This year, 204.2 million people in the US will watch digital video content via any device at least monthly, representing 78.6% of internet users and 63.5% of the population, eMarketer estimates. Where are the females in that group finding their entertainment? Facebook is the spot, based on recent research.
In March 2015 polling by SheSpeaks, more than eight in 10 US adult female internet users said they discovered digital videos via Facebook. Second-place websites trailed by nearly 30 percentage points, and no other source broke 50%.
It’s important to note, though, that Facebook still trailed YouTube—which nearly 100% of SheSpeaks respondents used. However, despite the popularity of the “video powerhouse,” less than half subscribed to a branded channel on the site, leading Aliza Freud, CEO and founder of SheSpeaks, to note: “They are not always finding content that is relevant to them.”
Jacobs Media research in February 2015 found that YouTube and Facebook were neck and neck for female video viewing, with 65.4% and 65.1% of women internet users in North America saying they visited the sites at least weekly on any device—the top two spots. Females overindexed for Facebook video viewing though, as male usage came in at 52.2%. Instead, men were bigger YouTube fans, at 72.7%.
This could be reflective of the Facebook audience as a whole: eMarketer expects females to make up 54.9% of the US Facebook audience this year and to maintain their lead through 2019. Meanwhile, Digiday reported in late April that men spent 44% more time than females on YouTube monthly and accounted for the majority of viewers in 90% of the 51 categories of content measured by OpenSlate.
Ways in Which US Female Internet Users Share Digital Video, March 2015 (% of respondents)
When it came time to share, SheSpeaks found that females were once again most likely to turn to Facebook. More than seven in 10 said they shared digital video this way. No. 2 email trailed by 30 points, while turning to someone with a physical screen was third.
To get females to share, videos need to give them a good laugh or make them smile, as 83% shared videos they thought were funny or cute. If they do that, chances are they’ll end up posting them on their newsfeeds.