Summits Yellow

Facebook Pays Over $50m to Generate More Video Content

Tim Maytom

facebook live video

Last week, Facebook executive Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president for EMEA at the social network, said she expects the News Feed on the service to be "all video" within five years. It seems that Facebook aren't just relying on organic trends for that to happen, as the firm has signed deals worth over $50m (£34m) with media companies, celebrities and influencers to create videos for its live-streaming service.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has signed almost 140 deals with various partners aimed at driving engagement with its Facebook Live feature, and encouraging consumers to generate their own content.

Media firms signed up to produce live video include CNN, the New York Times, Tastemade, the Huffington Post, Vox Media and Mashable, while celebrities who have partnered with Facebook range from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and wellness guru Deepak Chopra to comedian Kevin Hart and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson.

"We have an early beta program for a relatively small number of partners that includes a broad range of content types from regions around the world," said Justin Osofsky, vice president of global operations and media partnerships at Facebook.

"We wanted the invite a broad set of partners so we could get feedback from a variety of different organisations about what works and what doesn't."

Facebook is already transitioning towards a more video-heavy platform, with the latest figures showing that users watch 100m hours of video a day within the News Feed. According to social media metrics firm Socialbakers, May saw 44 per cent of the top 500 Facebook pages maintained by media companies post at least one live video to the platform, up from 11 per cent in January.

The deal is meant to kickstart Facebook's live video ambitions while it arranges a more concrete method of compensating high-profile creators, most likely through some form of ad revenue sharing.

According to the document obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Facebook's largest deal is with online publisher BuzzFeed, for $3.05m, followed by the New York Times at $3.03m and CNN at $2.5m.

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