Facebook is reportedly jumping on the premium video content bandwagon some time this June, according to some inside sources. The social media giant supposedly has 24 different shows waiting in the wings, and is seemingly planning to roll them out just ahead of the Cannes Lions advertising trade show. The new shows fall into two general categories; higher-budget, premium content that's of the same sort typically seen on primetime TV, and shorter shows that are not unlike the format commonly seen on YouTube. These smaller shows will be refreshed every day. Reports also indicate that there are some big name Hollywood celebrities already on board with the project.
Once the whole thing drops, any Facebook user will be able to head over to the Video tab, which will be reworked in the coming months, and find all of the available content for free. The content will be monetized through advertising, which jives with an earlier statement made by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying that Facebook planned to stay away from the growing tendency of original video content winding up trapped inside subscription services. Netflix's House of Cards, an example of this phenomenon, was cited as an example of what kind of shows Facebook wanted to put into the higher-budget category. This model would give them a bit of an edge on competitors like YouTube Red and more traditional streaming services.
While the content would be available within Facebook's basic app on mobile systems, Facebook's separate Facebook Video app, currently available on Apple TV and certain smart TVs, may end up playing a bigger role in Facebook's efforts in the battle for living rooms. For the time being, Facebook is still neck and neck with most of its competitors in the video field. The introduction of high-quality, freely available content featuring A-list celebrities may be enough to give them the edge. Should that happen, it would entice and embolden advertisers, which would turn into an endless cycle of premium content development, monetisation, and dominance, so long as the content kept viewers hooked and nobody stepped forward to beat Facebook at their own game. Their approach is not entirely novel, but for now, they're among the best equipped to turn it into a video empire.