Facebook has signed deals with millennial-focused news and entertainment content creators Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to make shows for its upcoming video service, which will feature long and short-form content with ad breaks, reports Reuters. The social media company is planning two tiers of video entertainment: scripted shows with episodes lasting 20 to 30 minutes, which it will own; and shorter scripted and unscripted shows with episodes lasting about 5 to 10 minutes, which Facebook will not own, according to the sources.
Facebook’s move to acquire and license original content is the latest in its push to attract more advertising revenue, putting it in direct competition with YouTube Red, Snapchat’s Discover, and traditional television networks. It is an attempt to deliver on Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s remarks to investors earlier this month that the company was looking for so-called “anchor content” that would draw people to the video tab on Facebook’s app.
It is set to pay up to $250,000 for the longer, scripted shows which will be owned by Facebook, reports Reuters, taking a page from a strategy employed successfully by Netflix and Amazon, which both now own some of the content they sell to subscribers. For the second tier of shorter shows, Facebook will pay $10,000 to $35,000 for each show and give creators 55% percent of revenue from advertisements which will run during shows. Last December, Facebook indicated its intention to buy original scripted and unscripted programming for its video service and earlier this year, it hired former MTV executive Mina Lefevre to lead the effort.