Facebook’s Watch tab will be available through its mobile apps, site and TV apps, but only to a limited number of people in the U.S. at first.
Facebook Watch is barely out of the gate, but publishers are already trying to sell advertisers on sponsored shows on the fledgling video-viewing platform.
Business Insider’s lifestyle brand Insider, for instance, has already premiered two shows for Watch, including “The Great Cheese Hunt” and “It’s Cool, But Does It Really Work?” Insider is now talking to advertising clients about developing shows that advertisers pay for and distribute inside the Watch environment. Other publishers that Facebook is paying to make shows for Watch also said branded shows are part of their game plans for Watch
Facebook could spend as much as $1 billion to fund original content initiatives for its new Watch video platform. The amount might seem familiar – it’s the same investment Apple is said to have earmarked for original shows and movies through 2018.
Facebook’s latest attempt to take on YouTube begins in earnest this week as various publishers begin to roll out Facebook-funded shows on the platform.
Promising online shows that run from comedy and reality to live sports, Facebook says its new Watch platform will let creators connect with their audiences — and earn money in the process. The social media giant’s plan calls for using ads to monetize video.
With nearly 2 billion users, Facebook could further disrupt an online video space that’s seeing media companies such as HBO offer their content directly to viewers. While many of those companies rely on a subscriber model for revenue, Watch would compete more directly with other social networks, such as YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat, in offering an ad-based service.
Bleacher Report and Marshawn Lynch are coming to Facebook’s Watch.
Produced for Facebook by Bleacher Report’s B/R Entertainment division and Lynch’s own Beast Mode Productions, the show will air weekly on Facebook’s Watch over 10 weeks this fall. Each episode of the midform show runs for 10 minutes or longer.
“Watch is appealing because it’s not just about getting as many of those singular people watching, but also developing a community of people intrigued by the content who want to watch together.”
NASA, Mashable, MLB and more will produce episodic content for viewers to like, comment and keep up with. Facebook will also categorize videos that have already started conversations, like “What’s Making People Laugh” or “What Friends Are Watching.” Facebook hopes to produce around 40 original shows for Watch.
Facebook will pay the NFL an upfront amount for its shows and will share ad revenue after it recoups its money.
How Does It Impact Media Landscape?
In the short term, Facebook Watch will likely chip away at broadcasters’ video-on-demand ad revenue, say industry insiders. In the longer term, Facebook could make more ambitious content investments, like longer-form programming and live, global sports rights, bringing the quality of content more in line with TV.
Tips For Marketers
Just like Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix before it, Facebook has officially entered the video streaming game.
What is Facebook Watch, and what does it mean for you your marketing strategy?