YouTube passes Facebook as go-to for sports highlights: survey

Person spilling beer celebrating at a sports bar
Ring Digital’s survey also suggests that social media has grown in popularity as the primary destination selected by 44% of respondents for sports highlights. (Master1305 / Shutterstock)

YouTube has supplanted Facebook as the most popular social media platform for viewing sports highlights, according to a new survey from Ring Digital.

The research firm surveyed 1,400 sports video highlights viewers in August and found that 53% of respondents use YouTube for sports highlights on a regular basis, compared with 45% of respondents who said they use Facebook regularly.

Ring Digital said the new results represented a significant change over a similar survey from 2017, when 63% of respondents said Facebook was their go-to for sports highlights and 43% of respondents said YouTube.

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“This data shows that social media is still king for sports videos highlights. But the popular destinations have shifted dramatically. YouTube and Instagram rose, Facebook declined,” said Brian Ring, principal analyst of Ring Digital, in a statement.

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Ring Digital’s survey also suggests that social media has grown in popularity as the primary destination selected by 44% of respondents for sports highlights, a gain of ten percentage points over 2017. Since the previous survey, TV network apps gained four percentage points, with 28% of respondents calling them a go-to source.

“The good news for the TV ecosystem is that the TV networks are still in the game, at least, to monetize premium sports highlights. League Apps have lost ground. Rights holders concerned about re-balancing the dominance and economics of social media will see this data as a call-to-action to re-balance content strategies,” Ring said.

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