Facebook Watch may soon include creator content similar to YouTube, a move that would help ensure the platform’s competitiveness in digital video. In the meantime, Facebook’s social video platform continues to draw TV networks and motion picture studios hoping to reach young, digital consumers.
Despite only being a few months old, Facebook’s original programming channel is gaining traction with US consumers—especially teenagers who are otherwise leaving the site. According to Morgan Stanley, 40 percent of people using Watch on a daily basis are between the ages of 16-34. Unfortunately for Facebook, this happens to be the same age group leaving the social network in droves—two million of them, according to eMarketer predictions.
Facebook Watch is designed to compete with social networks like YouTube and Twitch that both offer live interaction during livestreams. Even Twitter is investing in live video content to keep users tuned in. During the fourth quarter, Twitter announced approximately 22 deals and streamed approximately 1,140 live events with 60 percent of those reaching a global audience.
Facebook is in a strong position to lure creators away from YouTube, which has changed or removed monetization options altogether for many users. The company hopes to offer ad revenue-sharing to online creators, a source told CNBC. Facebook’s ultimate goal, the source said, is to create a sustainable ad-supported video platform, where it won’t have to pay for the majority of content. The company invested $200 million in hundreds of shows for its new video platform, which can be accessed through a separate tab from the News Feed.
Entertainment awards offer the highest TV ad revenue of the year for many networks. So as traditional viewership declines, online streams help to keep consumers engaged. Case in point, The Golden Globes red carpet show was also streamed on Facebook Watch.
ABC aired “The Oscars: All Access” on Facebook Watch Sunday evening. The program included red carpet and backstage interviews. Fans were also able to request “digital autographs” from celebrities, as well. The companion stream also aired on social networks Twitter and YouTube Live, in addition to official websites.
Lionsgate is the latest to announce original programming for Facebook Watch. You Kiddin’ Me will be an unscripted series hosted by Kim Kardashian West that features children pranking their celebrity parents. Indie studio Big Beach TV has also announced a dark comedy, “Sorry For Your Loss” starring Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi). These programs join a growing roster of around 50 shows currently airing or announced for Facebook Watch.