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Facebook to spend $1bn to bring original video shows by next year: Reports

In a step closer to become a television-like, Facebook is looking to spend $1 billion to on original video content, and becoming an exclusive TV hub by next year, according to The Wall Street JournalLast month Facebook had launched Facebook Watch (in the US), which features original programming financed by Facebook, alongside videos from other creators.

In its Q1FY18 earnings call, Facebook’s CFO David Wehner has said that Facebook is looking at building an ecosystem for long-form video and will be looking to partner with content providers. “In the long run, we expect to see a revenue share model on the platform. And obviously, we’re going to be in an area where we’re sharing revenue with content providers,” Wehner said. 

Facebook’s thirst for video content pits it against likes of Youtube, Netflix, Amazon etc. Its investment of $1 billion is also much smaller than its rival Netflix ( which is has a $6 billion budget in 2017 for content) and Amazon ($4.5 billion). Meanwhile, Apple is game for original video content, as The WSJ reported last month that Apple is also looking to put  $1 billion “to procure and produce original content over the next year.”

What kind of shows? 

The WSJ reports say that Facebook is targeting age group of 13-34, and will avoid politics, news, nudity and rough language. The report also says that the social media company is in talks with Hollywood studios for original content on its platform. In May, Facebook had reportedly signed deals with millennial-focused news and entertainment creators Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to feature long and short-form content with ad breaks.

Sports streaming

Right now Facebook Watch is featuring some popular American shows across categories such as motivational, cookery show etc. It is also tapping on Live sports, as it bagged a deal with digital sports platform Stadium, which will allow Facebook to livestream 9 Conference USA Games and 6 Mountain West Conference games exclusively to its users on the social network.

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Note that in India, the company had bid Rs. 3,900 crore (close to $600 million) to win the digital streaming rights of India’s one of the most popular cricket tournament IPL, which was highest in its space.


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