Just days after signing former League of Legends pro player Stephen “Snoopeh” Ellis to help bolster eSports for its video division, Facebook has made some major moves to bolster its Live library.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the social media platform has signed on nearly 140 media companies and celebrities to create new video content for its Facebook Live service. The deals reportedly total more than $50 million, and the goal is to keep its 1.65 billion monthly users engaged with livestreaming, exclusive video productions and more.
A number of big outlets are on board, including CNN and The New York Times, as well as digital publishers Vox Media, Mashable and Huffington Post. A number of celebrities are also on board, including TV super-chef Gordon Ramsay, comedian Kevin Hart and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson.
These arrangements will keep fresh video content coming while Facebook formulates a plan for compensating video creators, which may include some form of ad revenue sharing.
“We wanted to invite a broad set of partners so we could get feedback from a variety of different organizations about what works and what doesn’t,” said Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations and media partnerships, in a statement regarding video content.
The Wall Street Journal also posted a chart showing the value of the highest contracts signed. BuzzFeed takes the top spot with $3.1 million, followed by The New York Times ($3 million) and CNN ($2.5 million). While celebrities aren’t making nearly as much (around $200,000 apiece), their content should still bring in quite a number of community members.
Considering how users watch over 100 million hours of video daily through their news feeds, Facebook no doubt hopes that these deals will keep them further engaged while possibly increasing viewership numbers at the same time. Facebook Live isn’t just about livestreaming, as the Journal reports that about two-thirds of Facebook users watch a video after it has been broadcast. Those that do watch live tend to stick around for the long haul as well, as the average Facebook user will watch a live video three times longer than those that don’t.