Facebook TV Is Happening

Allow us to gloat for a minute for predicting this more than a year ago. Even if it’s not that big a surprise.

Okay, thanks. Now on to the news: Facebook announced that its team, lead by College Humor founder Rick Van Veen, is going to go out and buy up some original content: scripted series, game shows and sporting events.

It’s not clear yet what format those programs will take — our guess is that they’ll be “mid-form” e.g. somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes — long enough to tell a story, but short enough to keep Facebook users from abandoning the app (and the ads on the app) for long periods. Like Facebook Live, viewers will likely be able to “cast” the shows to their TVs via Chromecast.

Why It Matters

TV networks have long had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. On the one hand, they love the data that the social network can provide them around their viewers, right down to the individual show level. OTOH, they knew this day would come, that Facebook would take all that data and use it against them. (We knew it too — did we mention that already?)

This isn’t war though. At least not yet. Facebook isn’t launching a full-on network, but rather, a handful of shows. And since it’s likely those shows won’t be as long as or as high production value as what’s on network TV, Facebook can continue to claim that they’re not really the competition.

There is some truth to this too — Facebook is currently running a test with A+E and Tubi that lets its Facebook Ad Network (FAN) fuel addressable advertising on Roku and AppleTV. That’s something the networks have wanted to do for a while and it allows them to bypass the MVPDs, but they still have to be wondering if this project is just a test so that Facebook can learn how best to run addressable advertising on its own TV shows.

… read on at medium.com

Originally posted by Alan Wolk at TV[R]EV Week in Review
17th December 2016