Facebook’s ambitions to expand into the TV market have been common knowledge for some time, but it looks as if the social network’s original content could be here sooner than expected. According to Business Insider, Facebook’s “TV-like” shows will arrive during the middle of next month.
Citing people familiar with the matter, BI claims the company plans to launch two dozen originals in mid-June, with several more greenlit for production.
The shows will reportedly be split into two tiers: big-budget longer titles that wouldn’t look out of place on primetime television, along with cheaper videos that last around five to ten minutes and refresh every 24 hours.
Back in December, it was reported that College Humor co-founder Ricky Van Veen, who joined Facebook in 2016 to work on its video endeavors, revealed Facebook wanted “to kickstart an ecosystem of partner content” for the site’s new Video tab.
The high-tier content could see Facebook take on the likes of Amazon and Netflix, who both churn out their own incredibly popular originals. Even YouTube is about to start airing its own shows. Netflix’s excellent House of Cards series is reportedly the type of quality Facebook is aiming for with its top-end programming.
There's not a lot of information on what the tech giant’s new shows will be about, though one of them, which comes from Conde Nast Entertainment, involves people going on first dates in virtual reality before meeting in real life.
Facebook has paid for the shows upfront but plans to start using a revenue-sharing model by including mid-roll ads at a later date.
In the same way that YouTube has acquired the services of Kevin Hart and Ellen DeGeneres, Facebook is trying to convince a number of celebrities to appear in its shows, with one “A-list Hollywood star” having already signed up to appear.
As it gets ever closer to 2 billion monthly users, Facebook already has a huge potential audience, though the company will reportedly be putting a lot of focus on appealing to the Snapchat-loving teen market.
Facebook has declined to comment on the story but doesn’t deny that it’s working on original programming.