Facebook is ready to compete with Netflix, as the social media giant announced that they are the latest company to tap into original video content streaming. This is no surprise, as Facebook has repeatedly said that video is a large focus for the company.
According to Business Insider, Facebook plans to produce top tier scripted TV shows, with plans of releasing programs as early as June. They reportedly have about two dozen shows ready to go into production.
One of the programs that they plan on creating is a dating show that takes place in virtual reality before the contestants meet in real life.
The video content will likely appear on a revamped version of Facebook's video tab. It will likely also appear on its video app on Apple TV, which the company released in March of this year.
Facebook's strategy involves producing two categories of shows, which include long form traditional programs such as Netflix's flagship program House of Cards, and shorter less expensive shows that go for about five to ten minutes, and refresh every 24 hours.
It is uncertain how Facebook intends to monetize through this platform, but I suspect that they will rely on advertising revenue from in-show ads, rather than follow Netflix’s paid subscription model.
After being hired in December 2016, Ricky Van Veen who co-founded popular comedy website CollegeHumor, is reportedly in charge of acquiring exclusive shows for the platform. The content is predicted to largely target the teen and young adult demographic (millennials) to counter the triumph of Snapchat in pursuing younger users.
The forthcoming entry of Facebook into the increasingly competitive SVOD market comes after Amazon Prime recently announced it will devote $6 billion to its video-on-demand service in 2017.
Twitter last year had a deal with the largely popular National Football League to live stream Thursday night games on the social media platform, but has since lost that deal to Amazon. Netflix has frequently ruled out entering the live sports game market, however, Facebook sees it as a potential growth area. "Sports is probably something that we'll want to try at some point," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a recent earnings call.
Another major competitor to Facebook's streaming intentions is YouTube. Last week, they announced several new original shows featuring social media influencers and mainstream celebrities such as Katy Perry and Ellen DeGeneres. The shows will appear on the free version of the service and will be supported with advertisements throughout.
Facebook has 10 million Canadian users daily, and nearly reached an astounding two billion users worldwide. It already has a massive global audience, but it rests upon the question if they can successfully be a destination for established TV content.
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Steven Tulman is the CEO of Social Pulse Marketing Inc., a leading influencer marketing agency helping Fortune 500 companies increase brand awareness, improve consumer trust and loyalty, and influence consumer behavior. He is a social media marketing and sales expert, and an entrepreneur with a passion for helping companies grow through effective online marketing strategies, improved sales performance, and overall customer experience.