Facebook is ready to put its money where its mouth is — the social media giant plans to spend as much as $1billion on original content, reported the Wall Street Journal. Though the new budget matches what Apple is spending on original content, compared to Netflix and Amazon it’s just pocket change. Still, the investment would outpace Facebook’s previous ventures in video content, including its live-video deals last year.
The figure, which will fluctuate based on the success of Facebook’s programming, covers potential spending through 2018. The company didn’t reveal what formats it would be funneling the money into, but it’s possible it could take what go90 calls the ‘Ice Cream Sunday‘ approach — a blend of syndication, originals and exclusives. Originals are the whipped cream; with long-form and big bets being the cherry on top; and land-grab syndication and smart exclusive library titles representing the ice cream scoops, with a personalization layer of hot fudge tying the pieces together algorithmically to drive discovery and individualized viewing experiences.
As of now, Facebook’s Watch Tab is home to original shows from partners, including content from TasteMade, Freethink Media, MLB, Discovery Channel, and more. However, the shows are nearly identical to the ‘shareable’ content that was being posted before the Watch Tab was launched, which isn’t a bad thing considering the amount of engagement such videos receive, but the company should consider mixing up its strategy if it plans to compete with Amazon and Netflix. Five minute DIY or prank videos are great, but they don’t create the same amount of talk around the water cooler as “House of Cards” or “Game of Thrones does.”