makes it alright, when it clearly isn’t. I am also a small player so not affected in the way the full professionals are but non the less annoying when people take your efforts for their own gain, for whatever reason that may be.