Facebook is signing on high end content providers like Buzzfeed as it prepares to roll out a service to compete with TV networks, according to an alleged insider report from Reuters. Along with Buzzfeed, Vox Media, ATTN, and Group Nine Media have been named as content partners. The content will reportedly consist of longer content that mimics a traditional TV show, along with shorter form content that resembles web shows. Facebook will own the longer format shows, but the shorter shows will belong to the brands that made them, while being hosted on Facebook's platform. Both formats will be interspersed with ad breaks, rather than having a quick ad at the beginning of each, a la YouTube. Interestingly, the shorter form shows will have an ad revenue share with creators on top of an upfront payout.
Facebook is looking to garner more users for its video platform with these moves, and to that end, it's looking for "anchor content" that can net users and keep them coming back. That "anchor content" is mostly going to be in the form of the longer shows mentioned above, and Facebook is reportedly willing to shell out $250,000 for each show from qualified content creators. The service will still be free for users, with the goal being to draw in more advertisers. Shorter form shows, since they're still owned by their creating companies, will reportedly have negotiations surrounding when a creator can begin airing the show on their own platforms, and when they can begin to sell the show to outside entities like YouTube Red. Creators would receive between $10,000 and $35,000 a pop for these shows, along with 55% of the advertising revenue.
Facebook has been pushing into video, and allegedly planning a move like this for some time. Rivals Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube all have their own respective corners within the online video market, and Facebook seems ready to swoop in on all of those corners as it's already begun the march into live video territory with some measure of success, and scoring content deals from big-name creators could be the boost that it needs to gain the edge on competitors in the pre-recorded video segment.