@Facebook to Invest in Original Content and Shows


Facebook has recently announced that it intends to jump into the broadcast arena with heavy investment in its own original content and shows. According to Facebook’s head of Creative Strategy, Ricky Van Veen, Facebook will be licensing video content and it will all be located in its mobile app.

According to the company, the new video content will contain sports as well as scripted and unscripted content. It seems it will continue to be a partnership situation using current business models with regard to the distribution of the original content. Now, Facebook has a system in place where it pays media outlets and celebrities to bring in content and that structure should remain in place for the time being.

Van Veen said recently in a company statement that, “Earlier this year, we started rolling out the video tab, a dedicated place for video on Facebook. Our goal is to kickstart and ecosystem of partner content for the tab, so we’re exploring funding some seed video content, including original licensed scripted, unscripted and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook. Our goal is to show people what is possible on the platform and learn as we continue to work with video partners around the world.”

In an effort to jump start its video projects, Facebook has been talking with several television studios as well as other video production companies. Facebook had mentioned earlier this year that it expects to be an all video based platform by 2018 as it will begin to move away from its traditional text based interactions.

Many who are familiar with the Facebook project seem to think that the company has really just begun its due diligence with regard to the getting into independent video content production. While they made several smaller deals this year, in the $1 million range or so, they seem hardly ready to invest the billions that such giants as Netflix and Amazon Prime have been doing to create and promote original content and to compete with broadcast and cable production.

While Facebook has always been insistent with regard to its tech roots, it seems to be seeing the writing on the proverbial wall as original content video production has become a rather crowded field of late. While there doesn’t seem to be an exact business plan in place for the new venture, the fact that Facebook is reaching out to content producers seems to signal the beginning of a more formal business model.

Mr. Sawyer is a freelance writer, editor and journalist from Tampa. He has written thousands of articles for hundreds of magazines and news sites on countless topics including science, the media and technology. He is also the author of many white papers, special reports and ebooks covering a wide range of subjects.
Kevin Sawyer
Broadcast Beat - Production Industry Resource