Facebook’s new video platform is rolling out to all users in the United States over the next few days, the company announced today. The platform, called Watch, will have hundreds of initial shows for visitors to choose from.
Facebook is priming the platform by paying creators in order to make 20- to 30-minute programs. But eventually, Facebook intends to open up privileges that are content-making everyone. The working platform was initially announced in very early August and certainly will replace the video that is current in Facebook on mobile, desktop, and TV.
For Facebook, this is a opportunity that is golden luring in ad revenue, especially for a company who has go out of advertising space on its loaded News Feed. Billions of people currently view and share Facebook videos regularly, so that it’s an easy task to imagine them simply tapping one tab over to keep doing so.
The move comes as advertisers are increasingly budgets that are shifting television to online as more audiences choose to watch their favorite programs on the smartphones and tablets.
On Watch, which Facebook started testing earlier this month, a lot more than 2 billion users is able to see hundreds of shows from the kind of Vox, Buzzfeed, Discovery Communications (disca), Walt Disney’s (dis) ABC as well as live recreations like Major League Baseball.
Americans are spending over 73 minutes per day watching digital video, up more than 7% from a year ago, based on eMarketer data. television viewing has dropped 2% from final to 244 minutes a day, a trend that is expected to continue year.
Facebook is initially having to pay content creators for programs to drive interest. The company is spending $10,000-$35,000 for shorter form shows or over to $250,000 for longer form scripted programs, sources told Reuters in May. The organization declined to discuss just how much it is paying for shows.
Facebook plans to eventually open the working platform to everyone else to submit programs for approval and share 55% of ad revenue, said Dan Rose, vice president of partnerships at Facebook, in a meeting.
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Facebook is testing how ads will continue to work within the shows, he added.
In the last few years, Facebook has been gaining on YouTube, the frontrunner in the digital video space, when it comes to winning over advertisers, and Watch should help solidify its place, said Paul Verna, a senior analyst with eMarketer.
Facebook said Watch is more personal and community-oriented than competitors. For instance, it can suggest shows according to a person’s interests and friends can share their ideas as a video is watched by them, or engage in groups dedicated to a show.
“We think our opportunity that is unique is community and engaging with individuals on topics they like to explore,” said Rose.
As an example, fans of the exercise program “CrossFit” can watch and share commentary on live CrossFit events streamed on Twitter while chatting in groups, Rose said.