Response Magazine Site Response Expo Site Direct Response Market Alliance Site Job Board


   Log in

Direct Response Marketing

Facebook’s Launches ‘Watch’; Analysts Say It Could Be a Game Changer

16 Aug, 2017 By: Doug McPherson

MENLO PARK, Calif. – Traditional TV and YouTube have a new competitor: Facebook’s newly launched video platform, Watch, offers both live and recorded TV-style programming – and, so far, analysts are impressed.

Among the features:

  • It will air on mobile devices, PCs, and smart TVs.
  • It will suggest programming on an individualized basis.
  • It will include a “Watchlist” so users can follow shows and receive updates when new episodes post (content will be discoverable via sections like “What Friends Are Watching” and “What’s Making People Laugh” – or shows that have garnered a substantial number of “Haha” reactions).
  • It will allow viewers to comment or chat with friends while watching.

Facebook says the platform also allows users to create their own shows and amass audiences and ultimately monetize their work. Watch is currently being piloted among a limited group of U.S. users, and will roll out to all users “soon.”

In time, creators will be able to monetize via Ad Breaks, Facebook said, as well as via sponsored shows using Facebook’s “branded” content tag. As on YouTube, creators will reportedly take home a 55-percent cut of any ad earnings, with Facebook pocketing the rest.

Tobi Elkin, a reporter with MediaPost News, says if Watch proves successful, it could be an alternative to YouTube. “With digital ad spending surpassing TV for the first time in 2016, it’s an organic next step for Facebook and others to bank on social video,” Elkin writes.

Some ad-tech executives are bullish on Watch.

Jason Beckerman, CEO and co-founder, Unified, a data management platform, told MediaPost News that Watch could be a “game changer for everyone: advertisers, creators, and audiences.”

Beckerman called Facebook “a much stickier” destination that other video platforms such as YouTube. “Think about conversations you’ve had – how many people are saying, ‘Hold on, let me check YouTube?’” Beckerman said.

Beckerman added that Watch is part of the trend of social platforms driving the video conversation: “The social video space allows advertisers to engage with their target audience in real time, anywhere, and Facebook’s user base is prime time for advertisers looking to reallocate their TV ad spend.”

Tim Sovay, COO at CreatorIQ, a software platform for influencer marketing, told MediaPost News that if Facebook “truly wants to rival YouTube, creator-developed content is going to play an essential part of the equation.

“It will be interesting to follow how Facebook manages the ecosystem of creator-driven newsfeed content vs. the more professionally produced content of Watch," Sovay added.  "YouTube has found that balance between their channel driven and Red strategy, but Facebook will continue to have the advantage of stronger discovery through the newsfeed.”

Among the initial shows announced are: David Lopez’s reality series My Social Media Life; spiritual teacher Gabby Bernstein’s Gabby Live; master woodworker Tommy Mac’s live furniture-making tutorials; and the international travel vlog Nas Daily. Additionally, Tastemade’s Kitchen Little will see children try to recreate recipes by professional chefs, and Mike Rowe will host Returning The Favor, which will highlight extraordinary people in communities across the country as nominated by Rowe’s Facebook fans.

Add Comment

©2017 Questex, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Please send any technical comments or questions to our webmaster. Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Security Seals