More evidence has emerged that Facebook is looking to embrace longer, premium video content in a bid to nab the top ad dollars that marketers traditionally allot for television. The social network is developing a brand new TV app for set-top boxes, including Apple TV, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Though Facebook has developed other set-top box apps for devices like the Roku, the forthcoming iteration wouldn’t contain any non-video content, the Journal reports, and would serve as a primary consumption channel for the original and licensed premium content that the social network seems intent on developing.
Facebook’s premium video push arrives as the company announced last November that it was running out of room for ads in users’ News Feeds — its primary source of revenue — and that it therefore expected revenues to drop in the middle of this year, according to the Journal. Making a play for TV ad dollars — a market reportedly worth $70 billion in the U.S. — could be a promising alternative. Facebook will report its fourth quarter earnings later today.
The development of a TV app also emphasizes Facebook’s evolving video strategies. Earlier this month, for instance, the company — which had doled out millions of dollars to publishers and creators to crank out Live video content — began to de-emphasize Live video in discussions with media partners in favor of longer, premium programming. The Journal notes that Facebook is asking media companies to create TV-like content that’s more than 10 minutes long, including scripted shows and sports and entertainment content.
In this vein, Facebook has also announced recently that it will give longer videos better standing in users’ News Feeds. And the company is also rolling out 15-second mid-roll ads site-wide that are best suited for longer clips, and which only appear after a video has played for more than 20 seconds.