Facebook to spend up to $250k per show as original video plans flourish
James R | On 25, May 2017
Facebook is willing to spend up to $250,000 per show as its original video plans seriously step up a gear.
The social network has increasingly embraced video in recent years, seeking to build a video sharing community that will boost user engagement and retention – and, therefore, advertising revenue. With almost 2 billion users a month, there is significant potential for Facebook to become a video hub. If Facebook’s aim was initially to be like YouTube, though, it’s now setting its sights even higher: it wants to be the new Netflix, or at least the new Snapchat.
The arrival of Snap on the social media scene has been a thorn in the side of Mark Zuckerberg’s company, with the Facebook-owned Instagram emulating Snapchat’s popular Stories feature. Snapchat has already begun to fill its Stories section with original video content produced by commercial partners, but Facebook is not about to be left behind, inking deals with BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and Vox Media for its own video platform.
That, you may recall, began to exist when Facebook introduced a new video hub within its Facebook app. Earlier this year, Zuckerberg said in an earnings call with investors that the company is developing “anchor content” to draw people to that video section. Now, Facebook is ramping up the quality and speed of that initiatitve – and it’s prepared to invest heavily to make it happen.
Sources tell Reuters that Facebook will be dividing its video strategy into two tiers: glossy, expensive, scripted shows, which it will own entirely, and shorter content, both scripted and unscripted, which will run for 5 to 10 minutes and will be licensed from other providers. Sources have not divulged much more than that, but what has been revealed is the paycheck that will accompany each of these: the shorter videos will earn creators $10,000 to $35,000 per show, with Facebook also offering 55 per cent of any advertising revenue. For the longer shows, Facebook is reportedly willing to pay up to a quarter of a million dollars up-front, with no revenue share.
Former MTV executive Mina Lefevre is leading the push into original content, which will build upon Facebook’s current smattering of live Major League Baseball and other video streams. CollegeHumor cofounder Ricky Van Veen, meanwhile, is the social network’s global creative strategy chief, also helping to sign exclusive acquisitions.
With competition heated between Facebook and Snap, it’s only natural that Facebook should be looking to work with Millennial-friendly entertainment companies, such as BuzzFeed for its short-form titles.
Business Insider reports that one of the titles in production includes a VR dating series, which will follow people who on dates in VR before meeting in real life. BI reports that Facebook is aiming to unveil a first slate of original content at the Cannes Lions advertising festival in June. Stay tuned for more.