Yesterday Disney announced that it is moving into the VOD market and today it’s Facebook turn. The social media giant is set to announce its new premium video streaming service today. Initially available to a small number of users in the US, Watch is a revamped, pumped up version of the US-only Video tab, which it’s also replacing. Through Watch, Facebook will serve up video content on iOS, Android,
desktop, laptop, and its TV applications.
Just like a typical television program, Watch shows will center on a theme or story line. These won’t be user-generated Facebook Live broadcasts, but rather professional-grade productions, including content from the likes of National Geographic, the NBA and Time Inc., according to Variety. Some shows, of course, will be done live, or include live segments.
Every show on Watch includes a comment section, letting you follow the conversation and engage with your own hot take. This brings a social element to the mix, though live chat is a feature we’ve already seen on YouTube.
You’ll be able to keep tabs on your favorite programs through the Watchlist, and scope what your friends are tuning into or explore categories like “Most Talked About” and “What’s Making People Laugh” to discover more shows.
However, to start with Facebook is limiting its Watch content creators to a small set of publishers. Eventually, the company plans to open it up and allow others to make shows, and people hanging out to do so can “register your interest in creating a show” here.
Facebook has every intention of having creators make money from their shows, and to that end, some (presumably the successful ones) will have Ad Breaks. Facebook says it wants to continue to provide a good viewing experience, so it will roll out Ad Breaks methodically. There’s also the opportunity for publishers to create sponsored shows.
Facebook Watch could really challenge YouTube in its online dominance for information consumption and possibly be a threat to television competitor… if it can hit the right mix of content and keep viewers coming back for more.
Watch will roll out to more users “soon” after its initial limited release.
What do you guys think? Could Facebook replace Youtube as your television and information content provider? is the content streaming market becoming oversaturated? As always let us know your thoughts in the comments section below