YouTube and Facebook may have been launched in the U.S., but the country is rapidly falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to adoption of those platforms. South Korea boasts digital video penetration of 96%, followed by Spain, Italy, Mexico, and China, where penetration remains above 90%, according to L2’s Intelligence Report: Video. The U.S. trails behind with 78%.
Those countries are also outpacing the U.S. in social platform use. Total Facebook users in APAC, Western Europe, and Latin America outnumber those in North America. Yet despite this global growth, the L2 study shows that digital video advertising spend and production remain concentrated in the U.S. Ad spend in the U.S. will reach nearly $4 billion in 2015, while hitting $667 million in China and $86 million in Russia.
Brands tend to focus on U.S. audiences when releasing videos. Three-quarters of U.S. Beauty and Hair Care brands posted videos to Facebook and YouTube in Q4 2014, according to the study. In contrast, videos were posted by fewer than half of brands in the E.U., roughly one-third of brands in Japan and Korea, and 10% of brands in Brazil. Instagram video adoption was even lower. While 63% of U.S. Beauty brands uploaded videos to Instagram, only 15% of brands did so in the U.K.
However, view counts and engagement rates are often substantially higher outside the U.S. The average Beauty and Hair Care brand video gets about 200,000 YouTube views in the U.S., but twice as many in the U.K., Germany, and Brazil. While Facebook videos receive the most views in the U.S., they generate about five times more engagement in Japan. By failing to establish a global digital video presence, brands are missing out on a major opportunity.