Facebook has kicked its push for TV-like shows into high gear and is aiming to premiere its slate of programming in mid-June.
Facebook plans to have about two dozen shows for this initial push and has greenlit multiple shows for production, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The social network had been looking for shows in two distinct tiers: a marquee tier for a few longer, big-budget shows that would feel at home on TV, and a lower tier for shorter, less expensive shows of about five to 10 minutes that would refresh every 24 hours, multiple sources familiar with the plans told Business Insider.
The new video initiative means Facebook would play a much more hands-on role in controlling the content that appears on its social network with nearly two billion members – and it comes as companies like Amazon, YouTube, and Snap are locked in an arms race to secure premium video programming.
Facebook sees high-quality, scripted video as an important feature to retain users, particularly a younger demographic that is increasingly flocking to rival Snapchat, as well as a means to rake in brand advertising dollars traditionally reserved for traditional TV.
Whether Facebook’s users will embrace such programming is unclear. The short video clips that autoplay in Facebook’s News Feed have been a success for most publishers, but there’s no guarantee that consumers will begin to think of Facebook as a destination for watching longer-form shows. Facebook declined to comment on this story.
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