Facebook Seeks to Rev Up Watch Platform, Sets ‘Real World’ Reboot
As Facebook expands the Watch platform outside the U.S., the company is focused on promoting it as a distribution platform to outside entities, beyond the original programs that Facebook itself licenses for Watch. Content creators and publishers can use Watch to launch shows and share in advertising revenue through Facebook’s Ad Breaks revenue-sharing system of inserting commercial spots in videos.
“As we continue to improve the Watch experience for our partners, we’re deeply committed to giving creators and publishers more opportunities to make money from their videos,” Rajwat said. “Since August, we’ve launched Ad Breaks to eligible Pages in more than 25 countries around the world. We’re continuing to make Ad Breaks available in more countries and in more languages.”
Moreover, the executives asserted that Facebook’s goal with its licensed original programming has been to demonstrate how the integration of social tools and functions can be used to develop a new kind of TV viewing experience.
Rajwat said Facebook Watch is drawing more than 50 million people a month who watch at least 1 minute of video on Watch. That’s still a small portion of Facebook’s estimated 1.47 billion daily active users. The execs stressed that Facebook Watch viewing time has increased “by 14 times” since the beginning of the year. They also asserted that Watch viewers spend more time on the platform when they watch with friend groups.
“It’s always been about kickstarting an ecosystem of content,” Henick said. “Our funded content efforts, whether they’re original series or licensing, are meant to be an example of how we want the ecosystem to work. Through funding shows and working with some great partners, we’re learning about what our community enjoys, gather feedback, and inspire others.”
It’s unclear if Facebook’s investment in original series will be pared down with the move to expand it to third-party partners.
“Real World” will be a marquee project for Watch that also dovetails with MTV’s push to refurbish the better-known titles from its library. Produced by MTV Studios and Bunim/Murray Productions, “Real World” will return next spring with three simultaneous editions of the show produced for local audiences in the U.S., Mexico and Thailand.
For MTV, the opportunity to reinvent “Real World” with a high-profile partner is in keeping with the larger strategy at Viacom to extend its core brands well beyond the cable TV universe. MTV Studios has been growing its roster of productions for MTV and outside networks. The core MTV cable channel has also enjoyed new ratings momentum after a long slump.
(Pictured: 2011’s “The Real World: Las Vegas”)
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