YouTube vs. Facebook Video Statistics: Two Case Studies

by Toby

April 19, 2015

youtube vs facebook video stats

We ran two case study video examples to gain insight into the differences between promoting a video on Facebook (optimizing for video views) versus promoting the same video on YouTube (True View Ads created with Adwords for Video). We wanted a better understanding of the video statistics, such as engagement, view rate, cost per view (CPV), and cost per thousand impressions (CPM). (related post on Improving Page SEO with embedded YouTube videos).

The first video was for a golf school for kids that provides after-school golf activities. The video shows briefly the facilities and then moves into showing several kids swinging golf clubs on the course and in the company’s facilities – it’s an engaging video because one scene has a young girl hitting a lineup of golf balls at specific targets (which by the way she hits them all), and another scene of two kids teeing off and hitting fantastic drives right off the tee at a golf course.

First Video Ad Targeting


For YouTube, we targeted 35 years and up, people that were parents, and were Golf Enthusiasts.


For Facebook, we targeted females between 20 – 65 years of age with children between the ages of 4 – 12 years, and that had an interest in Summer Camps, After School Activities, After School Programs, or Golf.

So we promoted the same video on both Facebook and YouTube. Below are the statistics:

Facebook vs YouTube Video Stats

Second Video Ad Targeting

The second video was an acting and theater camp for kids and teenagers where kids spend several days learning to act, sing, direct, and choreograph. This video was also very creative and engaging with scenes of kids acting, singing, overall having a blast, then testimonials from parents and kids about how beneficial the camp was to them. Overall a well-done video and after watching it, one that made me want to put my own kids in the camp!


For YouTube we targeted moms between the ages of 35 – 54 years of age, parents, and that were categorized in affinity audiences of, Movie Lovers, Art and Theater Aficionados, Travel, News Junkies and Avid Readers, Music Lovers, and TV Lovers.


For Facebook, we targeted females between the ages of 30 – 55 years of age, who were friends of people already connected to the company’s Facebook page, and targeted the following interests: Acting, Theatre, Summer Camps, Choreography, Performing Arts, or Dance Studio.

Below are the statistics for this video promoted on YouTube and Facebook.

Second Case Facebook vs YouTube Video Statistics

Key Differences between Facebook Promoted Videos, YouTube True View Ads

Cost per Video View (CPV)

We received far more mileage out of our budgets on Facebook than we did on YouTube. The cost per video view was far less on Facebook than it was on YouTube.

With the first video for the golf camp for kids, the YouTube CPV was $0.10 and the CPV for Facebook was $0.05 – Facebook cost half of what YouTube did for a view.

For the second video about the acting camp for kids, the YouTube CPV was $0.22 and for Facebook, it was $0.03 – Facebook video views were 86% less expensive versus YouTube video views.

Cost per Video View, Facebook vs. YouTube
Cost per View (CPV) Differences Between Facebook, YouTube

Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM)

As with the CPV, the costs to reach a thousand people varied greatly between the two platforms also. Facebook again was the more cost-effective platform versus YouTube. For the Golf camp for kids, the CPM was $16.70 for YouTube versus a CPM of $13.21 for Facebook. And for the acting camp, the CPM was $18.35 for YouTube and a $10.28 CPM for Facebook – again far more mileage with the budget on Facebook.

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) Differences
Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) Differences Between Facebook, YouTube

Video View Rate

We also had significantly higher video view rates on Facebook than we did on YouTube.

Video view rate comparison between Facebook, YouTube
Video view rate comparison between Facebook, YouTube

Clearly in these two promoted video examples, and I would assume it’s similar for the majority of paid video case studies, Facebook is far less expensive versus YouTube, your budget goes much farther, and engagement is higher with Facebook. Also, Facebook provides a much more targeted platform with far more options than what YouTube provides.

But when choosing where to pay to promote your video content, the question really isn’t YouTube or Facebook, but rather who am I trying to reach, what are my goals for the video, and what’s the best way to reach my target audience? Perhaps promoting on both platforms makes sense, or if your budget is limited then maybe just Facebook.

Have you paid to promote your video on Facebook or YouTube? What were your results? Your comments and questions below are welcome as they will help the community as a whole.

About the author 

Toby is the co-founder of 39 Celsius. He has over 20 years of digital marketing experience and has started several companies throughout his career. He's an expert in SEO, Social Media Ads, Google Ads, Marketing Automation, and more. He has a BA in Chemistry/Biochemistry from UC San Diego and an MBA from SDSU.

  • Lindsay Lamont says:

    very interesting – were these tests US only?

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