Facebook will spend $1 billion on bringing original TV shows to its platform

By Maryam Dodhy on
September 9, 2017
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Facebook is upping its game to give YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon a tough time in the original TV shows domain.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Facebook is gearing up to spend as much as $1 billion in order to churn out original video content for its platform. Earlier this summer, Facebook rolled out the exclusive ‘Watch’ tab to its web and mobile applications. This feature is currently available all over the US but is gradually being released to other countries as well. The main purpose of ‘Watch’ would be to make original TV shows and video content more accessible for users.

In order to get more traction to the original videos section, Facebook has been actively partnering with popular influencers. 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 airing on the Watch tab already. Furthermore, Facebook also announced a partnership with Buzzfeed and Vox Media for producing 5 to 10-minute videos which would then be exclusively shared on Facebook Watch. The social media platform reportedly signed up to pay them $35,000 per episode. However, for larger shows, Facebook is ready to pay producers up to $3 million per episode.

This isn’t it. Facebook also has another partnership wherein they stream a major baseball league match every month. Recently, Focus Media, a popular Hollywood studio streamed three major movies 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 constant 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 delving into original video content. Apple has also announced a $1 billion budget for video content and has already partnered with James Corden for his 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 is on. Get ready for a bombardment of new TV shows and videos everywhere.

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