The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Facebook is gearing up to spend as much as $1 billion to capture original video content for its platform. Earlier this summer, Facebook rolled out the exclusive ‘Watch’ tab to its web and mobile apps. This feature is currently available in the US and is gradually being released across the globe. The primary purpose of ‘Watch’ feature would be to make original TV shows more accessible for its users.
To get more interest to the “original videos” section, Facebook had been actively partnering with traditional influences a few months ago. In August, Humans of New York announced that it had partnered with Facebook to produce an original TV show, featuring stories from 1,200+ New Yorkers.
The series has started being aired on the Watch tab already. Furthermore, Facebook also reported a partnership with Buzzfeed and Vox Media for producing 5 to 10-minute videos which would then be exclusively published on Facebook Watch. Reportedly, The social media platform signed up to pay them $35,000 per episode. However, for larger & lengthier shows, Facebook is ready to pay producers up to $3 million per episode. At the end, it’s all about the bucks!
This isn’t it. Facebook also has done another deal wherein they stream a major baseball league match/tournament every month. Recently, Focus Media, a popular Hollywood studio streamed three major movies exclusively for Facebook users. And earlier this week, it was reported that Facebook is willing to pay millions of dollars to music publishers in order to attain rights to their music which is to be used in original user-generated video content.
The $1 billion budget and Facebook’s consistent efforts for original makes it quite clear that it aims to leverage its 2 billion user base to become a major video hub. However, Facebook isn’t the only company diving into original video content. Apple has also announced a $1 billion budget for video content and has already partnered with James Corden for his popular Carpool Karaoke series.
Facebook and Apple’s $1 billion budget for original videos is a very small chunk of what powerhouses like Amazon ($4.5 billion) and Netflix ($6 billion) spend.
Nonetheless, the race has been started. Tighten your seatbelts for a bombardment of new TV shows and videos everywhere.