Facebook aims to launch its slate of commissioned programs next month.
There are two buckets for the 24+/- greenlights to date:
- Signature, bigger budget programs
- “Shorter, less expensive shows of about 5- 10 minutes that would refresh every 24 hours.”
What Will They Pay?
- Reuters later reported that Facebook will pay up to $250,000 for each episode of its longer, scripted shows.
- It will pay somewhere between $10,000 and $35,000 for its shorter second-tier unscripted programming.
Ad Rev Share
- According to Reuters, with Facebook set to run ad breaks in both short and long form content, content creators will be offered a 55% share of ad revenue.
The move is partly defensive:
- The Facebook brand has been hammered by Live suicides and worse.
- Facebook was taught a costly lesson on why networks don’t give up control over their video content to outsiders.
And it’s mainly strategic:
- Facebook is responding to its online competitors Amazon and YouTube, who enjoy a huge lead in creating original video.
- Snapchat has emerged as a Facebook competitor with its younger, hipper and more video-friendly audience.
- And to maintain its astronomical revenue growth (and share price), Facebook must grab advertising budgets from Linear TV.
- Monetization of originals will be via mid-roll ads, placed in the middle of the video.
The Big “Non-Question”
- Armchair analysts ask: “Will its 1.2+ billion active daily users see Facebook as a destination for original video?”
- But at its gigantic scale, Facebook will rock the video world if as few as 1% (12 million) of its engaged audience becomes regular viewers of Facebook originals.
Best Friend for Video
- Ricky Van Veen is leading the effort.
- The CollegeHumor cofounder is Facebook’s global creative strategy chief.
- Business Insider cites dramas like “House of Cards” as the top priority for FB.
- A-List celebs matter.
- Teen-targeted content is a priority to compete with Snap.
- And there’s a Conde Nast VR dating show.
- Sports is in the mix, with talks reported with Major League Baseball.
- Documentaries aren’t cited in the Business Insider report.
- But we know that Facebook has a team that addresses original Factual content.
- These are all baby steps for Facebook.
- Through trial and error, the social media giant (Market Cap: US$433 Bn) will refine its development and delivery strategies.
- It is inevitable that Facebook will expand its content offering to include multiple Factual sub-genres and formats.
- Cab / Sat operators started with Scripted Entertainment, porn, Sports, Kids, News and Music.
- Then they moved on to Factual, Lifestyle + documentary niches. (Discovery)
- That’s how Cable / Satellite distributors grabbed a big share of U.S. network advertising from the broadcast networks.
- But unlike scheduled networks which are anchored to on-the-hour schedules, FB can elect to create content at lengths that are proven to work best for its viewers.
- Here comes Facebook!
- FB is in the “test and go-with-successes” business.
- So one certain Takeaway: FB’s video strategy will evolve at a cracking pace based on responses from the Friends.