According to a report published by eMarketer: Facebook continues to lose appeal among teens and young adults. Snapchat followed by Instagram are leading the race. One of the reasons why Facebook has launched Live and Watch.
Earlier this year Facebook revealed that users watch 100 million hours of video per day on its platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said 500 million people watch video per day. While there have been stories on how Facebook has been inflating video numbers, the company has been pushing users to watch more and more videos on its platform. In 2016 Facebook had launched the dedicated video tab with the consumption of generic videos in News Feed. Now the social networking giant is building a video hub of original shows with partners.
Yesterday, Facebook rolled out Watch in US for everyone. The complete roll out happens after a month, Facebook Watch (a new destination of original video content exclusively from its partners) launched in the first week of August. Users with access will see a TV shaped button in the bottom navigation bar of Facebook main app that opens into a new video hub.
At the time of the launch Facebook had partnered with 30 more publishers and content creators, some of the original shows are Tastemade’s Kitchen Little, Billboard’s “How it Went Down”, National Geographic’s “We’re Wired that Way:”, and more.
Shows on Facebook will fall in two categories:
1. TV sized half-hour shows, to be launched later in the year.
2. And, shorter 5-15 minutes spotlight series.
Facebook Spotlight Series on Watch
By the end of August Facebook rolled out funded shows on Watch. Business Insider’s life style brand Insider debuted with two new shows. Refinery 29 launched a fiction series “Stranger” and National Geographic also committed to do three shows.
Facebook is calling them “Spotlight Shows”. According to reports Facebook is paying $10,000-$40,000 to creators and to begin with it’s buying five episodes. On the advertising bit, it is experimenting with mid roll ads. However Facebok will be sharing revenues with partners only after it has recouped the production costs.
Later in the year Facebook also has massive plans to launch bigger budget TV style shows for which it is paying close to $3 million per show.
Sponsored shows on Watch
Publishers or content creators’ excitement towards Watch can be assessed seeing their drive to work out Sponsored Stories with advertisers. According to DigiDay, Business Insider is talking to advertisers to fund for the content and distribute it in Watch.
For now Facebook has no plans to restrict publishers from hosting branded shows on Watch. The long-term goal of Facebook is to be a content discovery platform than to be producer. However these sponsored shows will be distributed by using Facebook branded content tag. For now branded content lacks the ability to have ad-breaks, but it is only a matter of time that Facebook will make it happen so all parties are happy.
Facebook Watch is the biggest bet by the social networking giant to own the video consumption space. It is not only competing with YouTube but also Netflix, Apple, Amazon and traditional TV.
But you still don’t go to Facebook to watch videos or shows like you go to YouTube or Netflix. Will Facebook Watch be able to develop a new user behavior on its new platform, where people are choosing to go to watch videos? Content and experience will define the future of Watch and the faith of marketers and publishers.
“Our belief and hope is there will be a huge ecosystem of creators, who will be able to share in revenue from ad breaks. The idea is: Over time, this will be completely open. The teenager in her garage will be able to participate in this,” said Facebook’s Dan Rose in a recent interview to Variety.